“It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master position.” ~ Rebecca West
Passion, to me, is a vivid word. It conjures many images and is significant in the creation of exceptionalism. Great musicians, stunning artists, gifted athletes, extraordinarily accomplished business people, revered leaders, and compassionate social entrepreneurs (among others) all share the passion trait. They have influenced the world, they’ve stood out, and their achievements are frequently admired.
Yet according to a recent survey, nearly 75 percent of the population do not know what their true passion is. And yes, the word “true” is open to interpretation. Still, to me, this says a lot of people are not doing what they are meant to do. Perhaps this contributes to why there is considerable discontent in society.
Finding one’s true passion is not as simple as it seems. For some it comes easily but for many, it requires some inner reflection (and serious questioning) to identify what you were born to do.
I spent a quarter century working in corporate settings. What I did came easily to me and it yielded a comfortable lifestyle. But as I have shared before, I wasn’t thrilled with what I was doing to earn a living. When I focused on people who were upbeat about their lives (and often their work), I knew I wanted to learn what made them passionate.
Pursuing what you love is great advice but it’s not always a simple exercise. This because it’s a process. For simplicity sake (and to reign in the word count), here are six questions you can ask yourself early in the passion exploration process:
- What do you find doing to be easy?
- What do you like to talk about?
- What lights your inner fire?
- What puts a smile of your face?
- What would you do for free? (My favorite question.)
- What would you regret not having tried?
Many of us have a sense, if not some clarity, about what we love doing. If you’re interested in finding your passion(s), here are four steps you can take:
- Talk to people who know you well. They will have insights to help you identify what you most love and do well, naturally. Ask them for their ideas and guidance on what aligns best with their view of your passions.
- Start saving money. Try not to let financial pressures dictate your choices. Once you feel strongly that you want to pursue your passion, start saving. A lot. The more you have saved, the less finances will rule your decisions. And the less frightening it will be when you venture outside your financial comfort zone.
- Acknowledge epiphanies. Life-changing experiences can present out of the blue. Your passion could be illuminated through major events or in quiet, reflective moments as you ponder change.
- Don’t rush or force awareness but when your imagination is sparked, act. Keep your mind open to new ideas that can present simply through new activities and/or everyday interactions.
Positive change can be stressful, even frightening. Consider flowing with the process and experiences. As you hoe your row, your passion will reveal itself – in due course.