…stays in motion,” Isaac Newton explains in his first law of motion.
This is true of objects. It is also true of us.
Recently, I received an email from a reader with this question:
Did you know what your passion was when you started downsizing? What advice would you give to people that don’t know because they’ve spent decades just accumulating things that don’t matter?”
I thought I’d share my answer here. First, because it is a question I am asked frequently (not necessarily at every speaking event, but most of them). And second, because I think the answer leads to a larger principle I hope we all find helpful.
To those who are struggling to discern their passion in life, my suggestion is to pick just one good that you’d like to bring into the world and take a step toward it—whether donating your time, your talents, or your financial resources. Choose one, any one, and get started in some small way.
If you have a passion or know of a problem in the world you would like to solve, there is probably an organization nearby working on that very thing. Maybe your first step is a Google search and a short email asking if there is any way you can help.
You may be surprised what you discover. You may quickly realize your talents and skills and uniqueness fit perfectly into their needs.
Or, you may discover that they do not…
You may discover that your giftedness aligns better with a different organization or a different passion or a different problem that you want to solve. But it seems to me, in either scenario, you’d never make that discovery without taking a first step.
Because it’s easier to find a vision or identify a passion if you are actively engaged searching for it.
A body in motion stays in motion.
This principle applies to finding passion in life. But I think it also applies in countless other areas:
Want to be healthier? Take just one step—even a walk around your block. A body in motion stays in motion.
Want to declutter your home? Take just one step—minimize one drawer, closet, or shelf. A body in motion stays in motion.
Want to travel more? Take just one step—plan one short trip. A body in motion…
Want to get out of debt? Take just one step—make one extra payment on a credit card balance this week. A body in motion…
Want to be a better parent?
Want to start a new hobby?
Want to become more spiritual?
Want to write a novel or start a blog?
Want to improve or save your marriage?
Want to read more?
Want to get more organized?
In every regard, a body in motion stays in motion. For every change or discovery we desire to see in ourselves, it begins always with putting ourselves in motion toward it. And then building on the momentum we started.
Your first step in a new direction doesn’t have to be a big one. And while one small step probably won’t result in the entire change you are hoping for, the second step doesn’t always reveal itself until you’ve taken the first.
Further reading on this subject: Are You Taking The False First Step?