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Mastery Series: Ann Skidmore on vision and passion

Posted 14 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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We've launched a monthly Mastery Series to offer you top tips from our accomplished team and trainers. In this week's blog, specialist coach and trainer, Ann Skidmore shares the importance of having a passionate vision and how to connect with this.

Making it happen, for anyone, always comes through being passionate about what they do, how they do it and how best to overcome the obstacles and roadblocks that appear to prevent their passion from being fulfilled.

Having a passionate vision of where you want to be or where you want your business to be can inspire and excite you.

When was the first time you noticed the importance of a vision? For me, it was when my parents took me on a family holiday Florida and we visited Kennedy Space Centre. I was amazed and inspired by the vision of a President (John F. Kennedy) that had influenced a generation to ‘land the first man on the moon before the end of this decade’ and the vision came to fruition in July 1969. Since that first visit to Kennedy I have returned many times and the next generation (my daughter!) has also been inspired by the Kennedy vision and mission:

NASA VISION

• To improve life here

• To extend life to there

• To find life beyond

 

NASA MISSION

• To understand and protect our home planet

• To explore the universe and search for life

• To inspire the next generation of explorers as only NASA can

Passion is a rich, soulful emotion. Whether it makes you feel angry, excited, inspired, or brought to tears, passion is something that moves you in a very powerful way. Passion is an internal experience not an external event. Finding your passion means connecting your head with your heart; engaging that part of yourself that "feels" in a big, bold, spiritual way. For many of us, this is a challenge. Our busy, chaotic lives, disconnect us from our feelings and when we act from this "numbed out" place, it's impossible to connect with our passions.

As you're better able to be more present and connected to your feelings, you'll be ready to do a little exploring to discover the specific, personal things that best ignite your passions. So how about finding your passion for the next month or so? Or even make it a journey for the rest of your life?

Where is your passion? Begin by considering what you enjoy...

For some, passion is experienced while engaging in a hobby or personal interest outside of work. For example, a colleague of mine, Malcolm, is passionate about sailing. Long before the warm weather arrives, Malcolm prepares his boat and plans for the sailing season. When I mention the word "sailing", his eyes light up, he speaks with more emotion, and his gestures become more animated. That's passion!

For others, their work becomes a passion. A client of mine, Andrea combined her love of interior design and background in training and development to start a business doing spectacular renovations of rundown properties and coaching private clients. Her excitement and enthusiasm are so strong that I can actually feel her passion when she shows me different properties and describes the changes she intends to make.

How to reconnect with your passions...

There are a number of ways to reconnect with your passions. Pay attention to the clues that surround you each day. Consider these examples:

Books

Go and take a look at your bookcase. Whether you read fiction or nonfiction, books will provide you with many clues about what inspires you most. As you look over the books, do you notice any common subjects or themes? Which books are your all-time favourites? Why?

News

There are times when stories in newspapers or magazines will inspire the pursuit of a passion. For example, you may read the story of a misfortune that pulls at your heartstrings or a triumph that gives you a renewed sense of hope. Are there certain sections of the paper that you turn to first, or certain magazines that you always read? Look for patterns...

Films

What films have inspired you? Are there certain movies that you watch over and over again? Why? Once again, look for common themes.  I’m inspired by real-life films that tell a story of someone’s life, for example, The Imitation Game and Theory of Everything.  More recently I’ve been very inspired by the Apollo 11 film (the 50th anniversary of the moon landing).  One of my all-time favourite films is the Shawshank Redemption and no matter how many times I have seen it I always love the story of hope over adversity, conflict and difficulty.  The human spirit just longs to soar above such things, doesn’t it?  That very much relates to our own personal values of what drives us towards our own purpose and vision I believe.

Passionate People

Who are the passionate people in your life? Passion can be contagious! When you're in the company of someone who is totally consumed by something they feel passionate about, it's easier to connect with your own passionate thoughts or visions. Is there someone you can think of right now who inspires your passion?

Service

Have you overcome a major challenge in your life? Could you use this knowledge and experience to serve others? Being there for those in need can be a powerful way to experience passion.

Passion comes in many forms. Whether it's a beautiful sunset, a theatre performance or the laughter of a child, you'll want to identify things that go right to your emotional core. The power of passion will provide you with the fuel to enjoy a new hobby, create a new career, and do something that serves others in a life-changing way.  That’s what becoming a coach with The Coaching Academy did for me 20 years ago and I am still living that service.  In a way, it is also to honour my Dad who died over 20 years ago.

Make this your week to take action – challenge yourself to find your passion.

This week, grab a notebook, create a "passion page" in your journal, or open a file on your computer right now and get ready to go on a little treasure hunt to identify things that move you in a powerful way. Take a few moments to quickly answer some of the questions from above. Then, during the week, start to notice stories that inspire you, people whom you admire, or times when you feel touched in a deep way. Capture these examples in writing. As you keep track of these clues, you'll find they lead you to your passionate pursuits. I know that when I am truly doing what I love to do I am truly in the flow, glad to be alive and fully present to what’s going on. This for me is a true passion, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this phenomenon ‘flow’ – a state of joy, creativity and total involvement in which problems seem to disappear and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence. He believes that this safe pleasurable state can be brought about by all of us and not just left to chance. We each have the potential to experience flow, whether at work, at play or in our relationships.  I do hope you enjoy yourselves finding your passion or reconnecting with it once again!

We love hearing your stories of what you are doing via The Coaching Academy Facebook page or on our training programmes.  Share those passions and visions with us!

Csikszentmihalyi, M (1992) Flow – the Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness, Random House, Australia

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