What is Your Issue/Passion?

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Purpose:

This process is designed to help you find a “seed” for a Passion Action or Passion Project. This might be a very simple action (deciding not to use plastic straws), or a large ambitious project (eg., starting a new political party!).  It can be something completely new in your life, that you’ve not thought of before. It may be something you’ve been wanting to do for awhile but keep putting off, or it can be a project you’ve been working on for a while and want to take some new steps with. This is your chance to channel your energy into something you care about deeply, and get lots of support along the way. You will be developing and working with this “Passion Action” throughout the course of the Joyality Program.

Preparation:

Think of an issue, a particular problem, or something you feel really passionate about. (Although we all have issues and problems in our personal lives, this is an opportunity to focus on something that has broader effects on ecosystems, society and the planet.) It can be an issue you are already working on, something that really upsets you, or something that you really love and want to protect.

Try to pick something that is specific and manageable, not so broad or vague that you get totally lost and overwhelmed. For instance, if you’re passionate about the issue of the waste of resources and the pollution it creates, instead of focusing on “waste” , try something more like “waste in coffee shops” or “waste at our local school”. This way you have a point of focus and a defined community in which to take action. Now turn the issue into a challenge. “Zero waste in coffee shops” or “waste reduction at our local school”.

If you’re feeling stuck or confused, look back in your journal to the What is it you want to sustain? exercise to help yourself focus on what you care most about preserving in this world. This might remind you of things that are particularly threatening to what you love and/or particular skills or avenues you have to create change.

Process:

Write your issue/problem and challenge down in your Joyality Journal. Writing it down helps you solidify it in your mind and serves as a kind of mental commitment to that issue.

Write a bit about how you feel about this issue, “I feel … “.

Write a bit about how you would feel if this issue was resolved, healed or transformed, if we met or addressed the challenge, “I would feel …”.

Now, take it one step further and identify just one action you can take right now that relates to or helps to solve the issue you are passionate about. For instance, if the challenge you have chosen is “zero waste in coffee shops”, your action could be bringing a reusable coffee cup with you everyday so you don’t use disposable cups anymore. Choose something that is realistic, but that you are not doing already. Remember that, although it may seem small, if everyone took this action it would change the world.

Reflection:

After you have written down this seed of your Passion Action, take a moment to close your eyes and imagine billions of people across the planet taking this simple, realistic action. How would that change the world? How does that feel?

Now come back to focusing on your own self, and reflect on the (likely) assumption that you alone, as one person, taking this action will not “make any difference” at all. We understand the pull of this assumption, it feels really true sometimes!

However, your impact is likely to ripple out in unexpected ways, through having conversations with people and others witnessing your action. You might inspire others to take the action with you! Additionally, taking positive action towards something you care about has positive psychological and emotional impacts and maybe even a positive physical influence on your health. Aligning your daily actions and choices with your core values about life is a deeply empowering and satisfying thing to do. It can help you feel more purposeful and positive in yourself and your life, and more in control of things you care about. It often has a cascading, self re-enforcing effect, empowering you to make other changes in your life you never thought possible and aligning your reality even more closely with your values.

What personal benefits do you think taking this Passion Action might have on your life and well-being? (We will explore this further in Your Passion Action: Identify Barriers and Benefits)


“Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. ”

            – Gandhi


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