Can You List Your 7 Passions In The Pursuit Of Life?

If you had to name your top 7 passions – would it be easy?

In a dream, I was teaching my mother to paint. She had not worked consistently with art for many years. I started sending drawing tasks to her as inspiration. She put them aside. Until two years later, she began drawing weekly – demonstrating a vision I had never seen before.

~ Maria Lehtman

I was recently invited to join a lovely group of extremely inspired Women of Facebook Create. One of the creative tasks set by Candi Parker* is the Thursday Power House which focuses on the 7 Pillars of Success. The most recent assignment was to list your seven passions.

At first, I honestly could not think of any – even though everyone around me considers me driven by passion. It is almost as if the desires within me are programmed by now. They genuinely drive me, even when I am not feeling particularly passionate. Eventually, I wrote down the below seven passions:

#1 Planning not to plan
#2 Pursuing dreamlands
#3 Producing art
#4 Protecting loved ones
#5 Publishing inspiration
#6 Promoting passion
#7 Prosperous state of mind

There are many things in life I would not trade away.

If I listed all passions and inspirations, I would most likely not stop writing all night. The hardest thing in my life is my first passion. I have always planned ahead. I have always been strategically oriented in life and at work. Until the unraveling of health with the last twist a year ago going from over-sensitivity to hypersensitivity. You would not even have to be in the same country for me to read your state of mind or energy level. So most of the time, I am building safeguards in order not to get too much “metadata” from people.

Planning anything ahead with health issues is challenging, to say the least. Every day when I regain energy, I aspire to plan ahead. Only to realize a few days later that I had another change in my condition. Another surprise. Someone is needing help. An event is coming up. I have a sudden energy drop. A significant change in weather or other condition is impacting my pain level. I have a trauma recall (yes, they can be triggered without invitation, as an example by a dream). A turn in overall health. The changes can last from a few days to weeks.

My #1 passion for ‘Planning not to plan’ is actually the most important one. It defines everything else. As long as I remain emotionally attached to planning ahead and failing in the pursuit, I feel let down.

What do you replace planning with?

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.  

~ William Shakespeare

I’ll give you an example of how my ‘no-plans’ are born. Digital photography has been my passion for a decade now. My inspiration for photography started when I did not have enough time to draw or paint. I needed something quick to fulfill my creative void. My sister started her own business, and I thought I could give it a try as well. I established a company, build up a webshop and bought semi-pro Nikon cam with lenses,  Photoshop licenses, etc. Yes, just like that. All in a few months time with the savings I had and with mentoring from my husband who already had a business.

I did research, but I had a day job so I could not study at the same time – I already had training for my daily work. So I just started taking photographs and looking at tutorial videos to learn to edit. In a few weeks, I had learned more than my husband remembered from his 3D design sessions at school.

I never did it for the profit – I run the company to offset the cost for my investments in my creative passion. After seven years I realized it became a burden to my health. So I let the company go, and focused on my day job, and kept writing and photography on the side. They had become part of my identity as if they had always been there.

Instead of an exact plan or a goal, you create a vision. What do you envision if you follow your passion of_____? You always keep a small grain of hope inside you. Something larger than life driving you forward. I may despair, I may be tested, I may be flawed – but I am stubborn. I keep my vision inside me. I may write it down somewhere. I do not plan how it will happen. I just start doing it. I have an outline. I may even have a deadline. However, I no longer carve them in stone. If a project does not materialize this year – it will happen later, or I find something else that interests me more.

I live my passions as long as I have any energy left in me.

And if your vision fails?

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.

~ Anne Lamott

Losing your inner vision is a very challenging experience in life. When I lose my inner compass, it feels like my whole internal world topples over even if my outer framework of life seems normal.

I call them walkabouts in the shadow. I go through memory reflections that sometimes last for longer than I think is possible to endure. The reflections in our mind can be triggered by anything familiar with the past event: scent, a dream, an image, etc. During one of them, I was finally just shaking with tiredness, sorrow and memories flooding my mind with pain. I had lost a very dear friend of mine recently.

I gathered my last resources and my ultimate armor: the famous Finnish stubbornness also called “sisu.” The term has no accurate translation, but one of our phrases is that ‘we go through the grey stone if need be.’ I went to my “healing circle” set in our living room – dedicated to rest and meditation. I felt all my inner connections were broken down.  So I said to whoever was listening in the universe:

“Listen, by now you know me. I promise you, I will always, always be 5% more stubborn than you. So if you think I will let go of my promises because I am drained of energy, think again. I will not. Bring your worst! I do not ask for happiness. I only want peace of mind. That’s all. I will sit here every evening, and you can send whoever you want to return my peace. “

So yes, passion can live from pure stubbornness, self-discipline, a process, a methodology. It may not sound inspiring, but it does bring results – even when you don’t have a grand scheme. Your passion can save your mind one day. My shadow-walk went on for four more days after my dialogue. Then I gained so much of my inner peace back that even the passing whirlwinds in our family life couldn’t knock it down.

Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake.

Paramahansa Yogananda


Positive Tribe Magazine:

*PowerHouse by Candi Parker, Magazine Publisher, Author, Book Publisher, Law of Attraction Coach, Artistic Entrepreneur:

Women of Facebook Create: BizCatalyst360:

Wikipedia: Repressed Memories:

Wikipedia: Sisu:


Maria Lehtman
Maria Lehtman
MARIA has over 20 years of Sales, Marketing, and Professional Services experience from the international telecommunications and travel industry. Her achievements include successful global Transition, Transformation, and Competency programs in management roles in the the global telecommunication field. She is currently working in International Sales & Marketing department with transversal employee and executive social media engagement development programs. Maria is passionate about digital empowerment and the opportunities it can provide for people around the world. She is a dedicated photographer and digital artist engaged in several creative projects at any given time. She is a compassionate leader, and her mission is to support people in self-transformation and in embracing new skills. Her trademark is her capability to share a smile even during the most challenging circumstances and keep a 'mindfulness'-attitude. Maria’s posts and thoughts represent her own view of the world. See Maria's current publication on Maria is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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    • Thank you, Larry :). I tried that one, but somehow it left me feeling empty. I need a ‘driver’ – something to look forward to, even if it’s a challenge. So I am returning from my walkabout closer to my earlier state :), and feeling more at ease. It goes to show how similar and yet, different every individual is, each of us with our own passion and tone.

    • I guessed mine is because I am winding down. I am not in a hurry anymore. Nothing wrong with drive. I have been driven for a long time. Just not now

    • I understand that – and by drive, I’m perhaps more thinking of hope. When I stopped expecting anything, a I felt I also let go of hope. There is a fine line between them, and a long story behind it related to energy preservation and health. 🙂 So I can relate to your perception.