To find your passion when you are depressed you have to dig up your past, get inspired and step outside who you think you are.
Learning how to find your passion when you are depressed may seem like an impossible task. In fact, it is impossible because depression can consume your mind and prevent you from seeing ‘the light’.
We all know people who always seem happy, upbeat and passionate to the point where they almost seem ‘fake’. Are they just lucky? Were they born with it?
Passion, like depression are habitual ways of thinking and feeling. Passion permeates every aspect of your life.
It is very rare to see someone who is truly passionate about something be depressed about other aspects of their life.
Tony Robbins once pointed out that depression is not something you have, it is something you do. The same is true for passion. It is not something you have, it is something you do.
This leaves us with somewhat of a conundrum. Can we find our passions when we are depressed?
Are you feeling depressed because you lack passion or do you lack passion because you are depressed?
I believe that you can find your passion no matter where you are in your life and it is also one key that can help you move past feeling depressed.
Detach Depression From Your Identity
Depression is serious. Mental health is serious. I used to think it’s just something people have to “snap out of” but now I understand that there is a lot more to it than that.
Unfortunately we are caught in a system where drug companies make millions from depression related medications. Doctors push that stuff without blinking. Doctors hand out depression diagnosis like it is going out of fashion.
For many people a diagnosis from a doctor becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Don’t let a doctor’s diagnosis become your identity.
There is a big difference between being depressed and having depression. When you say “I am depressed” it becomes a command to your subconscious. It becomes attached to your identity.
Anything you say after the words “I am” are incredibly powerful and much of Dr. Joseph Murphy’s work around the power of the subconscious mind highlights this fact.
When you attach depression to your identity then it will permeate ALL your thoughts and actions. It is why so many people remain bound to a debilitating mindset. They don’t have depression.
They ARE depression.
If you detach your Self from depression then you free yourself because now it is something that is external to you and no longer part of who you are.
You are much more powerful and amazing than any condition. Your mind is incredibly powerful and can transcend any condition.
You may still get depressed. You may still feel down and you may even need (a little or a lot of) treatment and/or help.
The main takeaway here is to not let depression become part of your identity and do not let it become your calling card.
As long as depression is part of your identity, you will not be able to see past it and you will not be able to craft an exciting vision for your life; a vision that can help move you out of feeling depressed.
Your mind will always act in a way that is consistent with your identity.
Detaching depression from your identity and who you believe you are is the first and most important step to help you (re)connect with your passion.
What Is Passion Anyway?
There is a huge misconception about passion. Passion is not so much something you have as it is something you do. Some people are not lucky to be born passionate, happy and excited about life.
They find what they feel a passion for and then they fuel that passion. When you “do it” enough it becomes a habit.
Passion is an intense enthusiasm for something. It is often a combination of love and hate for something and is fuelled by an intense emotion. Passion is often an emotion that compels you to act upon the emotion.
In some ways, depression is the opposite of passion. A lack of passion in your life is not the absence of things to be passionate about but rather a failure to see the things you could be passionate about.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.– Albert Einstein
Einstein reminds us that ultimately we have the choice to see how amazing life is. You don’t need some “big thing” to be passionate about to live a passionate life (although it does help a lot).
Real authentic passion comes from tapping into that which your soul desires to experience in life. Many people experience depression because the life they are living is so far removed from their soul purpose that they have reached a point of emotional apathy.
Giving up is never an option. You could give up in this life but you will simply keep coming back until you learn the lessons.
Finding your passion takes courage.
You will almost certainly have to step outside the safe zone in your life and claim the life that has been waiting for you.
Finding your passions is all about connecting with all those things that you have been suppressing for the sake of fitting in, conforming and being “safe”.
A ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for– John A. Shedd
How To Find Your Passion Even When You Are Depressed
Let’s take a step back and think a bit about life, why you are here and what the purpose of this business called life really is.
I do not believe that we are here to suffer, struggle and battle our way through this life only to make it to death.
Life is meant to be a joyful experience.
Just look at kids. They are always happy. They are always filled with joy and enthusiasm. They have not yet LEARNED to be sad, depressed and unhappy.
Young children reflect our natural state of joy, enthusiasm and passion for life. They can’t wait to wake up every morning and they will fight tooth and nail not to go to sleep.
