The temptation I offered you, at the outset of this blog, was a peek into the world of Soul Projects, a mythical place where people add more joy to their lives by doing more of what they love. This one idea — falling into a project for no other reason than I enjoyed it — was the reason I started this website. And it’s the reason that I am encouraging others to find their own Soul Projects to add to their life.
Soul Projects are about addition. They aren’t a project to remove something unwanted from your life, or to reform some aspect of your life you don’t enjoy.
Soul Projects are about addition. They aren’t a project to remove something unwanted from your life, or to reform some aspect of your life you don’t enjoy. They are projects that are unabashedly and unapologetically looking to be added to your already busy schedule, purely for the purpose of bringing you happiness. Sounds mythical, does it not? Well, I think it’s the key to soul alignment.
We are all so well versed in the lyrics from the song of productivity that I wonder, at times, if we are capable of doing something just for fun. I wonder if we are able to break free of the mold, and take up a hobby that produces no income. I wonder if we, as a culture, have so over-filled our days that we’ve forgotten what it means to do something just ‘cuz.
Just ‘cuz is my phrase for the doing of things that appear to generate no outward benefit. You’re simply interested in them. You have a sense that the activity holds something for you, but you don’t know what. You have a feeling that pulls you toward the doing, even though you don’t know why. If asked why you are engaging in this new activity, you might shrug and say, just ‘cuz. That would be all you could offer, at that early stage, as you allowed your interest to lead you.
With our over socialized selves, it’s hard to see these interests. That’s because we have been conditioned to look for value. To seek out opportunity. To put forth effort into people, and projects, that pay us back. Which leaves precious little space for the humble interest.
An interest is best seen as a baby want. It comes into your life as a teeny-tiny frisson of feeling, that seems to come from nowhere. An idea pops into your head. You find yourself searching, and reading, online. You ask yourself, why am I interested in this? And the answer, I have learned, is that my soul is tossing me a breadcrumb to show me the way.
When seen this way, interests take on a whole new value to you. This side project that seems to call to me? Now I want to see where this goes. This fascination with a topic? I want to know where this could this take me. This new-found curiosity about how things work? Let that be something that calls me forth.
Interests have the potential to blossom into wants, and then passions. But not if we ignore them. Not if we de-prioritize them. Not if we see them as mere distractions. I did that. For awhile. I sensed these interests in new and different topics and wondered how I would find time for things that seemed to have no benefit to me. Now I have a different view: one that sees interests as the best kept secret for a life well-lived.
People who have interests are interesting. To me anyway. People who pursue their interests seem more attuned to me. People who value their interests, as I now do, are people I like to be around. And interests, when you first stumble upon them, may feel like a distraction. They may feel like a waste of time. They may seem, at first blush, like you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing.
People who have interests are interesting.
That’s because many interests that call us forward in life have nothing to do with our current situation. They don’t relate to our work. They are mere flags, waving in the wind, trying to get our attention. Trying to tell us to come over here. There is something that could satisfy you, delight you, or make you light up.
If you have an interest, see if you can adopt an attitude of casual inquisition. Why am I interested in this? Where is this taking me? What benefits could I gain from pursuing this interest? And try to do your best not to step on your interests. See them as tender, young wants that could be trying to work their way into your life.