What do you enjoy doing so much that time disappears when you are doing it?

Many years ago I started a blog Make Time for Chocolate.  The main point of the blog was to remind me that I should make time every day to be creative and discover my passions.

Many of you already know that I like chocolate so obviously there is a lot of chocolate related stuff on the blog like Looking for the Best Chocolate in New York City (tough job I know).

In addition to writing about chocolate on the blog, I challenged readers to take time every day to Make Time for Chocolate by making time to do what YOU love.  Discover your passions.  Broaden your perspective.  Develop new talents.  Get creative.  Spend time with family and friends.

Following is an exercise I posted on Make Time for Chocolate many years ago.  I still find it valid today and in fact, it was interesting for me to do the same exercise again to see how my passions have changed over the years.

This exercise will only take two minutes but the results will be extremely valuable.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen and get ready to write

You are going to quickly write down all of the things you are passionate about.

Set the timer for two minutes.

Ready? Get Set. Go.

If you are like me you are probably continuing to read this without stopping to do the exercise. I promise this one is worth your time. (You will be happy at the end that you did this quick assignment.)

Was it easy to write the entire time?

Did you run out of time or was it difficult to think of things that you like to do?

This is how I started my list:

I enjoy spending time with my family, experimenting with new recipes, Shakespeare in Central Park, picnics, visiting museums when they are not crowded, spending an afternoon in a great bookstore or Kate’s Paperie, painting, swinging in Central Park, visiting the local deli, Broadway shows, off-Broadway shows, NY pizza, hot bagels, eating imported chocolate, visiting the Farmer’s Market to get apples in the Fall, walking barefoot on the beach, watching surfers ride the waves, traveling, discovering a great restaurant, taking photos, Haagen Dazs Belgium chocolate ice-cream, Christmas, playing games with my family, walking in the rain and reading a really good book on a cold winter’s day.

Take a look at your list. Is there anything else you could add?

How many of the things on your list have you done recently? Have you done any of them today? How do you feel after you have done something you enjoy? Does time disappear? Does the experience leave you feeling better?

Since I posted this exercise on Make Time for Chocolate, my passions have expanded into other blogs. 

Bake Chocolate Cake – where I create recipes in my kitchen and post my favorites

One Loaf of Bread – a site filled with stories about random acts of kindness

Photography 221B – enjoying life one photo at a time

and then, of course, there is this blog twenty five seconds.  I do not post every day, but with all of the sites combined, I think you can see a few of my passions.

Right now these blogs are a hobby.  They energize me.  The rest of the time I am experiencing a life filled with wonderful activities and the people I love.

What are your passions?  How are you creative?  What makes life exciting for you?

If you found it difficult to think of things to write during the two minute exercise then perhaps it is time to find a new perspective.  Sometimes when we are busy we turn on our “automatic pilot” and just try to get through the day going through the motions.

Here are 10 ways to discover new passions:

1.  Slow down.

2.  Start a new hobby.

3.  Take a different path home from work.  Explore new neighborhoods.

4.  Don’t be afraid to try new things.  Try different types of food or just try a different ice cream flavor.

5.  Smile and make new friends.  Pay attention to the people and things surrounding you. Make eye contact.

6.  Do a random act of kindness.

7.  Explore a library or bookstore.  Look at a variety of books on many different topics.

8.  Sign up for a class.

9.  Doodle or color with crayons.  It is amazing what you will think about when you allow your mind to relax.

10.  Get inspiration online – Etsy, Pinterest, TED, blogs, etc.  Where do you spend most of your time online?

Create a list and try doing some of those things this week. Take time for your passions.  This is what makes life worth living.  Make time for chocolate.