There is no clear formula for finding your passion. Some people seem to know it from the time they are born. Others seem to search for it until they die.
One thing is clear: we all would love to spend our days doing what we love. But if you don’t quite know what direction you should head, what do you do?
In many cases, the reason you haven’t found your true calling yet is because you’re focusing on the wrong things. With that in mind, here are 7 reasons that you haven’t found your passion yet — and what to do about it.
1. All you think about is finding your passion.
Once you start looking for what you were meant to do, it’s easy to get caught up in the search. Unfortunately, continually asking yourself “What am I passionate about?” usually has very little benefit.
You can’t find your passion by searching the depths of your mind. Passions come from actions and experiences — not idle contemplation.
2. You’re searching for feeling before experience.
Passions evolve out of experiences. If you’re looking to feel passionate about something before doing it, then you’re going to be looking for a long time.
Would you expect yourself to fall in love with an artist before ever hearing their music? Of course not. How can you be passionate about woodcarving if you’ve never done it? Or at the very least seen someone do it.
The feeling of passion will come after you’ve had an experience, not before.
3. You’re staying the course.
There is nothing wrong with pursuing a long-term goal or walking the same path for awhile. But don’t let your ultimate goal blind you from the opportunities that arise along the way. Some of the most compelling options might start out as side jobs, hobbies, or a random meeting.
Instead of becoming obsessively focused on one area, take advantage of the new opportunities that arise from time to time.
4. You’re looking for direction and clarity.
We often think that if we find our passion, then we will have clarity and know what to do with our lives.
If only it were that simple. Life is a series of confusing situations and you’ll never have all of the answers. Regardless of the situation, we have to make the best choice at the time and continue to move forward.
Finding your passion isn’t about know the right direction from the outset. It’s about choosing a direction, paying attention to what interests you along the way, and pursuing those interesting areas further.
5. You’re not creating something.
A common difference between those who are living their passion and those who are still searching for it, is that the former group has created something. Maybe that’s art for someone else. Maybe that’s a job for themselves. Maybe that a program for the community. Maybe that’s an opportunity for their career.
The act of creating is important because it allows us to discover things about ourselves.
It is only through the act of pushing ourselves and creating something new that we discover what is important to us, what we’re good at, and what we are willing to sacrifice for.
No, it’s not easy to create something, but it is important to do so.
6. You’re looking to live your life all at once instead of moment-by-moment.
Searching for our passion is part of a larger goal — we want to know what to do with our lives. We want to know how to spend our time on this planet.
The problem, of course, is that examining our lives from such a high level often prevents us from focusing on this moment.
Discovering your passion happens in a series of small steps. You first hear about it in a book or from a friend. Then you go to a class or an event. Then you try it out yourself. Then you try it again. Then it becomes a hobby. Then you’re telling your friends about it. And before you know it, you’ve found your calling in life.
But it didn’t happen overnight.
Instead of worrying about what you’re going to do with the rest of your life, spend some time thinking about what you should do with the rest of today. How can you do something enjoyable in this moment?
String enough enjoyable moments together and you’re bound to be passionate about one of them.
7. You haven’t dedicated yourself to a goal.
We all have interests, but we usually keep them as passing interests that we come back to from time to time. Rarely do we take an interest and decide to pursue a specific goal related to it.
Reaching for a goal is important because it starts a process that brings about opportunities that we cannot predict. If you endeavor to reach a meaningful goal, then there will undoubtedly be opportunities that arise along the way that you would never have imagined when you started.
Whether or not you reach your original goal isn’t nearly as important as the journey it takes you on and the opportunities that journey offers.
Pursue your interests with purpose and you’ll find that your passion has a funny way of showing up.
For more on how experiences can reveal your passion, read this article on finding your passion.