Those of you who have followed me on social media throughout the years have probably noticed the clear shift on my writing and how focused I’ve been since the beginning of this year. I’m turning 39 today, and although I believe that age is just a number, I’ve been reflecting on how my mindset has changed, and how The Passion Test helped me focus on the things that matter the most in my life.
When you think about passion you can immediately associated with different interests and areas of your life. Moreover, at any given moment you might think any of your passions have the same degree of importance in your life. As I turn a year older today, I feel that I am truly much wiser than last year just because of the level of awareness I have achieved, and how the passion test helped me focus.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean my life is perfect or that I have achieved the life I know I want by simply taking the test. However, I am content and at peace by knowing the truth of what I really, really want.
How? Well, I can give you an example of one of discoveries I had through The Passion Test was that things that I thought were really high on my list of importance really weren’t; and those that I probably wasn’t paying much attention to really were.
Today, while I celebrate another year alive, this thought came to mind: Wisdom is not a given quality; it is rather an acquired attribute that involves time, thought and awareness. So, I’m happy to report that I’m another year older and another year wiser.
—Before I tell you more about The Passion Test, I want to tell you why I ended up taking it.
After two years of research and planning, my husband and I moved our family from New York City to Raleigh, North Carolina. The decision was mainly made so we could live closer to my mother Amparo. For those of you who don’t know me, Amparo was my biological grandmother but she raised me, so she was also my mom.
We had everything figured out, as my sister and her family were also moving to Raleigh. Finally, all the kids and all of us will be near her, and near each other and it was such a promising life. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend time with her, as I was the last one to move from New York due to work commitments. The day after I arrived in Raleigh, my mother had a heart attack and died a week later.
I was in such a shock, devastated, grieving. It took a long time for me to snap out of the fog I found myself in. My mother was everything to me, and against all logic, she was 88 and had been ill for a while when she die, I expected her to be here longer, so much longer.
Months after the devastating loss of my mother, I found myself regretting moving to Raleigh. I had “started” my business but didn’t seem to find local clients and was relying on one big client that eventually found inconvenient having someone out of state. My husband was at a part-time job and things were looking awful.
One of my best qualities not being a quitter, and even though we were struggling I kept searching for clients, going to interviews, despite the huge financial difficulties we were experiencing. Through all of this, I kept the feelings of sadness of despair to myself because I felt that I had to keep my family hopeful.
Then one day, I watched the famous Brené Brown “The Power of Vulnerability” talk, and among other things, she said “you can’t numb hard feelings without numbing other affects… So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness.” I watched it several times afterwards, because everything she said spoke to me.
I use to think my motto in life came from an old adage my grandma used to say: “uno es dueño de lo que calla y esclavo de lo que dice”, which means that you are the master of what you don’t say, and the slave of what you do say. So when I watched Brené Brown’s talk, I knew I needed to do something, because ignoring the negative feelings, numbing them, would ultimately bring me more sadness and despair.
I’ve known Elayna Fernandez, my friend and coach, for over 20 years and I’ve seen first hand how she overcame some hard times, not only financially, but also in her life in general. So, I contacted her and told her that I needed a change and I really wanted to know how she did it, how she achieved success in all aspects of her life. She told me this: “you have to take The Passion Test”. And so I did.
Focusing On What Really Matters
This is a line you’ve probably heard and read so many more times than you can count, and most of the time people who say it honestly mean it. However, and this is something I was struggling with in my blogging and career, the ‘how’ you can really achieve the needed focus is what seems like a mystery.
The main lesson for me taking The Passion Test was to realized that the only way to focus on what really matters to us in this life is by having the courage to say no to other things that matter and we like, but that at the end of the day, really, truly, don’t matter that much. That’s the kind of clarity I achieved through The Passion Test.
I especially loved being guided through the test by Elayna. Her insight was crucial for me to get to the core of my values and to create the awareness I needed in order for me to start the process of changing my life. Having her perspective and utilizing the test as a tool provided me with what I need to move forward.
All the above being said, this doesn’t mean that I have my whole life figured out, or that I am perfectly following my main passions. What this means is that, today, at age 39, I am crystal clear on what I want, what it means, and what I need to do to achieve it. And to me, that awareness means everything.