These days everywhere you look in books, magazines, blogs, articles, there’s so much written about “finding your bliss”, “following your passion” and so on.
This seems to make sense on the surface, why would we not want to do more of the stuff that brings happiness to ourselves and those around us?
The problem comes when it leads you to feel that your “passion” or “bliss” or “calling” is one very narrowly defined focus, and all else is inferior or not worthy of your time.
It also isn’t helpful when the influx of all these articles makes you feel like you’re the only person left in the Western world that HASN’T found their passion!
From personal experience, of myself and others, there isn’t necessarily one single all consuming calling that you know absolutely clearly from birth.
Instead, I believe there are a handful of different threads.
Unbreakable, golden threads, that weave in and out of your life (and have done for as long as you can remember) and reveal to you common themes and motivations, and make you feel like this is the really important stuff when you’re involved in them.
It’s not so much specific activities that matter here. What’s more important to notice are these underlying motivations, themes, threads.
For me the two most obvious examples are writing and teaching.
I’ve always been into writing stories from a young age, and in a previous post about the power of encouragement I spoke about what an impact my English teacher had on me when I was around 11 years old.
Writing is a huge thread running through my life. What do I do when I need to work things through? I write. What do I do to express my feelings to someone close to me? I write. What do I do when I want to try to create something beautiful? I write. What do I do to market my work? I write.
It’s not so much what I write, but that writing is such an important vehicle and medium for me to do all kinds of things I have no idea how I would do otherwise.
With teaching, when I was at University I planned to train as a teacher. I got a little sidetracked. In the last couple of years though I’ve learned to teach salsa, and this has become a great pleasure. As well as a way of bringing a bit of happiness and fun into people’s lives.
Finishing a course and having people come up after and tell me how much they enjoyed and how they didn’t want the course to end is a huge satisfaction to me.
This is another thread – helping people become happier, even in small ways.
So all these golden threads are intertwined. In fact they’re not just running through your life, they ARE your life.
Think about this idea yourself, and notice what threads and themes run through your own life. They might not be obvious at first, because the medium or vehicles may be very varied.
For example being a creativity coach and being a salsa teacher don’t seem that connected. But the end result is the same. It’s a way I can help people be happier, be more creative, be more confident, be more themselves.
Teaching, or more widely, enabling people to learn themselves, is the thread here.
Finally the reason this post has “unbreakable” in the title, is because that’s what these threads are.
However much you deny them, or try to bury them, they will find a way to weave themselves back through your life.
Be observant, be open, listen to what you enjoy, what makes you happy, what helps you make others happy. These are your own unbreakable golden threads. It’s up to you to honour them.