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7 Reasons You Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet

7 Reasons You Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet

Find Your Passion

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    More by this author

    James Clear

    James Clear is the author of Atomic Habits. He shares self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

    More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

     

    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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