Guest blogger, Shayne Seymour, of Independently Happy shares his funny take on deciphering between a midlife crisis or just your passion calling.
The Secret of the Midlife Snooze Button!
Have you had the awakening yet? I believe it’s traditionally been called a midlife crisis. I have made my share of jokes about the MLC. It’s not a crisis, though. It’s more of an alarm. As long as we don’t keep hitting the proverbial snooze button, it is not a crisis. It’s a refresh, just another change. Embrace this change and start following your passion. Don’t panic, because here is the best way to find your passion.
A couple years ago I pulled my head out of whatever daze it was in and was shocked to discover where I had drifted. My proverbial cheese wasn’t just moved. It was replaced with some kind of genetically modified high-fructose-B.S. I realized that I wasn’t doing much that mattered to me.
I was just trying to do what I was supposed to do. I was following tried, proven and highly recommended path towards the American Dream when it hit me...
- I wasn’t living a dream.
- I wasn’t freely sailing the seas.
- I was just riding down a conveyor belt in a zombie-like trance.
“What am I doing? How did I get here?”
It was followed by,
“This isn’t right. I don’t care about this stuff anymore.”
Then came a few more questions...
“What am I supposed to do? What is my calling?”
What is My Passion?
Up until then, I was drifting along, just wanting things to be pleasant. The alarm helped me realize I wanted something that mattered to me. I wanted a passion. I found myself with the same question Joelene Wolfe asked:
What is Passion?
I’m glad you asked.
You could look up the word passion, but you already know what it means, the definition. Look at the origin of the word. It comes from the Latin word pati, which means to suffer. In case you were wondering why that Mel Gibson movie was called The Passion of the Christ, it’s because the hours between the Last Supper and Christ’s death is called “the Passion.”
Passion isn’t just a strong emotion, intense desire or arousing enthusiasm.
Passion’s root is suffering. What Are You Willing to Suffer For? What will you work for, cry for, beg, borrow and steal for? What makes you cry because you want more of it or want everyone else to have more of it? What causes your heart to ache because you see too many with too much of it?
I love Counting Crows. If you read the lyrics to “Round Here,” you can hear that Adam Duritz didn’t just look in a thesaurus and find some words that rhymed, then arrange them together into a catchy hook.
Adam Duritz suffered for that song. His heart probably ached writing it, but he finished the song because he had to. He’s willing to suffer for his songs. He’s passionate. If you’ve ever seen Counting Crows in concert, you’ve seen Adam Duritz suffer every time he sings it.
I love fantasy movies. I can’t wait for Avengers: Infinity Wars to come out. I’m going to be so stoked in May 2018. That will all be over by June 2018. (Until it’s release on Amazon Prime. Then it’s back up again.)
I know all these miserable people who can tell me about every show on Netflix. I get a little jealous because some of these series sound really entertaining. Then I see them hit snooze and go back to the conveyor belt and realize that binge watching Luke Cage can wait.
As much I want to watch those movies, I’m willing to suffer through late nights of binge writing and binge promoting. Okay, I’ll admit it. Writing and promoting are actually fun for me, but I really am suffering not getting to watch those shows!
I love sweets.
At the moment I’m writing these very words I can smell my wife’s biscotti cooking in the oven. Oh mi gatos, it smells delicious. That biscotti is not going bring me any happiness after tomorrow.
My wife, though. She gathered the ingredients and mixed them. I don’t think she did this time because I didn’t hear her screaming any profanities, but it’s possible she burned herself putting her biscotti in the oven. She likely suffered a little.
Then tomorrow, she’s going to see the smiles on her friends’ faces. They’re going to tell her how delicious it is. (She knows I’m not too happy about it because I’m trying to cut back on sugar.) When she sees them again, they’ll remind her how much they loved her biscotti and ask her when she’s making some more.
See the difference? I enjoy eating the biscotti, but the happiness soon fades. She probably doesn’t actually suffer for the confection, but she did the work. She’ll remember those smiles and compliments and enjoy the requests for more.
For me to stay healthy, I need to suffer through a lot of greens, veggies and skipping dessert.
What is Your Passion?
Whether it’s a painting or a blog post or your kids, the things you’re willing to suffer for are the things that will give you purpose and make you happy.
Whether it’s a garden or a song, the things you’re willing to work until your hands are calloused and bleeding are the things that will make you happy.
Don’t Hit the Snooze Button!
Pick something you want, something that won’t be easy to get. It will take some work and suffering to attain it.
Then the sense of accomplishment and the sense of purpose you get daily from inching closer and closer to your goal will help immensely towards that MLC.
Shayne Seymour Bio:
Shayne Seymour is a father, husband, black belt, writer, blogger, cubical survivor and creator of IndependentlyHappy.com.
After over 20 years in the Corporate world, he’s sharing his experience to help others find their own purpose and happiness while surviving and thriving in these crazy modern times.