7 Reasons Why You Need a Passion Project in Your 40s
Sounds a little intriguing, right? Most of us have heard the term and may even have an idea of what it is, but for many women, the idea of dedicating some of their precious time to something on the side isn’t high on the to-do list.
But, let me ask you this...have you ever been so engrossed in something that you lost all sense of time? You're so completely absorbed by the task at hand that when you look up, you realize several hours have passed, yet you don’t feel tired.
In fact, you feel energized (this, by the way, is called being in your flow state).
You know that feeling? That feeling is why you need to have a passion project in your 40s!
WHAT IS A PASSION PROJECT?
Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “passion project,” let’s clear the air.
A passion project, to put it simply, is something you work on outside of your job or career that uplifts you and provides inspiration and motivation.
A passion project may or may not be a source of income, but that’s not necessarily the objective (which isn’t to say that you can’t or shouldn’t earn money from your passion project!).
What you pursue with this project could be a creative passion, it could be something that helps or benefits others, or it could be something that solely lights you up and serves your life.
Regardless of whether you get paid for the work, whom it benefits, or the outcome of the project, working on your passion project is where you lose yourself in a state of flow, which is the optimal state everyone should strive for, at times, in your daily life.
When you’re in your flow, you lose track of time as creativity blossoms and expands. It’s where you come alive!
For me, I have two side passions: my coaching business and jewelry design. My coaching business started as a blog because I was so passionate about writing and inspiring others. It eventually grew into a side business (and I’d love to grow to the point where it is my sole career someday!).
For my jewelry design, that fulfills my deep desire to be creative and make beautiful, tangible things with my hands. While I’ve always loved making jewelry, after I took a silversmithing class I fell in love with working with the torch, and it’s now a deep passion of mine. This one isn’t a business and is just for fun, but who knows, maybe someday it’ll morph into something bigger!
Both of these are connected to a deep internal desire and provide a sense of purpose and meaning to my life.
But, they differ - coaching allows me to produce a side income while helping and connecting with others. Designing and making jewelry, is just for me. It allows me to express my creativity and create something in my hands.
Both of these enrich my life in ways outside of the coaching and design work, and I’m thankful to have discovered them, and I’ll always prioritize my time in a way to accommodate both in my life!
WHY YOU NEED A PASSION PROJECT IN YOUR 40S
Personally, I feel everyone should identify a passion project (or projects!) and make the time to immerse themselves in this work.
Passion projects provide so many benefits to the rest of your life and are a valuable method for upleveling your life and ensuring that you don’t waste your life away by getting stuck in your comfort zone.
In no particular order, here are the primary reasons for why you need to pursue a passion project in your 40s:
Let’s face it; real life can be monotonous and boring. It also tends to be guided by other people’s expectations or rules (i.e., your boss, your kids’ schedule, errands, and chores, etc.). Working on a passion project provides an escape from all of this and more! You get to retreat into the world that lights you up and is fun. Even if it’s only for a couple of hours a week, from time to time, everyone needs a hall pass from real life.
#2 | Allows you to expand your horizons, meet new people, engage in new experiences
As we cruise along our daily routine, we engage with the same people, doing the same things. Our life becomes limited. By working on something outside of the norm, you get to meet people that you would otherwise never encounter. You’re able to enjoy new experiences, and grow beyond your perceived limitations.
#3 | Keeps you young at heart
By escaping the daily grind and getting into your creative flow, you lower your stress levels. This keeps you healthier! Also, by learning new things, engaging in new experiences, meeting new people, you’re using your brain in a way that helps keep it young. All of this means that you stay sharper in mind, brighter in spirit, and younger at heart.
#4 | Provides fulfillment, meaning, and purpose
Most people don’t love their jobs, but they show up every day because there are bills to pay, families to support, and lives to keep on track. Typically, there’s very little fulfillment that comes out of going to work every day. Yet, most people crave more meaning and purpose in how they spend their time. If you can’t get it from career, then it’s on you to find it elsewhere, and that’s precisely what a passion project provides.
#5 | Gives you more energy
It may seem counterintuitive that by dedicating more of your precious time on a passion project that you’ll have more energy. But, when you tap into your state of flow, that’s exactly what happens. When you spend a few hours a week on what sets your soul on fire, you gain a pep in your step in other areas of your life.
#6 | Allows you to enjoy life more
I think this goes without saying, but by spending some time on something you absolutely love and uses your inane gifts and talents, you enjoy life more. Full stop.
#7 | Expands your skillset
The skills you use in your day job, around the house, or keeping your family alive are well and great, but by using your natural abilities to pursue a passion project, you expand your skill set. This allows you to beef up your resume, impress your friends at the next neighborhood BBQ, and gain bucket-loads of confidence! That’s the beauty of passion projects: the skills you hone while focusing on your passion project will undoubtedly flow over into other areas of your life. #winwin
HOW TO FIND AND DEFINE YOUR PASSION PROJECT
So, you’re feeling inspired to kick off a passion project, but you’re not sure what to focus on?
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Think back to the last time you were so absorbed in something you loved that you completely lost track of time - what were you doing?
What are some of your hobbies that, if given the time, you would love to become more proficient and skilled?
What are you curious about? What do you want to learn?
What causes and social initiatives fire you up and make you want to be an advocate?
If money wasn’t a factor (i.e., you won the lottery tomorrow!), what would you want to do to fill your time that you can’t do now because either it doesn’t pay, or it doesn’t pay enough?
After doing a little soul-searching, pick something that you feel deeply connected to, or deeply curious about, or have strong values. Explore the idea, come up with a plan, then commit to working on it whenever you can carve out the time (and make sure it’s a priority in your life, so you DO carve out the time!).
Your passion project should excite, inspire, and motivate you. It should make you want to get up early before work, just because you love it so much.
Just in case you’re still on the fence about finding and pursuing a passion project, know that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. As for time, you can carve out some time somewhere. I promise!
What do you need to say ‘no’ to, to say ‘yes’ to yourself ? (and that may mean saying ‘no’ to some things you want to do!)
Ready to get started and not sure how or on what? Then let’s work together and figure it out!