As we grow up and learn how to be a person in this world we suppress, forget and unlearn most of what our natural state is.
So, how do we find this joy and passion in our lives again? Here are 7 ideas to help guide in in how to find your passion when you are depressed.
1. Craft a Vision For Your Life
In The Bible it is written that without a vision, people perish. Not having a compelling future is one of the big reasons why people suffer from depression.
You must have a reason to get out of bed other than just doing that which you “must” do. If you have an exciting future mapped out it has the power to ignite some fire in you.
This is not just about setting big goals. Crafting a vision for your life is about creating an exciting future that you can see.
The secret is to dream BIG and to create a future that would blow your mind. Pick the most exciting and compelling things you can come up with and ‘up the ante’ as much as you can.
So, what if you don’t know what you want to be, do, have or experience? Start with what you DON’t want. Knowing what you don’t want will help you clarify what you do want.
This is not about being right either. Just pick something. The problem with picking nothing and having no vision for your life is that you will end up going nowhere.
2. Do Something Different, Explore and Experience
Finding your passion is not really the right way to look at it. What is more accurate is the idea of reconnecting with your passion(s).
Trust that your inner being knows exactly what you are passionate about. It knows your life purpose and is all wise.
You simply have to reconnect with your passion(s) but you can not do it if you keep living the same day every day.
You have to do things differently. Explore different things. Try something new. Create new experiences in your life. Small changes can lead you down different paths, get you to meet different people and connect with your passions.
You can not sit on your sofa, binge watch Netflix and wonder why you can not find your passion.
3. Digging Up The Past
When you were a child you knew exactly what you loved and what you hated and you had no problem letting everyone know about it.
Some people were ‘lucky’ and carried their passions with them into life but most of us were taught how to be and how to behave in this world.
We got taught how to suppress and relinquish our passions for something more normal or more realistic.
What were you passionate about that you forgot about?
Looking back at when you were a child you can often learn a lot about your raw passions and what you were drawn to at an early age.
These often came from deep inside you as raw passions and loves that were just part of who you are.
4. Keeping a List
When you see something that moves you emotionally it usually holds a key to help you unlock your passions. It may also be just something that you are really drawn to.
It will often be weird and could even be completely contrary to your personality.
You may want to keep a list of everything you like, everything that really appeals to you and everything you would like to experience in your life.
The idea of a bucket list is a bit cliched now but it really is a powerful tool that can help you create some excitement about your future.
Just making this list will reveal a lot about yourself to yourself.
5. Get Inspired
Inspiration is not something like a lighting that strikes you unexpectedly. Inspiration is something that you find and that you allow into your life.
Inspired people are out there looking for things to inspire them. One of the great ways to get inspired is to find people who inspire you.
Read their biographies. Get to know how they think and step into their shoes. Having ‘heroes’ or role models in your life is really powerful because they help make your dreams real.
If they can do it, then so can I.
You don’t have to be inspired by people either. You can be inspired by a blade of grass. It is all a matter of perception and understanding
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.– Patanjali
6. Guided By Infinite Intelligence
We all have Divine guidance available to us at all times. There is a part of you, the You behind the facade called your body and your mind that ‘knows’.
Connecting to infinite intelligence is as simple as having the intention to connect with it. Quiet your mind, close your eyes and invite the Divine guidance into your life. You can say something like:
Infinite intelligence now reveals to me my true place in this world. I am Divinely guided in connecting with my passion(s) and everything that inspires me and makes me feel alive.
Carry that affirmation/prayer with you for a few weeks and repeat it often.
7. Step Outside Yourself
Passion is often born out of a deep desire to help others or to change something that is ‘wrong’ in the world.
If you really want to know how to find your passion when you are depressed then simply find something that really p!sses you off about the world you live in.
There are so many people in need, so many injustices and so many causes that could ignite our passion.
When you step outside yourself and your own needs, your ego subsides. The ego is so obsessed with itself and its own needs that it can consume itself.
You often can not see your own passions because your ego is in the way. When you step away and look for ways to serve and to help others then you can find your passion in something bigger than yourself.
Start by volunteering some of your time or some of your skills with no intention other than just to serve and help others.