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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

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Last Updated on December 16, 2018

12 Simple Ways You Can Build A Positive Attitude

12 Simple Ways You Can Build A Positive Attitude

We all look for a better and happier life, but somehow we realize it’s our attitude that makes it hard to lead the life we want. How can we build a positive attitude? Grant Mathews has listed out the things (from the easiest to the hardest) we can do to cultivate this attitude on Quora:

1. Listen to good music.

Music definitely improves your mood, and it’s a really simple thing to do.

2. Don’t watch television passively.

Studies have shown that people who watch TV less are happier, which leads me to my next point…

3. Don’t do anything passively.

Whenever I do something, I like to ask myself if, at the end of the day, I would be content saying that I had spent time doing it. (This is why I block sites I find myself wasting too much time on. I enjoy them, but they’re just not worth it when I could be learning something new, or working on projects I care about.)

Time is incredibly valuable.

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4. Be aware of negativity

A community that considers itself intelligent tends to be negativity because criticizing is seen as a signaling mechanism to indicate that you’re more intelligent than the person you corrected. This was irrationally frustrating for me – it’s one of those things you’ll stay up all night to think about.

5. Make time to be alone.

I initially said “take time just to be alone.” I changed it because if you don’t ensure you can take a break, you’ll surely be interrupted.

Being with other people is something you can do to make you happy, but I don’t include it in this list because nearly everyone finds time to talk with friends. On the other hand, spending time just with yourself is almost considered a taboo.

Take some time to figure out who you are.

6. Exercise.

This is the best way to improve your immediate happiness.

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Exercise probably makes you happy. Try and go on a run. You’ll hate yourself while doing it, but the gratification that you get towards the end vastly outweighs the frustration of the first few attempts. I can’t say enough good things about exercise.

Exercising is also fantastic because it gives you time alone.

7. Have projects.

Having a goal, and moving towards it, is a key to happiness.

You have to realize though that achieving the goal is not necessarily what makes you happy – it’s the process. When I write music, I write it because writing is inherently enjoyable, not because I want to get popular (as if!).

8. Take time to do the things you enjoy.

That’s very general, so let me give you a good example.

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One of the things that has really changed my life was finding small communities centered around activities I enjoy. For instance, I like writing music, so I’m part of a community that meets up to write a song for an hour every week. I love the community. I’ve also written a song every week, 37 weeks in a row, which has gradually moved me towards larger goals and makes me feel very satisfied.

9. Change your definition of happiness.

Another reason I think I’m more happy than other people is because my definition of happiness is a lot more relaxed than most people’s. I don’t seek for some sort of constant euphoria; I don’t think it’s possible to live like that. My happiness is closer to stability.

10. Ignore things that don’t make you happy.

I get varying reactions to this one.

The argument goes “if something is making you unhappy, then you should find out why and improve it, not ignore it.” If you can do that, great. But on the other hand, there’s no reason to mope about a bad score on a test.

There’s another counterargument: perhaps you’re moping because your brain is trying to work out how to improve. In fact, this is the key purpose of depression: Depression’s Upside – NYTimes.com

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I can think of examples that go both ways. I remember, for instance, when I was debating a year or two ago and my partner and I would lose a round, I would mull over what we had done wrong for a long time. In that way, I got immensely better at debate (and public speaking in general – did you know debate has amazing effects on your public speaking ability? But now I really digress).

On the other hand, there’s no way that mulling over how dumb you were for missing that +x term on the left hand side will make you better at math. So stop worrying about it, and go practice math instead.

11. Find a way to measure your progress, and then measure it.

Video games are addictive for a reason: filling up an experience bar and making it to the next level is immensely satisfying. I think that it would be really cool if we could apply this concept to the real world.

I put this near the bottom of the list because, unfortunately, this hasn’t been done too often in the real world – startup idea, anyone? So you would have to do it yourself, which is difficult when you don’t even know how much you’ve progressed.

For a while, I kept a log of the runs I had taken, and my average speed. It was really cool to see my improvement over the weeks. (Also, I was exercising. Combining the two was fantastic for boosting happiness.)

12. Realize that happiness is an evolutionary reward, not an objective truth.

It’s easy to see that this is correct, but this is at the bottom of the list for a reason.

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