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25 Questions That Will Guide You To Find and Follow Your Passion

25 Questions That Will Guide You To Find and Follow Your Passion

It’s not easy to find and follow your passion. Actually, it requires all your strength, time, and effort to do it. You have to dig deep down inside you. You have to drill deeper than deep. Yes, go down, deep down into your inmost until you reach the bottom where you can see clearly, and get the answers you need. It’s hard work.

To explain further, many years ago, I read a book. I followed its instructions about fiding my passion. I was doing fine until I got to the part where I have to answer soul searching questions. I started to feel sick in the gut; feeling burning pain there, and all out distressed.

My stomach has turned acidic. The stress from mulling about my answers was too much. I couldn’t handle it. The reason? It was so nerve-racking to realize I actually was clueless and didn’t know what I wanted. I was feeling like this because I was in my late twenties and there I was, lost.

After a while, it hit me. I knew what I wanted when I was 19, but I have grown; and have outgrown my passion. Naturally my needs were different too. And so are my aspirations. My body’s negative reaction was just an initial response to a sudden, but mistaken idea. Instinct. That was it. Obviously, not properly thought out.

If you are going through the same experience, and stuck, keep on reading. Help is here.

Finding and following your passion takes hard work, and it isn’t for the faint hearted.

You need courage to go for it, despite all the fear, overwhelm, and uncertainty.

While the path may not be the easist, or the most comfortable, I do it because it is the only path that I can see myself taking. It makes me happy, fulfilled, and satisfied.

In this article I’ve compiled some of the questions I ask coaching clients, and anyone who needs help finding and following their passion.

It’s like a mini-coaching session. You can use these questions for anything, so they aren’t just for finding and following your passion.

Before you read on, grab a pen and a blank sheet of paper and write down the answers to each question, because it will help you eliminate some of the overwhelm, uncertainy, and fear.

And always remember, you don’t have to find your passion in order to start taking action. Many people make it into another excuse.

Your passion will find you when it does. In the meanwhile, take action. Refuse to wait.

1. What do you REALLY want?

A basic question but extremely relevant.

I’m not talking about the shoulds or shouldn’ts. Forget about what society, your parents, or your friends say.

What is it that makes you come alive? What truly lights the fire within your soul?

2. What would you want if you didn’t have to be unhappy about not getting it?

I first heard this question from Michael Neil, a world-class coach. At first, it boggled my mind, but as I let it sink, I realized the power of this simple question.

Take your time with this one, and write down your answer. It boils down to what makes you happy right now, even if you didn’t have to reach some future goal.

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3. What’s stopping you?

What is preventing you from finding or following your passion, or going after your dreams?

What have you perceived to be standing in your way up until now?

This is a crucial question, because it sets the tone for the rest of the questions. If you don’t know what is stopping you, then how do you know that there is actually something there?

Even if you know what it is, it’s often not there anyway.

4. What specifically is it about that that stops you?

Take your answer from #3, and drill down. If you’re afraid, ask yourself what specifically you’re afraid of.

I was afraid when I started Wake Up Cloud in late 2009 (my first post). More specifically, I was afraid of people not liking what I put out there, and not getting validation for my work.

5. How is that stopping you now?

Take your answer from #3. Let’s stick with fear, in this case you’d ask yourself how that is stopping you from moving forward.

In my case, fear made me confused, overwhelmed, and uncertain. It paralyzed me and I painted disaster scenarios in my head that stopped me from taking action.

6. How could you solve those problems?

When you drill down into what’s stopping you, it goes from a thing to a process. Fear might become the pictures in your head, or sensations in your body.

You can brainstorm solutions to your problems, change the way you represent your fear, or eliminate the sensations. These latter things are what I do with my coaching clients.

7. How does X mean that you can’t do Y?

Let’s, again, stick with fear. How does fear mean that you can’t find or follow your passion?

If it’s just you scaring the shit out of yourself, why can’t you move forward anyway? If you’re afraid of what people will think, shouldn’t you be more afraid of what you think, since it’s you scaring yourself?

All of these things are going on inside of you, not outside, and you can still move forward despite being scared.

8. If all your problems were solved, what would you do?

If all of my problems were solved right now, I’d be more bold, take more action, and take things to the next level.

Funnily enough, this is exactly what I’m doing, so keep your eyes peeled.

But sticking with the question, if you had no problems, worries, or fears, what would YOU do?

9. What are your interests?

What do you enjoy doing? When I got started, it was obvious to me. I loved personal development and online business.

These two topics were my life, and still are. I read, listen, and soak up everything I can, but before I got started, I didn’t believe in myself.

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I finally realized that I didn’t have to believe in myself to get started, and I took action, which is why you’re reading these very words.

10. What were your interests?

Some people have suppressed their interests, because they’ve been told it’s impossible to do what you love, or they’ve told themselves that.

If you’re one of those people, look into the past. What did you used to enjoy doing? What brought passion, purpose, and fulfillment into your life?

