"I'm just not into you" – Kicking lukewarm passions to the curb

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notintoyouWe just passed the mid-year mark with the celebration of Summer Solstice on June 21.  I always consider it a good point to take stock of my life and make adjustments to ensure that the year progresses in a way that is personally satisfying and professionally rewarding.

This month’s ezine issue, “I’m just not that into you” – Kick your lukewarm passions to the curb aims to free you from pursuing projects, business opportunities or educational programs that “make sense” and therefore you “should do,” but that don’t hold any real excitement for you anymore.  Perhaps they once did, but now you find that you dread working on them. Clearing some of these energy-sucking activities from your to-do list and calendar can ensure that you have the time to work on things that will really add value to your life and your business.

Snippets from the article:

I have the annoying tendency (so say family and friends) of equating most work issues to personal relationships.  I can’t help myself when the analogies are so perfect!

One hit me the other day when I thought about the pop-culture hit book He’s Just Not That into You:  The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.  It aimed to help single women see the brutal truth that when a suitor didn’t call, was afraid to commit or wasn’t emotionally engaged, it just meant one thing:  he wasn’t “into” you.  For centuries, women had been making up excuses for lukewarm romantic advances, thinking that either “he just wasn’t ready” or “he would come around with time, patience and saintly understanding.”  Hogwash, said the authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.  Behavior speaks for itself, and the more time and energy you spend waiting around on a lukewarm romantic prospect, the less time and energy you have for a quality one.
This theory nicely relates to career and entrepreneurial pursuits.
How many “lukewarm” projects and endeavors have you been pursuing as if they were the ideal marriage candidate when the emotional signs all point to a temporary fling with someone of questionable character?
These can be things like:
  • New products or services
  • Pursuing an advanced degree or certificate program
  • Joint ventures
  • Business ideas
  • Career promotions

I have had a couple of experiences with this, one many years ago, and one two days ago.

  • The first was switching my senior year of college study abroad destination mid-program from Senegal, Africa to Bogota, Colombia. I had been an exchange student to Switzerland in high school and had met some very wonderful African students in my school.  I got the bug to visit Africa, and made a pledge at the age of 17 to make sure I did as part of my college education.  So for three years, I planned on my senior year adventure, and enrolled in a program through the University of Minnesota.  I got all the way through my first month of preparation for my trip to Senegal, then realized that my heart was pulling me to Latin America.  I had lived in Mexico my sophomore year, and was studying the Afro-Brazilian martial art form of capoeira.  My brain said to stay the course and go to Senegal, especially since I had talked about it for so long, but my heart pulled me to Colombia.  So I followed my heart and switched programs mid-semester.  I have never regretted it, and making such a courageous choice bolstered my courage to make more later in life.
  • The second, much less significant but still affirming example was nixing a product idea that I had been working on for a long time in favor of another.  I am in the middle of participating in a group coaching program called The Product Factory in which you build and launch a product in 90 days.  The end date is Sept. 24, which is exactly one week before my baby is due, so I thought it would be perfect timing to get a “passive revenue” product out the door.  The only problem was, although I felt the product I chose to develop had great value and potential to my target market, I had no real enthusiasm to do it.  After fighting to do my assignments for a couple of weeks, I realized that I had a choice to scrap it in favor of something more interesting!  It was a simple but liberating thought.  I know I will develop the other product later, but most likely hire someone else to do it for me since the subject is neither a strength nor a real interest.  But it is a great need for my market, so it is worth investing in.
How can you tell if your former “burning flame” is now a “smoldering ember?”

  • When you sit down to work on it , you don’t feel much of anything
  • You find yourself justifying its value or purpose, but don’t really believe your own reasons
  • When you step back to view it in the context of your long-term strategies or goals, it either doesn’t fit, or plays a minor role

To read about what to do about it, view the whole article here.

What are you planning to kick to the curb on the cusp of the Solstice so that you can devote time to more engaging, profitable, energizing, meaningful and fun endeavors?

