So after reading Part 1 of this blog hopefully you've figured out what your passion is, what you love, and what ultimately makes you happy. Now the tougher challenge of including it into our lifestyle; the art of being a little bit selfish.
I call it an art because it takes practice to get it right, it's different for everybody, and some will love it while others hate it. I'm still learning my art of selfishness. Sometimes I get it right and the final product makes me and others happy, other times the final product comes short of my standards and I adapt. Forever learning what is the best way to do what I love.
I started practising my art over 10 years ago.
During a guided group hiking trek to Everest Base Camp we approached a difficult section of the route and were forced to make a decision. Some individuals wanted to turn back and return to camp, while others were fit enough and happy to continue. We knew this decision at some point may be presented to us, so it was not a question of if, but more when. The outcome would split the group - tent partners and more importantly friends. It may sound strange reading this but it was a tough decision leaving your tent partner and best friend, when one wanted to progress and the other wanted to turn back. You want your mate there with you, to both experience getting to the end and succeeding. Individuals, myself included, racked with guilt that we would choose continuing forward rather than staying with our mate and heading down, were given some priceless advice from one of the guides on the tour:
"Now is the time gentleman, to be selfish"
I decided to continue forward, thankfully my friend and tent partner came with me and we finished the trek together. I have always remembered that advice - there is a time and place for selfishness.
As with the previous blog, it's all about balance. We still need to work, still need to look after family, and also help out friends and neighbours. However, we have to make time for ourselves. Explain to those close to you the importance of your love and the project that makes you happy. This will result in a better outcome when you choose to be a little selfish. This does not mean you need to alter your morals, becoming isolated or obsessed with yourself and forget those important to you, as it is ultimately not worth it. However we need to create that balance, otherwise time will pass by and we won't achieve our goal, or practice the activity which makes us happy.
If there is an evening drawing class on once a week for a couple of hours each lesson, block that time off in your diary and don't let others worm their way in. If you have a goal of running a 10 km race by the end of year, then lunchtime training sessions cannot be replaced with work meetings. That short story you promised yourself you would finish writing will remain unfinished if you don't put yourself and this task as high priority.
If you don't set time aside for your passion and the activity you love , chances are, no-one else will. So be a little selfish, and put yourself and your passion higher in your priority - you will not regret it.