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Path to Health - Day 5: Passions for Health

Back on Day 3, I talked about The CHEEP Way to understand why we overeat, and one of those reasons was the impact our emotions have on our physical health. Now, there are a variety of topics concerning our emotional health and what to do to improve it, and today I want to talk about one important aspect that may help some of you stop turning to food to fill the void.

I'm talking today about pursuing your passions. Yeah, yeah--the same old stuff we've heard time and time again. I can practically feel half of you rolling your eyes right now, and if you're already pursuing your passions, then carry on--you probably don't need to read this. But for those of you feeling unfulfilled in life, let me break it down for you.

We all have a few things in this life about which we get very excited, and that's a wonderful and marvelous thing. It could be anything from art and music to germ theory to testing the limits of traveling speed with technology. And often times, when we get really passionate about something, we end up holding it to be highly reverent to us. We love it so much that we want to exalt it, but a lot of us are trained to not feel good enough for one reason or another.

Maybe you were teased about what you enjoyed throughout your life, so you learned to shun yourself for loving something that other people don't. Or maybe you just care so much about this thing that you just want to be super-good at it because this passion of yours deserves to be given as much as any person can give it, and you're worried that you'll never be good enough.

But the bottom line is that you gotta try. You've got to set aside all your fears and self doubts (I'll talk in the future how to do exactly this, because it deserves a post unto itself) and just pursue what you love anyway. Note that I haven't talked at all about making money from what you love to do--that seems to be popular advice these days, and more and more people in the younger generations seem to care more about finding work that's personally fulfilling than finding work that offers financial stability, and I think that's a pretty cool thing.

But you don't have to be making money from your passions. If you can find a way to monetize your passions, then more power to you, but your passions should be a significant part of your life regardless of whether they pay the bills or not. This is why I've been getting myself back into music lately. I got tired of giving myself excuses, of thinking that I'd never be good enough, of comparing my level to other people, and just decided to do what I love.

And you don't have to start big, either. I compose music for a minimum of 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes--that's it. That's all I commit myself to. I often go longer than 10 minutes, but giving myself that exit strategy of hanging up my hat after just 10 minutes means that if I'm really not feeling it on a certain day for one reason or another, I can at least put in a few minutes of work, which gets me just a little bit further than what I had the day before. And you know what? It's coming along pretty well so far.

I'm also trying to sing more (got some collaborations on the way very soon!), and I might start sniffing out some voice acting gigs, too.

This isn't paying me any money, but it is paying me the emotional income of feeling like I'm doing something worthwhile with my life, even if it's just for me. And the more I fill my time with things I love, the more accomplished I can feel. And the more accomplished I feel, the better I feel about my life overall. And that means that I don't turn to food to fill the void of boredom and depression that I used to feel towards my own life. That's the key.

So if you feel like you aren't living up to your potential, if you feel like you've been leaving something dramatically important out of your life, look within yourself and ask, "What do I REALLY care about? Am I focusing enough of my time and energy on that? And if not, why not?" Do what you love, and you'll love yourself more. Love yourself more, and you'll treat yourself better. That's the mantra. I hope you're living it already, or that you start living it very soon.

(Just as a note, because of my wonky work schedule, tomorrow's journal will come out later in the day than I've normally been posting these. Keep an eye out for it!)