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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 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.

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Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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