You Have to Have a Goal

Part of sticking with a change is to develop goals around it – easily-obtained, bite-sized goals – and work toward them.

I’ve always been a ‘big picture’ sort of person, where I’d look at where I want to be and kind of meander my way in that direction. I lost my way over the past several years as what little planning I’d been doing easily came unraveled because I’m easy to distract, and I’m more likely to do what other people want me to do instead of what I want to do.

A lot of people would tell you otherwise. Those people don’t know me as well as they think.

My ultimate goal is to be completely independent. This clashes a bit with my other goal of moving in with my boyfriend and actually having a life with him beyond the computer screen, I guess, but to get THERE I need to actually do the thing HERE. Until I’m independent, I have no way of scraping together the money to get over to even meet him. I’ll never be mentally healthy if I don’t gain my independence. Independence means getting to see change, means making more change and making waves so that I don’t reach old age and go, “Wow, look at all the crap I could have done and didn’t do because I was scared.”

My short-term goal is to bring in enough money to pay my bills by the end of February. I want to be able to say “I made $1,000 in the month of February because I buckled down and did the thing”, and then I want to further that by making $3,000 per month by the end of 2016. That would enable me to pay down my credit card (completely), pay off my car, and possibly pay off what’s left of my OSAP debt.

If I’m pulling this off by July 2016, then I won’t have to go back to school (again) for Medical Office Admin as I was originally planning, and I can concentrate my efforts on my writing career. I’ll be able to afford an apartment somewhere I’ve never actually been before (maybe), and experience a new place.

It would be nice to actually be able to move out on my own and feel like I’ve succeeded at becoming an adult.

How to Find Your Passion

You’re not doing what you want to do with your life, and everyone around you knows it because you’re miserable – and misery just radiates off you. What do you do? You know you need to find your passion, to understand what excites you and makes you want to get up in the morning, but how do you do that? Here’s how.

What is Passion?

The dictionary definition of passion is “a powerful emotion or feeling”. Passion is emotion like love or hate, and it doesn’t leave any doubt about what it is you’re feeling. Activists are passionate about their causes, musicians are passionate about their music, and top chefs are passionate about the food they create. Once you truly understand what passion is, then you’ll have an easier time finding it – or it’ll find you.

You can tell when someone is passionate about something by how they talk about it: they’ll light up, babble excitedly, and become highly animated.

Reflect

Let’s take a look at your time on Earth.  What things have you done or experienced that excited you? Do you find the world of fire trucks and emergency response beyond fascinating, or are you one of those folks that just can’t get enough of all things dinosaur? Think about any experiences that made you say, “Wow! This is amazing!” Those are the things you’ll be looking into.

Do Something

Once you have an idea of things that have really interested you, pursue them. You had a lot of fun baking cakes with friends? Take some baking classes and see if that tickles your fancy. Touched by the plight of the homeless? Volunteer for a shelter or an organization that helps.

If your reflections didn’t give you any ideas, it’s time to do some research. Look into your interests, any topics that relate, and follow the leads to whatever catches your eye.

Can’t Quite Feel It?

It’s also possible that there’s something blocking you from finding your passion. Lots of things can do that. Fear of failure is a big one, and it can be hard to work through. It’s important to practice positive self-talk when faced with fear. Every time that little voice in the back of your mind says, “you can’t do it”, treat it like a backseat driver. Tell it, “I can and I will”. Give it a name. Tell it off.

Imagining what your life will be like when you succeed is a great tool toward pushing back fear, too. As hokey as it sounds, positive thinking really is the best bet for eliminating those nagging bad feelings.

Mental illness also leads to being unable to find enjoyment in things you like. If this has been going on for a long time, speak to your doctor – the problem may be more serious than fear or confusion.

Now What?

You’ve figured out your passion, now what do you do? Whatever you want. Whether you turn that into a career or learn to be better at it, it’s up to you how you handle this knowledge.

My Writing “Why”

I’ve been told that I have an active imagination since I was a kid. I remember when my parents brought home our first computer, how I was fascinated by this machine with its orange text on black background, that I could use for typing my stories and schoolwork. It was amazing. Do you remember those old computers with the massive floppy discs and the equally-beastly dot-matrix printers? Beige plastic, command prompts, a single typeface, no spell-check.

We have it so well, with our fancy fonts and our computer programs that can swap out our most common misspellings for the right words. What a time to be alive.

I don’t write fiction as much as I did as a kid. The imagination hasn’t run dry or anything, I guess I’ve just grown more shy – creative writing was where I really managed to shine when I was younger and I had a lot of support from my teachers. I even had a lot of support from one of my high school teachers, someone that many other students claimed to have a hard time with. I started to become afraid that if I wrote a lot of original stuff and put it out there, somebody would copy it and put their name on my work.

That’s silly.

Instead, I’ve written a lot of fiction based upon characters I play in video games – fiction based in worlds with “copyright – somebody else, now and forever times infinity” on them. Characters that, though they’re mine in theory, aren’t TRULY mine.

All of this is changing.

In 2016, I’m taking the plunge. I’m taking my writing seriously again. It’s something I should have done a long, long time ago, but fear has this way of just sitting on you and making you stay where you are. Being told a variety of different reasons why I can’t write for a living certainly didn’t help.

I write because it’s something I was meant to do. Writing is the one place where I’m completely free, unrestrained by things like “money” and “common sense” and “because somebody said I couldn’t do it”. There’s a great big world in my head with all sorts of ideas and stories that are just dying to get out, and it’s about time I released them from the confines of my brain and let them run a little wild.

Everybody goes into this for different reasons. In the end, they’re all doing the same thing: they’re pursuing their calling.

I’m finally doing what I was meant to do.