10 Responses to “"I'm just not into you" – Kicking lukewarm passions to the curb”

  1. lilalia says:

    Thank you for the excellent post. As others have mentioned your article is timely, or maybe such a topic is always timely. I’ve been thinking about stopping a ten-year project (computer games for women). After taking off for a solitary weekend to contemplate the situation, I surprisingly discovered an interest and new energy to give it one more try. To insure that this surge of energy didn’t dwindle, I set a time frame, a financial plan, and several concrete goals for myself. Sometimes we just have to sort out our dreams from our distractions.

  2. Mike says:

    Recently I’ve axed my screenwriting endeavors, as I sat down to write the fourth draft of my newest opus and immediately felt “this isn’t fun anymore.” It’s taken me a while to give myself permission to feel OK about it, and this ezine article has shown me it’s not only OK, it’s sometimes necessary. Refocusing my talents, I immediately came up with thirteen ways to figure out if your passion is or isn’t your passion, which I ran on my blog (post series titled “It May Not Be Your Passion If.”) Thanks for showing me I’m not the only one out there!

  3. Terrific post, Pam,

    The notion that life and it’s relate “success” is a process of “additive passions” is a deceptive one.

    You’ve taken time to help delineate lukewarm from hot and force one’s thinking on the issue.

    Keep writing…

  4. David says:

    Pam,

    This reminds me of your posting on The Dip by Seth Godin.

    There is always a loss in productivity when an entrepreneur hangs on to the wrong projects for too long and loses their creative edge and motivation.

    We can all think of artists that have produced a mediocre product because they have refused to let go of their project or style when it was time.

  5. Steve Tylock says:

    I’d suggest that it goes further than pruning the projects that you feel ho-hum about – sometimes you have to cut off the good ones -> to make room for the even better ones!-)

  6. Debra says:

    What great timing! I have been hovering for 6 months trying to figure out where to take my business. Projects I would normally love and spend countless hours pouring over just don’t grab my attention anymore. I even got tired of my seminar class! This was a new experience for me. I have known it was time to head out in a new direction but your post confirmed my reluctance to change directions. Thanks for the gentle nudge..and the encouragement to branch out in new directions.

  7. Megan Tough says:

    A couple of years ago I gave up writing my monthly newsletter (Pre-blogging days obviously). That was such a happy day for me. These days I’m much better at not starting things if they don’t push all the right buttons.

  8. Laura West says:

    Hi Pam,

    I love your blog posting! I often talk about “following the joy energy” and boy, is sometimes hard to let go of those “great ideas” even when it’s obvious that you aren’t that into it.

    I’ve noticed that we tend to beat ourselves up about not finishing such projects or following through with every idea when in fact(oops – that’s my story!), as you point out, it’s good to be selective.

    You do have to let go in order to make room for the passionate ideas. I try to remember that when we make room…it actually allows what we really want to blossom!

    I have been working for the past few months on a product that I’m passionate about. It can take a lot of energy (as you know)to be in creative flow. What I noticed is that I started beating myself up for not having more individual clients.
    I finally realized that right now in my business – I’m just not that into individual clients. My energy is focused on product, teleclasses, workshops, etc…

    I felt so free when I could claim my business as the way I want it – for now.

    Thanks Pam!
    Laura

  9. Carla Golden says:

    This is an article which I definitely identify with having moved from one passion to another over the years. I have found that if you don’t make a decision, the Universe has a way of pushing us in that direction, forcing our hand. My husband put off quitting his job to go into business full-time with me. Finally, his boss called him into his office and fired him. Our lives will move in the direction of our thoughts.

  10. Pam,
    this is such a timely article. I was just commenting to my husband that I have all these projects to work on, and I am feeling absolutely zero motivation. I’ve felt this way for a while. I was so excited to start these projects, but I’m kind of fizzling out. Maybe it’s time to make room!

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