On Friday, the Rec Center staff was lucky enough to have Shaun T (Insanity and Hip Hop Abs fitness guy) come talk to us. He's a Rowan Alum, and actually worked at the Rec Center a number of years ago. The professional staff here has kept a great relationship with him and they brought him in just a few days ago! What he said was all very interesting and it comes down to three main points. If you weren't at his presention, do it. Seriously.
1. Define 5 things you're AMAZING at. Like amazing. It could be anything. Are you a good listener? Good friend? Great dancer? Whatever. It was kind of hard for some people to think of these five things. Really, no one's actually asked a question like this before. Write it down.
2. Think of 3 things that makes you excited to wake up. Again, it could be anything. And it can be simple. For him, Shaun loves waking up to his husband kissing him on his forehead. Write it down.
3. What do you WANT? Shaun introduced the idea of "selfish" being a GOOD word. Being selfish is actually important because "you are the nucleus of your whole world" and if YOU are not selfish, YOU will not be happy. SO, what do you WANT? Write it down.
Now, look at your five amazing things, the three things that make you wake up, and what you want. Do they all relate? By this, he means to ask if they all coincide and work together to make you happy.
This activity wasn't necessarily easy for me. First of all, it is definitely kind of weird to write down five things I'm amazing at because I almost feel like I'm bragging. Then, it weird to think of three things that make me excited to get up. People, me included, sometimes get stuck in the daily grind of life. Sometimes it just happens. But Shaun's point was to remember what makes you happy to be awake. Lastly, it was strange to think of what I want in such a broad term. I want to be a teacher. I want to have a family. I want to get married. But what SPECIFICALLY do I want? And not only that, how do I write it down in a short sentence that makes sense? Even after writing down what I want, "I want to be a role model and make others happy", I still feel like it could use some work.
Ultimately, it's hard to define yourself or your life in three short answers. But, what Shaun T explained is that they all need to be intertwined. One leads to the other, which leads to the other.
About four months ago, I went to a motivational speaker. I'm not sure what his name was; they all kind of blur together at this point. I feel like I've been to a million. Regardless of who he was, he said something that I've been thinking about for the last four months.
He asked, "What are three things you are passionate about?" And he waited. No one raised their hand. But that's what he was expecting. In fact, the looks of slight terror and the "Oh-my-god, I'm-in-college-and-I-don't-know-the-three-things-I'm-passionate-about; what-am-I-doing-with-my-life?"-looks were actually what he wanted. What 20-year old can list three things he or she is truly passionate about in life? If you can, I'm jealous. What 40 or 50 year old for, for that matter, can? Sure, people have likes, dislikes, things they hate, and things the love, but to be passionate about something is a different story.
I, of course, was one of the people in the audience with the "Help-me, I'm-lost" face. So, at lunch, I took advantage of the question and got some help. I sat across from him. Let's call him Chris. I said, "Chris, what are your three things?" He smiled and charmingly asked the same question back. I mumbled off some generic answer that I thought someone would want to hear when they ask a question like this. He wasn't impressed, and I asked him again, "No, really! I want to know what your three passions are!" He replied with very good answers: Developing REAL relationships with people, communicating, and reading. I didn't think the first two were "acceptable" answers, but that's when I realized it; ANYTHING is an acceptable answer.
So, I've been thinking. What am I truly passionate about?
To start, I definitely LOVE creating actual, real relationships with people. Relationships that matter. At this point, I would rather have a few awesome people in my life who I know I can count on and who love me than a million "friends". People are important in my life. I have always been happier when I was around people.
Another thing I am passionate about is being PRESENT. This is something sort of new that I'm trying...which I shouldn't even need to think about. Realistically, people should be present at every moment of the day. But now we have smart phones and this happening and that happening and yada yada yada. So, my newest idea is to be completely present in the moment. If I'm out to dinner, my phone is away and I'm making the most of the conversation. If I'm at a conference, I'm networking, making myself "uncomfortable", putting myself "out there" to benefit as much as possible from my time. Because really, time is limited, so why not be completely present in every moment of it?
The third thing is a little harder. I could say that I love my jobs on campus like working at the REC and Orientation, but are they things I am passionate about? I'm not sure. I like food. And dogs. Definitely not passion, though.
So maybe I need some more time to think about this last thing. But in my mind, that's okay. It's not like someone is going to test me on these three things one day, and if I don't have an answer, I fail at life. Instead, I think it's important to be thinking of these things. It helps you guide your life in a way that will make you truly happiest.
Now, I challenge you! I challenge you to start thinking about the three things in life you are passionate about.