Have you ever wondered what your passion in life is? Or when you hear people say to you ‘Just follow your passion!’ Sure, you have! That sweeping statement is annoying because it doesn’t really provide any helpful insight into what you should be doing. It’s frustrating when most of us don’t know what that is. Offering up a sarcastic comment cannot be counted on as a passion. I know coz I tried.
It’s not easy to figure out what you’re good at and set realistic expectations.
Why is it SO difficult to discover your passion?
Interests change as you evolve. You adapt and find new things catch your eye. Realizing what brings you joy every single day or at least some kind of contentment isn’t something that you discover overnight. You might figure it out at age 20 or at age 50. Learning what makes you light up takes time. New experiences change your interests as you grow.
How do you find out what your passion is?
Career aspirations are different from your passion in life. They travel along the same road but in parallel lanes and do overlap from time to time as you grow. Their ultimate goal is the same – to find fulfillment in life.
Brainstorm ideas that interest you
It starts with who you are. Take a couple of personality quizzes. Myers Briggs for example. I think its a fun way to get some insight into your personality which may or may not be totally accurate. The test however gives you an idea for possible professions one is suited to based on personality type. The interesting thing about it is that you might get a different outcome if you take it a few times, a couple of years apart. When I first took the test years ago I was an INFJ and now I am an ENFP. That’s two elements in my personality that have changed quite a bit. These tests can push you to identify your passion both in your career and in life as you keep evolving. And how perfect if you can tie the two together !
Ask yourself a bunch of questions to discover what sparks joy. Finding your passion in life might make you better at your job. It may even help if you are planning a career change and prevent you from getting into a rut at work and eventual career burnout.
- What will you be happy doing without getting paid?
- What hobbies can you convert to a side hustle or potential career?
- Can you hone your skills in your area of interest so you go from amateur to skilled? Is it important enough for you to make that a priority?
- Can you see yourself in the same field of work or state of being for the next 5 years? Do you want more or less? What has to change?
Most of us are multi-passionate and while that is a good thing, it can trip you up and confuse you.
How can you choose when you like more than one thing?
- Explore your options. Spend time with each one of your passions and rank them in order of interest.
- It could be something basic like enjoying books or music or trying new restaurants and if you have a semi interest in writing you can combine them together by writing reviews. You could start a podcast if you enjoy talking!
- If teaching is your jam, digital courses are all the rage these days. Put your existing knowledge in a particular skill to use : whether it is photography or photoshop or leveraging social media to help small businesses. Teach it!
Bottom line is you don’t have to give up one interest over another. Find ways to incorporate all them together.
There are people who are talented in more than one field and it comes naturally to them. While that is wonderful for them, the rest of us have to still find ways to make it work. Sustaining your passion requires practice. You need to put in the work and nurture it.
I know one of my passions is writing. And I find it hard to call myself a writer because I don’t think I am good enough. But just like with everything else, you have to be consistent to develop and hone your skill. Writing is a muscle that has to be exercised and I should do it even on the days I don’t feel like writing anything. Should being the operative word.
Imposter syndrome is also a reason why many of us shy away from going after our true passion. It can be crippling at times. But you have to remember that most people have felt this way at some point or another in their life. To quote the words of one very wise fish, you ‘just keep swimming’ and you may be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished.
A marriage of desire and hard work with a sprinkle of talent will let you thrive in your passion project.
I am interested to know what your passion in life is. Is it related to your work or is it completely separate ? Do you spend time doing what you love?
Tell me in the comments below.