There are two kinds of people. Some who can paint the prettiest of landscapes and probably put Monet to pity. And then, there are some who find drawing a straight line very daunting. If you, like most of us, lack ninja artistic skills, it’s time to move on.
There are plenty of things to try and fall in love with. Outdoors, indoors, with friends, or just by yourself – there’s something out there, with your name on it. Everybody needs a little passion to feel alive. “If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived?” said writer T. Alan Armstrong.
If you find yourself lost, or if you are in need to find a deeper meaning, or if you haven’t discovered your passion yet, here are ten things for you to consider.
1. Go Hiking
There is a reason why several people who feel lost in life, find hiking therapeutic. Hitting the trail is one way to feel connected to yourself. It stimulates your mind and senses while challenging you as a person. You come out feeling happy and accomplished. Besides, it’s great for your heart, confirms a study.1 And it doesn’t stop there, interacting with nature is a good way to lose weight, improve the immune system, and sharpen problem-solving skills. Here’s another interesting tidbit, one study found out people who enjoy hiking have a stronger creative side.2
You can start by going on small hikes and find out what you prefer. It would take time to get used to slippery paths, bug bites, and to maneuver yourself around tricky spots. But you would soon know, it was worth it.
So, go forth! The mountains might be your answer.
2. Get Into Yoga
We know you’ve probably heard it a dozen times already, but yoga is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And not just in terms of flexibility and strength.3 If you listen to why people are hooked onto yoga, you would find out it is an exploration and a path to peace and the mind-body connection.
Once you start practicing Yoga, you would realize passion would flow from trying to understand each pose and how they work on your body. Get into the nitty gritty of how your muscles react to these poses. You find yourself feeling better, happier, motivated, and stronger. Begin by finding a studio that connects to you the most. Try a few classes with your friends and practice it at home.
3. Build Your Own Secret Garden
If you have never considered gardening in your life, it’s time to at least think about it. Sure, it might seem like a difficult task, but you don’t have to start on a large scale. Even a few potted plants count!
Listen to stories of how your grandparents grew fruits and vegetables, and how they plucked and served all the juicy produce at the dinner table. Growing your own food is a healthy, safe, and personally rewarding decision.
Start with low-maintenance plants. Visit your local nursery and pick out flowers you like and herbs that you enjoy flavoring your food with. You might find happiness at the sight of your first blossom.
4. Be A Marathon Runner
In 1990, there were about 300,000 half marathon runners in the US. But in recent years, the number has shot up to beyond 2 million. Why? Because people have realized running is as fun as it is challenging.
If you are a casual runner, you could try 5K marathons. And if you aren’t a runner, that’s alright too. Every runner started from scratch. Once you get the hang of it, gradually take on longer runs. Train yourself and build enough strength for intense runs. Some people view training for a marathon very meditative.
Once you’re done tackling 5K, you would be motivated to push yourself to run a half marathon, and maybe even a complete marathon! Also, running a marathon with a supportive circle of friends makes the experience a lot more fun. It becomes addictive and this is one addiction you can safely enjoy. One study even claims runners live longer than people who didn’t.4
5. Pack Your Bags And Travel
There is a reason why a lot of people have turned solo travelers over the years. Traveling helps you discover yourself. It opens up your mind and you feel a gush of positive energy. You come out a better person all the time. You find meaning, inspiration, and plenty of good memories are stored for life.
It doesn’t have to be a big, burn-a-hole-in-your-pocket experience, you can always check out places around your city. Just take an unfamiliar route. Also, traveling isn’t just good for the mind and soul, but it’s good for your body as well! There have been studies that prove traveling improves the immune system, reduces chances of heart issues, and also lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s.56
So, see new places, listen to stories, and just get going! Experiencing unfamiliarity is sometimes exactly what you need.
6. Get Musical
Did you know singer Leonard Cohen started his music career when he was 33 years old? It’s never late to get on the musical bandwagon. Pick an instrument you like, find a teacher, and start playing! Or yet, teach yourself to strum. There are hundreds of tutorials to choose from. With regular practice (not to mention interest), you will get there!
A few experts claim the ukulele, bongos, and piano are easier instruments to learn. But everything depends on what you find interesting.
7. Try Your Hand At Carpentry
Are you the type who loves to play with tools? And obsessed with precision? You might want to consider carpentry. People who love working with wood believe there’s nothing like looking at something you built from scratch. They believe a pencil, a hammer, a saw, and a measuring tape are the source of all things great.
You could start with simple projects like building a small coffee table or a desk. Imagine the sense of accomplishment you would feel after completion.
8. Get Into The Art Of Cooking
Several people find cooking therapeutic. They believe they are most peaceful cooking up something they love.
View cooking as something you would enjoy and not as a task. Or if you’re having trouble developing interest, try a few tricks. Maybe the next time you eat your favorite pasta, try figuring out the ingredients that were used. Think about the process behind each item. It’s alright if you don’t know to cook, it’s never too late to learn. Julia Child didn’t know to cook until she was almost 40. But she always loved to eat!
If you are low on time, set weekends for cooking something really special. Pick out cookbooks and just get going.
9. Learn About The Night Sky
Did you know you could see the craters of the moon just by looking through a binoculars? That’s not all, you could also see the moons of Jupiter and maybe even the Orion nebula. If this got you excited, it’s time to consider astronomy. All you need is a good pair of binoculars and patience. It helps to read books and watch documentaries about astronomy. To get to the next level, you could always join an astronomy club. And once you are ready, get yourself a telescope.
With regular star-gazing, you would soon be able to identify what star (or planet) is staring down at you. Imagine that!
10. Learn About Your Roots
Do you sometimes wish you could learn more about your ancestors? If you do, you are not alone. Genealogy is the second most favorite hobby in the U.S. People love tracing back their roots and finding out things about their ancestors.
Speak to your grandparents and take down notes. You could keep a journal, chronicling your aunts, uncles, and cousins. Put in dates of birth, where they were born, and maybe weird birthmarks. Wouldn’t it be great for your future generations to know everything about your family?
Be patient, explore a bit, and experiment. One of these activities is bound to be your calling and you will be in a much happier place. Like Denis Diderot said, “Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.”
|↑1||Health benefits of hiking: Raise your heart rate and your mood. Harvard Health Publications|
|↑2||Atchley, Ruth Ann, David L. Strayer, and Paul Atchley. “Creativity in the wild: Improving creative reasoning through immersion in natural settings.” PloS one 7, no. 12 (2012): e51474|
|↑3||Polsgrove, M. Jay, Brandon M. Eggleston, and Roch J. Lockyer. “Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes.” International journal of yoga 9, no. 1 (2016): 27|
|↑4||Lee, Duck-chul, Russell R. Pate, Carl J. Lavie, Xuemei Sui, Timothy S. Church, and Steven N. Blair. “Leisure-time running reduces all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 64, no. 5 (2014): 472-481|
|↑5||Destination: Healthy Aging: The Physical, Cognitive and Social Benefits of Travel. Global Coalition on Aging|
|↑6||Dale T Umetsu. Early exposure to germs and the Hygiene Hypothesis. Cell Research. 2012|