In the last month when I think about my professional life, I have experienced a nagging feeling that evades adequate expression. I have the sense that the feeling is meaningful and worth pursuing, so I give chase. My thoughts go here and there. As with all hunted things, the more I chase it, the more it evades. And evades. And evades. Until the moment the chase stops and suddenly a word becomes ensnared in my thoughts.

It’s not feeling lost, but might have something to do with losing sight of the personal and professional goals driving my journey. It’s not feeling confused or muddled per se, because my thoughts are clear. I could say feeling not quite like myself, but that’s not altogether accurate. It’s not sadness or unhappiness or anything negative.

So what is the label of this shifty feeling? It’s a little distracted. A little unfocused. A little frustrated. A little blah.

What I feel is DILUTED.  Change that. That’s how my passion around my professional focus and journey feels: Thinned out. Made weaker. Moderated. Diluted by too many thoughts, too many rejections, too many other things. I haven’t resided in my professional passion and element for a while now; I forgot where that passion and element are and how they feel. I’m homesick for those positive, invigorating, meaningful feelings.

So what’s the opposite of diluted? CONCENTRATED.

And that’s what I’ll do in what remains of this new month in the new year: I will re-concentrate my thinking, my passion, and the moments when I feel most in my element. Make them more intense, dense, pure, and strong by removing the diluting agents.

If you’re feeling diluted, take time this month to re-concentrate your passion. Not sure what your passion is? Not sure when you feel in your element? Try this straightforward (though not easy) exercise:

Think of a moment (or moments) when you felt most like yourself. When you were firing on all cylinders. When who you are, what matters to you, what you’re good at, and what you love; when you felt invigorated, alive, and happy; when time seemed to stand still or fly by; when all this things distilled into one powerful concentrate: Your element. This might be a challenge to think of these moments, but don’t give up.

Once you have one (or two, or three, or four), take note of what it was about those moments that made you feel that way. What were you doing? Who was involved? What value of yours was being met? Write these details down. Hold on to them. Begin to immerse yourself in them whenever you can. Create goals around them.

If you experience a block in coming up with such moments, consider reaching out to a coach (why not me?!) who can help you find your answers. Part of discovering your element involves understanding your thinking preferences. Your passion and element may live in a non-preferent part of your brain that perhaps you’ve ignored and left undeveloped, but which nags at you for attention. Taking the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® assessment with me can reinforce known and reveal hidden preferences. Check out my Whole Brain® Thinking based coaching services.

In addition, Sir Ken Robinson has written and spoken eloquently on passion and living in your element. His book The Element is an excellent, enlightening, and enjoyable read. His latest book Finding Your Element deepens the conversation and offers additional guidance. He also has many videos available on Start with this short snippet.   

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