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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

If you could do one thing to transform your life, I would highly recommend it be to find something you’re passionate about, and do it for a living.

Now, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it’s well worth the effort.

If you dread going to your job, or find yourself constantly lacking motivation, or find what you’re doing dull and repetitive, you need to start looking for a new job.

Staying in your current job will not only continue to make you unhappy, but you are not realizing your full potential in life.

Imagine this instead:

You get up early, jumping out of bed, excited to go to work. You might put in more hours than the average person, but it doesn’t seem difficult to you, because your work hours just zoom right by.

You are often in that state of mind, often referred to as “flow,” where you can lose track of the world and time, losing yourself in the task at hand. Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not a “job” but a passion.

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If you’ve got a job you dislike, or even hate, this will sound like a pipe dream to you. And if you never put in the effort to find what you’re passionate about, you’re right: such a thing will never be possible.

But dare to dream, dare to imagine the possibilities, and dare to actually search for what you love, and it is not only a possibility, but a probability.

So what should you do? How to find your passion in life? Here are some suggestions:

1. Ask Yourself: Is There Something You Already Love Doing?

Do you have a hobby, or something you loved doing as a child, but never considered it as a possibility?

Whether it’s reading comic books, collecting something, making something, creating or building, there is probably a way you could do it for a living. Open a comic book shop, or create a comic book site online.

If there’s already something you love doing, you’re ahead of the game. Now you just need to research the possibilities of making money from it.

2. Find out What You Spend Hours Reading About

For myself, when I get passionate about something, I’ll read about it for hours on end. I’ll buy books and magazines. I’ll spend days on the Internet finding out more.

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There may be a few possibilities here for you … and all of them are possible career paths. Don’t close your mind to these topics. Look into them.

3. Brainstorm

Nothing comes to mind right away? Well, get out a sheet of paper, and start writing down ideas. Anything that comes to mind, write it down.

Look around your house, on your computer, on your bookshelf, for inspirations, and just write them down. There are no bad ideas at this stage. Write everything down, and evaluate them later.

4. Ask Around, and Surf for Possibilities

Ask other people for ideas. See what others have discovered as their passions. Look all over the Internet for ideas.

The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of finding your true passion.

5. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet

If you find your calling, your passion, don’t just turn in your resignation tomorrow. It’s best to stay in your job while you’re researching the possibilities.

If you can do your passion as a side job, and build up the income for a few months or a year, that’s even better. It gives you a chance to build up some savings (and if you’re going into business for yourself, you’ll need that cash reserve), while practicing the skills you need. See below for more.

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6. Give It a Try First

It’s best to actually test your new idea before jumping into it as a career. Do it as a hobby or side job at first, so that you can see if it’s really your true calling.

You may be passionate about it for a few days, but where the rubber meets the road is whether you’re passionate about it for at least a few months.

If you pass this test, you have probably found it.

7. Do as Much Research as Possible

Know as much about your passion as possible. If this has been a passion for awhile, you may have already been doing this.

At any rate, do even more research. Read every website possible on the topic, and buy the best books available.

Find other people, either in your area or on the Internet, who do what you want to do for a living, and quiz them about the profession.

How much do they make? What training and education did they need? What skills are necessary? How did they get their start? What recommendations do they have?

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Often you’ll find that people are more than willing to give advice.

8. Practice, and Practice, and Practice Some More

Don’t go into it with amateur skill level. If you want to make money — to be a professional — you need to have professional skills.

Get very good at your future career and you will make money at it. Practice for hours on end. If it’s something you love, the practice should be something you want to do.

9. Never Quit Trying

Can’t find your passion at first? Give up after a few days and you’re sure to fail. Keep trying, for months on end if necessary, and you’ll find it eventually.

Thought you found your passion but you got tired of it? No problem! Start over again and find a new passion. There may be more than one passion in your lifetime, so explore all the possibilities.

Found your passion but haven’t been successful making a living at it? Don’t give up. Keep trying, and try again, until you succeed. Success doesn’t come easy, so giving up early is a sure way to fail. Keep trying, and you’ll get there.

What I’ve outlined here is a lot of work … but it will be the best investment you’ve ever made. Follow your passion, and you will be truly happy and incredibly fulfilled. I wish you the wildest successes of your wildest dreams!

More About Finding Passion

Featured photo credit: Dewet Willemse via unsplash.com

More by this author

Leo Babauta

Founder of Zen Habits and expert in habits building and goals achieving.

How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time Simple Productivity: 10 Ways to Do More by Focusing on the Essentials How to Pare Your To-do List Down to the Essentials

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

5 Reasons to Follow Your Heart to Live the Life You Want

5 Reasons to Follow Your Heart to Live the Life You Want

It’s never too late to start something you’ve always wanted to do. It doesn’t matter what you think is holding you back; let’s just call them what they are: excuses. It shouldn’t matter if other people are doing it already or if nobody is doing it at all. The only question that matters is whether or not doing it would make you happy—do you follow your heart and live the life you want?

