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How To Find and Develop Your Passions

How To Find and Develop Your Passions

Do you ever explore your hidden passions in relation to your career? Do you ever ask yourself, “What job should I do?” I know I have asked this question of myself more than once. What are your passions? What are your skills and aptitudes? How do you find your passion and develop it into a real goal? Here are seven tips on how to develop your passions and turn them into something concrete.

1. Find Your Passions

Okay, it makes sense that before you develop your passions you have to find them first. What is it you like to do? What have you always dreamed of doing? Do you have a favorite hobby that you could turn into your dream job? Have you had to give it up in order to settle into a 9–5 job in order to make a living? If you’re unsure of what you want or perhaps have varied interests in several areas, consider taking an aptitude test.

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    2. Develop Your Passion

    Once you’ve identified your passion, spend some time working to develop it. If writing is your passion, work on it. Practice! Write in a journal. Join a writing group. Have friends read and critique your work. If it’s photography you love, then go out and take some photos! Take all kinds of pictures—close up and from a distance, at home and at big events. Get a decent camera and learn how to use it. You get the picture (pun intended). Whatever your passion is, follow it. Your dream, your passion, may require a college education, so look at making plans to start a degree program in your area of interest.

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    3. Set Specific Goals

    In order to develop your passion, set specific goals. Many of us make daily lists, but that’s not enough. You may have specific steps for each day, but also think about what you want to accomplish by the end of the week, the month, and a year from now. Then set goals to achieve those dreams. If you’re a budding writer, learn how to set up your website—and work on it. Submit an article to a magazine. Set deadlines for yourself, and you will be more likely to reach them.

    4. Find Accountability

    Now that you’ve set your goals, find someone to keep you accountable. A mentor or coach can not only teach you what you need to know to get started in your field, but this person can also be the one to check in to see how far you have progressed in reaching your goals. You can also surround yourself with people who have similar interests. For writers, a writing group is perfect. If you’re pursuing an education, you will certainly find opportunities to get together with those in the same major or degree program. Keep each other on track. Encourage each other.

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    5. Take Breaks

    If you’re passionate about reaching your goals, you may find it hard to take time to relax. You may find it difficult to fit in time with family and friends. It’s important to take breaks and be with those you care about in order to prevent burn-out. Hold on to what is important in your personal life. Your goal will still be there. And reaching it will be even sweeter with your loved ones there with you to celebrate.

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      6. Re-evaluate Your Progress

      At some point, sit back and reflect on where you are and what progress you have made. Re-evaluating after one month may be too soon, but shoot for three months, and then six. Look at your goals and compare them to where you are on your path. If you’re meeting all those goals along the way, then congratulate yourself. If you’re not quite making it, then re-evaluate. Have you worked hard enough? Should you do something differently? Or were your goals too lofty to begin with? Be realistic in this process as you take steps to achieve your passions, and you will be more likely to stick with each step to reach your goal.

      7. Keep Developing Your Passion

      Once you’ve reached some level of success with your passion—most likely your dream career—it’s time to enjoy it but never be lax about it. Avoid becoming complacent by continuing to grow. Take a class or attend a seminar to learn the latest developments in your field. Conferences are great for networking with others who are pursuing their own, similar passions. Connecting with these people can provide you with new information, and perhaps a renewed passion in what you’re doing.

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      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

      You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

      1. Connecting them with each other

      Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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      It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

      2. Connect with their emotions

      Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

      For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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      3. Keep going back to the beginning

      Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

      On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

      4. Link to your audience’s motivation

      After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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      Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

      5. Entertain them

      While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

      Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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      6. Appeal to loyalty

      Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

      In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

      7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

      Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

      Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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