Ever dreamed of a life that’s rooted in your deepest Passions?
Ever looked at successful people like Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban, or Richard Branson and think, «Damn, If only I find that thing that I could do with the same passion that they do.»
There’s no doubt the most successful people don’t spend their daily work hours on something they dread to live for the weekends.
And there’s no doubt that if you want to achieve the most incredible life you can live, doing work you are passionate about can be one of your best assets.
This article will explore:
- The most common pitfalls people fall into when applying the «Find your passion» advice,
- The 2 situations you can be in if you don’t know what you are passionate about.
- A Step-by-step to find your passion in a way that feels both practical and exciting.
Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.
Like it or not, your work-life constitutes a significant portion of your life. Doing something that, in addition to money, brings you growth, joy, and gets you closer to the life you want to create, is key to creating a fulfilling life.
In a world where rarely any failure is final, it makes no sense to cling yourself to a work that condemns you to an unexciting, meaningless professional life.
You are at more risk of losing the next 10 years of your limited life doing something you dread than giving a chance to what you are excited about.
Even if you hit a few roadblocks around the way.
To find your passion is different than making a living off it.
But oh, if only that were so easy, right?
You might have heard the advice that you have to follow your passion, and magically your life will unfold. The money will follow, you’ll love it every day, and you won’t work another day in your life.
That’s BS served on a silver plate (paid by someone who did something more than just following her passion).
While doing work that you are passionate about is a vital part of creating an extraordinary life, oversimplifying it as if it were the cure-all can lead to disastrous results and harm your overall quality of life.
Noticing the things that make you tick or finding new ones and develop them is one thing; making a living off them is an entirely different game. Well worth it, but a different game nonetheless.
For this article’s purposes, we will stay with the first step, which is plain and simple finding those you are passionate about.
The Common Pitfalls When attempting to Find Your Passion.
To do that, we must clarify some huge misconceptions that prevent most people from tackling the problem the right way.
These are the ones that arise from taking the advice «Find your Passion» in a literal way.
Your passion is not hidden somewhere waiting to be found.
It’s not that there’s something that’s for you to be discovered, that you must find, and otherwise, you are doomed to a mediocre life.
You have a massive role in what you become passionate about. It’s about the things that already interest you, and you feel drawn to them. But, it’s also about the things you can become curious and excited about if you give them a try.
At some point, it comes down to you choosing what you want to nurture and develop. Working on something and becoming good at it can lead to becoming passionate about it.
Does that mean I should become passionate about my soul-crushing job?
Well, you can try, but I can’t recommend it.
There is more than one single path to create a passionate life, but this doesn’t mean that any path will do.
Usually, the right passion for you will feel great, bring you joy and be something you are curious about. It will also bring you purpose and make you grow as a human being in a meaningful way.
Passion might ignite the fire, but Meaning will keep it burning.
Actually, I tried it. I studied 2 degrees (Maths & business) based on fear and choosing a safe career path that would bring me financial success.
While I was in college, it was not that I couldn’t enjoy programming, algebra, or finances. Whenever I devoted enough time to something to gain mastery, I could see the beauty of it and enjoy it.
My main obstacle was that I knew it wasn’t leading me towards the overall life I wanted. I was far more excited about public speaking, personal development, health, and entrepreneurship. These were the things I was devoting all my free time to. These were the things I wanted to be exceptional at.
And there was no point not giving them a fair try.
So, while you can learn to enjoy almost anything, not everything will give you that sense of meaning and fulfillment. Not everything will fascinate you. And that’s why you must learn to identify these things within yourself so you can invest your time and energy in what has the highest chance of making you happy.
Your passion is not written in stone.
As Alan Watts said,
You are under no obligation to be the same person you were yesterday.
You’ll change throughout your life, and the things you are passionate about might change with you. That’s okay, and it’s about adapting your life to who you keep becoming.
Do you want to know more about the common passion-myths you have to avoid to have a passionate life?
Check this out:
I tried but I haven’t found my passion yet. How can I go about it?
Two things could be stopping you from finding what you are passionate about. At the root of both, you’ll find fear:
- You haven’t experimented enough.
- Your passion is right in front of you, but you are ignoring it.
1. You haven’t experimented enough yet.
If you are thinking something like:
I don’t have a passion. I am not passionate about anything. There’s nothing that really fascinates me, gives me energy, or that I am that excited to become better at…
I got you.
As we said before, your passion is not written in the stars. It’s something that develops as you engage in activities.
You start doing things, and at some point, there’s something that sparks your interest, gives you energy, and you enjoy digging deeper into that.
As Cal Newport states in his book «So good they can’t ignore you»:
Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before.
Trying to choose a passion, though, without experimenting enough, will put unnecessary pressure on you and limit your options.
What can you do?
It’s about taking action and reflecting upon these actions, with an extreme bias for action.
A very common way to disguise fear is to try to sort things solely from thought instead of engaging with them.
Thought won’t take you far on that journey if you are not taking action in the first place.
As Marie Forleo States:
Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
So, it’s time to engage in things. Follow your curiosity, go gain as much experience as possible in stuff that you are interested in. Go have fun. Play. Volunteer. Interview people.
Do not do it for the money nor expecting to find The Thing in your next venture.
Put on the explorer hat and take tons of action.
Want some help on how to do that?
I know that getting into the exploration mode can feel scary, especially if you bought into the idea that you should have your life already figured out.
Here you’ll find a process on how to design this exploration phase.