The adage is “do what you love and love what you do,” but finding your passion in life isn’t always that clear cut. For some people finding their passion is immediate. They gravitate toward something like music at a very early age and never look back, turning their passion into their career. For others finding your passion happens later in life after they’ve had experiences and tried different things.
What exactly is a passion?
A passion can mean something you love. It can also be interesting to you, something that challenges you and provides motivation. Passion is an intense desire, not to be confused with “liking” something. Determination and passion are very closely related. Passion and determination together can make you accomplish just about anything you want!
Read about the difference between the two here.
How we find our passion in life?
A fair amount of people that you come across throughout your day are “going through the motions.” These people are living an unfulfilled life, dull existence, and routine that is the same day in and day out. They may recognize the way they feel and want to change but may not be sure how to do so. Believe it or not, one of the biggest challenges is determining what you are passionate about in life.
Try to be proactively passionate about everything you do in life. Do everything in life as if you WANT to do it, not you HAVE to do it. This goes for simple mundane tasks like walking the dog or watering the lawn to big projects in the office. When you are passionate about everything you do, you might find that you eliminate procrastination and complaining from your life.
Now that you understand about passion, ask yourself these simple questions to find yours:
1. What are the common themes in your life?
When you are on the internet, what are you researching or looking to learn more about? What books and magazines do you read regularly? What are the common threads that continue to run through your life since you were younger? Did you play the guitar and sports or enjoy painting before you got older and life got in the way?
Look to what makes you light up and focus your energy on those things. If art was your thing as a child, make it your thing again now! Enroll in a local art class or at least one of those paint while you drink wine classes. If playing guitar was your go-to, then dust off your old Les Paul and watch some videos on YouTube on basic guitar and practice.
Nothing in life is accomplished with great success without practice, but the most critical step is the first one, the one in which you do something about it.
2. What are you good at?
It’s helpful to take a self-inventory of what you consider yourself to be good at. What do other people say you’re good at? What do you enjoy doing that puts a smile on your face and maybe the face of others. You could be a good singer, but if you don’t enjoy singing, I wouldn’t qualify that as a passion. We see this all the time with children and sports. Parents who live vicariously through their kids, remembering what it was like when they played football. The problem is that the child really wants nothing to do with the sport and would rather be doing something else.
You might not even think you’re good at something, but people tell you otherwise. It might be that you’re afraid to put yourself out there for fear of rejection or critique. The key to something being considered a passion is that you need to love doing it.
You don’t necessarily have to be great at it to have it be a passion. I love golf, but I find it to be the most aggravating sport I’ve ever played, yet I still go back and do it. One week can be great, and the next, you find yourself swinging the club a few hundred times a round.
3. What do you hate to stop doing?
Don’t say sleeping because I will not qualify sleep as a passion. It’s more of a need. What is the one thing that when you’re doing it, you don’t want to stop? (no, not that either perverts). What is it that you enjoy doing so much that you can lose track of what time it is? For me, that is building or working with my hands. I can go outside and start working on a project and lose myself in it. I’ll begin at 9:00am and work straight through to 5:00pm and realize I haven’t rested at all except for a quick lunch. The end product is what I am working towards. Whether it is a simple project like weeding the flower beds or building a tiki bar, I look forward to the end result where I can see how well I’ve done.
What is it that you never get enough of? That is a passion and something you need to do more of!
4. What do you talk about, learn about, or teach others about?
If you’re out with friends or at a party, what topic of conversation makes you light up? What is it you enjoy discussing with others the most? If you had to give advice or teach someone on a particular topic, what would it be? This is what you are passionate about. If you’re having problems figuring out ideas, it’s best to ask friends or family members what it is that you always talk about. Find people that will be honest with you and provide meaningful ideas.
Finding out what you are passionate about doesn’t always mean that you need a complete career change. Add what you love into what you do now, and it’s a win-win!
Do something about it!
The final step is to take action! The longer you sit back and wait, the harder it becomes. Be the change that you are looking for. Enroll in a class, read more, whatever it is you like to do, do it and do it often. Everything you do in life should be done to the best of your ability. Don’t “half-ass” a project or a chore. Give it your all as if it were your most favorite thing in the world to do.
Having your life built around doing what you enjoy will never be something you regret. Passion provides the drive, commitment, and energy necessary to create any amount of success and fulfillment you desire.
What are you passionate about in life? Let me know in the comments how it goes.