11. How do you know that you don’t know?

Many of my clients tell me that they don’t know what they want, and I ask them, “How do you know that?”

This has them confused, because it’s something they haven’t considered. It opens up doorways in their mind.

A common answer might be: “I feel it.”

To that I might respond, “So you feel it, and have your feelings ever been wrong?”

That’s just the start. I encourage you to play with this, because what you believe to be true isn’t true, it’s just what you believe.

12. How do you stop yourself?

If you don’t know what your passion is, ask yourself how you stop yourself from finding your passion, or how you stop yourself from taking action anyway.

What do you do to make it not happen? And what would you have to do to discover your passion?

This works with following your passion as well. How are you stopping yourself from making progress, and how can you flip that around?

13. If you had to teach me how to do your problem, how would I do it?

This is a fun one. If you had to teach me how to not find my passion, or follow my passion, or whatever is stopping you, how would you do it?

Write down the process. When you bring the whole process to awareness, you’ll see that there are steps to it, and it makes it seem ridiculous.

It also helps you stop it in its tracks the next time it rears its ugly head.

14. Always?

Most people tell me that they’ve never known what their passion was, but when they tell me that, I know that they are always lying, because we’ve all had glimpses of what it’s like to truly enjoy life.

Your passion doesn’t have to be one thing, it could just mean being in the flow and enjoying the present moment.

Keep it simple!

15. How will you know?

How will you know that you’ve found your passion and that you’re on your way to realizing your dreams?

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What internal or external signs will tell you this? This is a great question to give you clarity on how you’ll know when you’ve reached your end goal, or even that you’re on the right track.

16. If there was a miracle tonight… how would you know?

This is an extension of question #15. What would have to change in your life for you to experience a miracle?

If you’re having trouble finding your passion, what would have to change in order for you to discover your passion?

17. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

If Superman gave you a magic potion that gave you immunity from failure, what would you do?

Would you write a book, start a blog, begin public speaking, or go out and hug people?

18. What will you do when you’ve found your passion?

This is a great way to go deeper. What will you do when you’ve found your passion? Or what will you do when you’ve realized your dream life.

Is there something you’re putting off? Many people disguise goals, or finding their passion, as something they need before they can do what they truly want.

In essence, they’re lying to themselves. Are you doing the same?

19. If you pretended to know?

If you pretended that you knew what your passion was, what would it be?

If you pretended to have clarity, what would your next step be?

This is a great question that suspends disbelief and allows you to daydream about the possibilities.

20. What would happen if you didn’t?

What would happen if you didn’t have to find your passion in order to enjoy your life?

This isn’t about having something. You already have everything you need to be happy, joyful, and satisfied.

What would happen if you gave up the search for passion and just went out and had fun?

21. What makes you come alive?

What’s something that makes you come alive?

For me, it’s helping people overcome their perceived limitations, so they can find and follow their passion, and get paid to do what they love.

This is a good question to freewrite on. Put the question at the top of a blank page, and dump everything on your mind on paper for 20-30 minutes, and see what comes out.

22. What’s important to you about living your passion?

This is a question that drills down into what you truly want. I want you to ask this question over and over again until you reach a state that is beyond words.

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A client of mine that I did this with had the following kind of progression when I asked this question: Helping People >> Passive Income >> Realizing a Dream >> Being Recognized >> Feeling Complete and Feeling Happy.

In the end, what he really wanted was to feel complete and happy. He discovered that he was already feeling complete and happy, so he already had what he wanted. This is the perfect place to take action from.

23. What will happen if you don’t take action?

What will your life look like if you don’t find or follow your passion 5, 10, 20 years from now?

Will you be happy? Will you regret that you didn’t take action, or will you be okay?

Most people will regret it. I know I would, which is why I take action now, despite my fears.

24. What will happen if you take action today?

What would your life look like if you took action today? What would it look like in 5, 10, 20 years from now?

Would you be fulfilled, satisfied, and happy?

Also, remember that this isn’t about being happy in the future and neglecting the present moment. This is about working towards something you love, while enjoying the here and now.

25. What steps can you take?

The last question is what steps can you take right now?

If you’re not sure what your passion is, what steps can you take right now to get closer to discovering what it is?

If you already know what your passion is, what steps can you take to move forward?

To live a passionate life, you have to take action.

Conclusion

Let’s wrap things up. This is a heavy article, because if you’ve gone through and written down the answers, you’ll have discovered things about yourself that you didn’t know about.

If, on the other hand, you read through the article, and didn’t write anything down, I suggest you go back, and do so.

If you still won’t do it, then you’re making the choice to stay where you are, and as long as you’re okay with that, that’s cool with me.

If you’re waiting for something magical to happen, please don’t, because in the end, you’re the only one that can create the life of your dreams.

25 Questions That Will Help You Find and Follow Your Passion I Henri Junttila

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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