Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size
A
A
A

How to Get the Life You Want

Ask yourself: Is there a passion you've abandoned because there's no room for it in your "real life"? continued...

Why do we let go of pastimes we love? According to Fortgang, adulthood—and all that comes with it—makes us feel like we're not allowed to pursue activities just for sheer pleasure. Hobbies become indulgences that we get to enjoy after all the "important stuff" is done (and what a joke that is—how often does your to-do list get shorter?!).

Fortunately, passions are persistent—as much as you try to push 'em away, they're always there, itching to be let back into your life. As Mabilog can attest, reigniting a dream is well worth it: "I used to tell myself that photography would be a waste of time," she says. "Now I take pictures every day. I even set up a portrait studio in my basement! My life is busier than ever, but it's richer than ever, too!" Here's how to rekindle your passion.

Step 1: Give yourself permission.

When you think, I should use my time for more productive things, tell yourself that your dream activity does have a purpose—namely, to give you happiness, which will buoy you as you tackle everyday tasks, from preparing dinner to leading a meeting at work.

To make your commitment stick, get "permission" from your family, too, by explaining why you want the time. Mabilog's husband and son worried that her photography hobby would steal her away from them, but once she emphasized how passionate she was about her dream and that they wouldn't be neglected, their anxieties vanished. "When I told my 8-year-old how much my hobby meant to me, he really got it," she says. "Now, when new equipment for my studio comes in the mail, he's the first to say, 'Mom! Let's go set this stuff up!'"

Step 2: Make room for your dream—literally.

The writer Virginia Woolf famously said that one of the keys to a woman's freedom is having a room of one's own. Claiming a space where you can indulge in your passion is like saying, "X marks the spot." It's an expression of your decision to take your dream seriously.

So designate a writing area in your living room. Place an easel in a corner of the bedroom. Don't need a specific spot to practice your passion? Make an altar to your effort: Display items that move you (photographs, a row of vintage fountain pens) or create an "inspiration board" by pinning motivating clippings to a bulletin board (a poem you love, an ad for an exhibit you want to attend). When Mabilog set up her basement studio and hung her photographs around her home, she started to feel like the real deal.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Today on WebMD

Hands breaking pencil in frustration
Quiz
Dark chocolate bars
Slideshow
 
puppy eating
Slideshow
concentration killers
Slideshow
 
man reading sticky notes
Quiz
worried kid
fitArticle
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Woman opening window
Slideshow
 
Woman yawning
Health Check
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
brain food
Slideshow
laughing family
Quiz