Everyone has a different personality, and we’re all drawn to different things. And the more you allow yourself to pursue those things and follow your heart, the happier you will be in life.

However, you still have to be willing to work for them because dreams don’t come easily. If you want something, you have to earn it!

Here are 5 reasons why you need to follow your heart to live the life you want.

1. The World Needs Your Voice

We all see the world differently because we all came from different places, had different upbringings, overcame different challenges, etc. So, what you have to say and the way you say it is going to be different from the next person.

Your values, your core beliefs, and how you share that with the world are what set you apart. Those are the things about you that are going to make someone say, “yup. That’s them. They’re my person, and I really appreciate the work they’re bringing into the world.”

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Just imagine how many podcasts there are, not to mention they all have their own tribe of listeners. The same goes for YouTube, blogs, etc. That goes to show that we all consume content differently, too. So, if you’re a writer, write. If you’re a speaker, speak. If you’re a photographer, take photographs.

We need to stop becoming more like others and start being more of ourselves.

2. People Want Your Content

There will always be people who love to consume more than they want to create because creating something of your own is hard. Even when it’s something as simple as writing an Instagram caption or a blog post, people are hesitant to create their own content because they wonder if anyone is going to find it helpful, if they’re adding more value to the world or just more noise, or if they’re writing is any good.

It’s scary to put yourself out there for the world to judge. It’s more comfortable to judge others for putting themselves out there than it is to put yourself out there to potentially be judged.

But do it anyway. If you want to paint, then paint. If you want to start a DIY blog, start a DIY blog. Express yourself. Share your story with the world. Be vulnerable. The world needs more of it. So, be brave and follow your heart.

3. You Know You Want This

I’ve always wanted to have a blog, and I’ve always wanted to work at a magazine company and/or start my own magazine. While I have not worked at a magazine company yet, I choose to do the other two this year.

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I started creating content about 3 years ago, and the feeling was amazing. I’m so glad I did it because if I didn’t, I would still be playing the “what if” game.

But now, I get to play the “what’s next?” game, and it’s so much better. And trust me when I say this journey hasn’t been easy. There have been (and still are) so many times when I cringe and think, “I did that? Is that good enough?” and the good old’ “Who do I think I am to do this? What if someone reveals what a fraud I am one day?”

But how will you get better if you never try or if you don’t at least start? Sure, you might fail and fall flat on your face. But you can always, always get up again and keep going. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be present and consistent.

You have to ride the rollercoaster and overcome the challenges in the way. No path to success is completely smooth. Just follow your heart, and you’ll be ready to face the challenges along the way.

4. It’s a Whole New World

If I never started to follow my heart, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet some of the most amazing people that I’ve met in my life.

If I didn’t follow my heart, I wouldn’t have pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have met people who helped me push myself out of my comfort zone, and I would’ve never known how truly encouraging and supportive the people around me are—and I’m so grateful for every one of them.

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If it weren’t for me taking a leap of faith and starting, I wouldn’t have realized how hard other people have worked to make their dreams come true. I would’ve continued chalking it up to “luck.” I would’ve continued making excuses, and I wouldn’t be the type of person to take personal accountability for my actions. As harsh as it may sound, I would still be like the rest of the world.

But now, I have so many more ideas and projects I want to do to build on what I’ve already accomplished. I want to start a podcast and maybe a book.

There is so, so much out there for you—but you have to be willing to show up, take the first step, and keep going. It’s not enough to just start. You have to continue what you started, too. It’s not easy to take that first step, but it’s even tougher to keep stepping when things get tough.

But if you’re strong and follow your heart, you will open yourself up to an entirely new and exciting world.

5. You Will Inspire Others

When you share your story with others, it sends a message. It shows other people what’s possible when they apply the lessons to themselves. And if that doesn’t seem inspiring, then I don’t know what is.

Whenever I start to wonder if this journey is for me, I listen to podcasts, read books, and watch interviews. These things remind me that the people I admire the most did not get to where they are overnight or even in a matter of months. It took them years, and they’re still showing up to this day.

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They weren’t the person they are today when they first started, just like I’m not going to be the person I am today five years or five months from now.

We’re always growing and learning along the way, so share your story with others because regardless of where you are in your journey, someone out there needs to hear it. Someone out there wants to hear it, so share it with them. Inspire others, and you’ll also end up inspiring yourself.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to be perfect or feel ready to start, you just have to follow your heart and be willing to put yourself out there.—and continue putting yourself out there.

Give yourself permission to be imperfect, flawed, messy, and beautiful. Give yourself space to learn, fall, make mistakes, and do better. Give yourself credit where credit is due and celebrate your wins along the way.

Find and surround yourself with people who support you and who understand your journey—ideally with people who are on the same journey as you, so you can encourage each other to keep going. Friends who grow together stay together.

So, get out there and follow your heart. Find out where it’s going to take you!

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Featured photo credit: Aziz Acharki via unsplash.com

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