What Makes You Tick?

Do you find yourself daydreaming about a life that’s more exciting than the one you’re living?  Do you feel as though your battery needs a recharging?  One way to get your motor going again is by figuring out what it is that really makes you tick.

When we clearly know the things that drive us, we can begin to find fulfillment.  Yet sadly, many of us avoid identifying what that is because we worry that it will have no relevance in a real life application. That could not be further from the truth.

Artist Heidi Loewen found her passion for art because she always loved to play in the mud.

Take, for instance, an artist by the name of Heidi Loewen.  From the time she was a young girl, Heidi loved to play in the mud.  She loved the feel of the dirt in her hands, but never once imagined this could lead her to a career.  Then she discovered the art of porcelain and pottery making.  While throwing clay on the pottery wheel and gently using her hands to shape it into a beautiful vessel, Heidi began to notice a sense of satisfaction and happiness inside—just like when she used to play in the mud as a kid.  She recognized that same tactile pleasure gave her the ability to create something beautiful, and this is what makes her tick.  Today, Heidi is a successful artist, and owner of the Heidi Loewen Porcelain Gallery & School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she loves teaching others how to “play in the mud.”

Like Heidi, you too can discover your passion.  Here are four ideas to help you in your quest:

Don’t be so practical: Sometimes being practical, isn’t practical.  When it comes to figuring out what it is you love doing, “being practical” will only minimize your thoughts and ideas.  What you really need is to let them grow and expand.  Ask yourself questions that force your mind to think beyond the norm, such as, “If I could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?”  “If money or education were not a factor, what would I be doing?”  “At the end of my life, what am I going to wish I had done?  And how can I begin to do those things now?” 

Identify your interests: As you go about your daily routine, make it a point to recognize when you’re feeling your happiest, and what you’re doing at that particular moment in time.  If you’re happiest when you’re picking out your outfit for the day, maybe you might consider taking a class in fashion design.  If you felt a great sense of happiness while helping a neighbor or someone in need, maybe your heart is leading you to volunteer in your community.   Your interests don’t necessarily need to become your career; they just need a channel to express themselves in a way that brings you fulfillment and contentment.    

Figure out what you DON’T love: Sometimes it’s quicker to figure out what we don’t love.  If you’re not a fan of technology, it’s probably best not to spend a lot of time on the computer.  If you hate shopping you may want to avoid a career in retail.   By steering clear of what you don’t love, you will naturally push towards those things you do love.

Be yourself: Remember when your mother would say things like, “So if Johnny jumps off a bridge, are you going to jump off a bridge too?”  (Ugh! Doesn’t every mom say that at some point?) Her point was, don’t be a follower.  Be yourself.  And you know mom is always right. 

Once you discover (or perhaps rediscover) what makes you tick, you’re going to feel energized.  Use that feeling, along with your gifts, talents, and interests to create the exciting life you’ve been dreaming of.  Understanding what moves and motivates us is important, but only by acting on those things can we truly find fulfillment.

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