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How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter

How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter

It seems that all we are hearing these days is Follow your passion; Just live your dreams; It’s never too late; or something along those lines.

Yet, no one seems to bother with telling us how to behave if we still haven’t discovered our passion, or it is laying buried beneath our parents or society’s expectations of us. There’s no doubt that once you decide to follow your true passion and know what you want, you will become unstoppable in achieving great things.

However, the struggle most of us face is not knowing what that thing is for us, and we too often end up switching from career to career only to become exhausted and hopeless and feeling stuck in someone else’s dream.

From early on in our lives, we weren’t programmed to make any decisions that are contradicting those of our families, teachers or peers. We are so used to following certain set of rules and programs, that we rarely stop to think how we truly feel about these.

And, sadly, before you know it, we are at work, doing something we are not sure how we feel about, or, even worse, we realize that it is something we don’t enjoy doing at all.

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How to know if you are on the right path of following your passion?

If you are not sure of what you are doing is leading to fulfilling your dreams and if you are truly living your passion, here is a technique that will help you find some answers.

First of all, set aside some time to focus only on yourself. Find a quiet place without any distractions. Take a piece of paper, if it will help you focus easier, and be honest in answering following questions.

  • Do I feel excited about what I am doing?
  • Is the idea of improving my work the first thing that pops up in my mind in the morning?
  • Can I easily motivate myself to work?
  • Do I need to find extra time to do it?
  • Are all the things I’m doing contributing to make my work better?
  • Does it seem like my time at work goes fast and I can get excited and motivated easily?
  • Do I feel so immersed into my work that is seems like time has stopped, and I can do it for more than 8 hours a day?
  • Would I still be doing the same thing if the money didn’t exist?

If the answers to most of these questions are yes, you are lucky, because it points that you have found your true passion. If not, don’t despair, there are a number of things you can do to get there. Before we get to the process itself, let’s first answer the question why.

Why is finding one’s passion such an important task?

We all probably know those people who never stopped to examine their lives and choices they have made and they seem fine. Why bother then, you might ask. The fact is, that we don’t know the struggles other people may be going through, and sometimes they can seem perfectly happy, but struggle severely on the inside.

Often times, people are not even aware of how unhappy and unfulfilled they are. However, if we don’t want to wake up one day in our eighties and realize that we wasted our entire life working for someone else’s dream and didn’t have the courage to chase our own, we need to ask the unpleasant questions and work towards finding our passion.

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Moreover, working on something that doesn’t inspire and motivate us can really make us miserable and make our life an endless struggle to get up and get going when our entire being is resisting even the thought of it.

Questions and struggles you may encounter along the way.

Anyone who has ever found themselves on the road to self-discovery, has had to deal with some, if not all of the following struggles. Don’t worry you are not alone.

Struggle #1 I feel bad when I see others who have already made it while I’m still trying.

It can be quite discouraging if you start comparing yourself to others who are well on their way of fulfilling their dream. In order to stop this struggle once and for all is to realize that we are all unique and have special sets of talents and dreams. Therefore, we cannot be comparable to others. Also, you need to remember that all of those others were at the beginning at some point too. Use their stories as inspiration instead.

Struggle #2 It seems I took longer to find my passion.

This is quite common among people to think that they are late for something. Think of it this way – How do you think you got there? If it weren’t for all of those past circumstances that lined up for you and took some time, you wouldn’t even come to the realization of what it is that you want. Therefore, you were right on time.

Struggle #3 I don’t know where to start.

We tend to get overwhelmed when we try to think about our life passion because it’s easier to have all the challenges and difficulties coming to our minds, than seeing all the possibilities. And then we’ll just get stuck and can’t figure out what to do first. No need to panic, as there is a way out. You will learn a couple of actionable tips later on in the article.

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Struggle #4 What if I have multiple interests?

Sometimes it happens that we can’t decide what our passion is because we have more than one and we can’t decide. In this case, the above questions can help, if you ask them for each of the interests you have. Additionally, you can be creative and find a way to combine all of those into a dream job.

Struggle #5 What if what I want to do doesn’t fit my parents’ expectations?

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all want to please our parents to some degree. However, we need to realize that our parents ultimately want to see us happy and well. Even if they don’t approve of our aspirations at first, they will eventually when they see how happy and successful we are.

Struggle #6 Am I too late to start over?

Although it can seem a bit daunting when you think of all the hard work it would take to start at the beginning. That is why some people stay at a familiar place no matter how miserable it makes them feel. It is never too late. Just look how many people have started anew in their fifties and were still able to fulfill their dreams. Moreover, once you discover your passion and start working on it, things tend to gain momentum and everything happens so much faster.

Actionable on how to find your passion.

Finally, let’s talk about how we can actually discover our passion. Although it might not be easy for everyone, it is worth the struggle.

Revisit things you want to achieve when you were a child

We all knew who we were before society told us how to be. Remember when you were a kid – you could play for hours and never get bored. In those moments, the time simply seized to exist. Those are the memories you need to recall, since that is where your passion lays. Remember who you were before fears and other people’s hopes for you have scared you away from pursuing your dreams.

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Follow your curiosity and allow yourself to explore

It doesn’t all need to happen in a moment of magical epiphany for you. Allow yourself some time for trial and error before you it crystallizes enough so that you can dedicate all of your attention to that one goal.

Don’t worry to start over as many times as it takes

Our thoughts and feelings can be misleading, and we might end up in wrong positions more than once. Don’t be afraid to leave immediately as you sense that it is not working for you. The sooner you leave an unwanted position, the sooner you will find your true passion and purpose.

Don’t make money your primary motivation

It can be difficult to resist the safe feeling that big paycheck is giving us, yet it can be misleading. If we focus solely on the amount of money we are getting at the moment on a job we don’t enjoy doing, we may miss many opportunities to build our own dreams and earn so much more. Money is great and can be used to do so much good, yet if we forget about it for some time and dedicate our time to growing our talents and passion, we would soon be able to achieve great success and money would come as a logical effect.

Limit the scope according to your capability

Finally, when it comes to discovering your true passion, focusing only on things that match your capabilities will have great impact. There is no reason to stretch yourself too thin and look outside of yourself. Your talents are all in you, and they just need a slight push and some training in order to help you achieve your passion.

Finding one’s passion in life is important because this is how we can motivate ourselves and become much happier in life. it’s ok if you still haven’t figure out what your true passion is, just remember that you are not alone and don’t give up on yourself! Things that worth having never come easy my friend! I hope this piece of advice can guide you to your true calling!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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