It’s the worst advice I’d ever received.
You’ve heard it, too, haven’t you?
“Follow your passion, and money will follow you.”
Thanks. I’d love to. Now, if you could only tell me what my passion is, that’d be great.
If you ask these all-knowing advice givers for help with finding that magical passion, they will start to stutter.
They’re just repeating the same advice they had received from some other oblivious advice-giver.
Take a look at their lives. Does it look like they’ve found their passion?
If not, you won’t find the answers you’re looking for with them.
So, how do you find answers to questions like, “How can I find my passion?” and “What am I supposed to be doing with my life?”
Is it possible?
Yes, it is.
There are as many ways to find your passion as there are passions to find.
A fool-proof method doesn’t exist, but there are a few methods that can get you started on the right track.
By the end of this post, you should have an idea about what your passion is.
THE MAIN REASON MANY PEOPLE WILL NEVER FIND THEIR PASSIONS
The advice that so many of us receive is contradictory. It’s what gets us started on the journey to find passion, but is also what holds us back.
The truth is that the majority of passions don’t make much money at all.
For example, most dancers don’t earn a lot of money. But, think about it, how many dancers hate what they do?
The same goes for artists, athletes, and writers, too. Most of them are passionate about what they do, but their income is modest (with the exception of an accomplished few).
When you focus too much on the money you can make, you’re filtering out a lot of opportunities that could have given you the satisfaction you’re ultimately chasing after.
Unless you change your mindset, you’ll never find your passion.
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO FIND YOUR PASSION
Passion isn’t an external thing. It’s a feeling, and like all feelings, its source first and foremost is your heart and soul.
Yet, most people don’t know themselves well enough to know the origin of their feelings.
Have you ever gotten so annoyed with a coworker or partner, only to realize later that you were actually grumpy because of something that happened earlier that day?
At that moment, it didn’t feel like you were making a big deal over nothing.
It’s the same with passion.
If you don’t know the origin of your likes, dislikes, and interests, you’ll obsess over the little things and will forget about the underlying cause.
This is where many people fail.
A common mistake many people make when searching for their passion is skimming the surface but forgetting to look deeper.
You may like art, but if you dig deeper, you’ll find that you actually enjoy expressing your thoughts and ideas and sharing them with the world. That is something that can be done in multiple ways.
So, to find your passion, it’s necessary to know your likes, dislikes, and interests, as well as the reasons behind each of them.
3 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ANSWER IF YOU WANT A CHANCE AT FINDING YOUR PASSION
Your passion wasn’t conjured out of nothing.
Each experience you’ve lived, conversation you’ve had, and person you’ve met helped craft the person you are today.
Thus, it’s no surprise that uncovering the reason you love and hate the things that you do is hard.
A different way to find your passion is to ask a different set of questions.
The questions that will help you uncover your passion are simple. Yet, you might need some serious self-reflection to find the answers.
QUESTION #1: WHERE DO YOU SPEND YOUR FREE TIME?
You have 24 hours a day, and you’re spending them somewhere.
Work, school, and social obligations put aside, when you have some downtime, what do you do?
If all you can think of is check Facebook or watch TV, you’ll need to take a step back.
Life is a like a river. While swimming in the river, it is hard to see the full picture. You have to get out of the water, sit on the bank, and watch.
Once you’re out of the water, you’ll be able to see where you came from, where you’re swimming now, and where you’re headed.
For the next few days, look at your life like a stranger.
Don’t judge, just observe.
What are you doing with your 24 hours?
If you really are wasting your free time on scrolling through Facebook, try disconnecting. You’ll be amazed what boredom can inspire you to do and try out.
QUESTION #2: WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE AS A KID?
Kids don’t think about what they do. They just do it. If they feel like building a house with Legos, they don’t think, “Actually, I think building a castle will look better on my resume.”
When they have to answer, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, they don’t think about the money or the demand for the path they choose. They like looking at the stars, so they say, “astronaut”.
But what if you don’t what to be an astronaut anymore?
Astronauts might not make you as excited today as it did when you were nine. But it can still give you an idea of what your passion is.
Try to remember why you liked astronauts. Maybe exploring the unknown seemed fun. Maybe you just liked the funny costume they wore.
Whatever it was, it can help you identify what you liked and, if you still find it interesting, how you can fit it in into your life today.
Exploring, for example, is something you can do here on earth, too.
QUESTION #3: WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT?
A lot of people have the misleading belief that you have to be good at something for it to be your passion. But in reality, for something to be your passion, all you need is the desire to learn more about it.
Is there something you’ve been dying to try out or learn about?
Go ahead and try it.
Don’t be afraid to follow your curiosity.
After you’ve tried it out, you’ll realize either you absolutely love it or it’s not what you expected it to be.
If you find yourself enjoying it, then it could be your passion. If not, then you’ve learned more about your likes and dislikes that can lead you to your passion.
Another reason you should try something out, even if you’re not sure you’ll like it, is that it’ll give you unique skills or perspectives that you might be able to apply in a different area.
Most of the advice you receive on passion won’t get you anywhere. But they all agree on one thing:
Finding your passion can change your life for the better. It’ll fuel you to impact the world. And it’ll help you create work you love.
To find it, you need to look inside. You need to make sense of your wants and aspirations.
Look deeper. Find Yourself.
Originally published at shutupandachieve.com on July 20, 2018.