The 2021 Challenge: Day Five

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Day 5: Getting Passionate

It’s so much easier to set goals and habits that stick when your powerful, intrinsic intention is paired with a deep-rooted and personalised passion, whether you have those defined already or not.

Today, we’re finding your TRUE passions.


Day Five: Bonus Content

Passion is one of the biggest words or descriptors thrown around in the modern world today, yet for so many people it just doesn’t make sense.

It can be incredibly unclear and in a modern world built up from the idea that you should find a career that you’re passionate about, we can EASILY get ourselves hooked on the wrong things.

For many people, ‘passions’ become a direct result of looking at extrinsic motivators such as money or fame and then they start chasing these external rewards through something they’re not truly engaged with.

It’s no surprise that people give up on their passions after such a small amount of time.

When I was in school, I was hugely passionate about playing piano… or so I thought… Turns out, as soon as I left school, the piano wasn’t in my environment and I stopped playing completely. I had paired a belief in a passion with an environmental trigger with external rewards (social attention)

But that ends TODAY!

Rather than following some stranger’s advice on how to build a passion, we’re following the science and neurobiology today in a process known as the ‘Passion Recipe’.

This is a tool developed by Steven Kotler (author of ‘Rise of Superman’, ‘Bold’, ‘Abundance’, and is about to release his new book ‘The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer” [the link can be found below]) and the process itself takes you through a simple formula to custom design passions that STICK.

Before we get into the Passion Recipe, it’s important for you to notice some of the problems with the common approaches to passion, so that you can reflect and consider these for yourself:

  • Do what you’re good at (Doesn’t account for naturally acquiring talent)
  • Do what you enjoyed as a child (Good for general direction but specific actions will differ due to personal and/or environmental changes)
  • TOO GENERALISED (If your ‘passion’ is too widespread, it’s not intrinsic or specific enough for you and your needs)

The Passion Recipe:

Today, we’re stacking up our passions in a way that will allow us to keep engaged and we start that process by looking at what we’re CURIOUS about.

These curiosities aren’t just things you find mildly interesting either. These should be things that you are genuinely interested in and would actively seek out new thoughts, ideas or learnings on the subject you’re identifying.

For example, one thing that I’m curious about is flow psychology. Another might be the practice of minimalism. A third might be the spiritual practice of Feng Shui (the use of energy forces within your surrounding environment)

It doesn’t matter WHAT the specific curiosities are, but what matters is that YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THEM. If you can’t see yourself actively getting involved deeper into the subject, it doesn’t make the cut on this list unfortunately.

We’re also aiming for 25 points of curiosity.

The reason being is that it’s enough points to stretch out our interest but also not too many to become overwhelming and arbitrary. (REMEMBER – Be hyper-specific!)

What you’ll then need to do is start to identify overlaps and intersections within these curiosities. Steven writes that, “Passion exists at the intersection between three or more things you’re curious about” and this is because you can get your neurochemistry supporting your new passions.

You’re already getting positive dopamine flowing through the individual curiosities so you can start to imagine the potential when these all begin to line-up TOGETHER.

To connect back with my previous examples, ‘flow psychology’ isn’t something that can stand a complete passion alone, however I can add both minimalism and Feng Shui into the mix and this can can start to become something bigger that encompasses all three:

  • I am passionate about the environmental factors that impact the ability to enter a flow state.

This is still a bad example as it’s still a little bit too vague but it also doesn’t resonate with me enough to get excited about it. Instead, I might have to consider adding or exchanging new curiosities from my list to build this into an overlapping passion that resonates with me.

There’s a reason I asked you to develop a 2021 Focus List using a very similar, overlapping process earlier in this challenge. I was building you up with a wider understanding and the ability to see patterns and correlations across different stimuli.

Your Task Today:

  • Start by checking in with your previous and/or existing passions. (Find out why you’re passionate or why the passion was lost. Was it internally or externally rewarding?)
  • Write your list of 25 hyper-specific curiosities (more are welcome!)
  • Find overlaps and correlations between 3 or more of the things you’re curious about and build your unique passions.

That’s your mission for the day.

This is Day Five of my complete Goal Setting Blueprint.

When you build your own unique passions, you’ll set yourself on fire with an unstoppable energy towards the rest of your life and goals.

Let’s make 2021 the BEST year of your entire life.

-Aidan


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“Twenty years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did do”

Mark Twain