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.
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.
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.
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 ways 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.
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!