Hoeing Your Passion Row

Β “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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

33 thoughts on “Hoeing Your Passion Row

  1. I found myself re-reading those six questions a few times. Now that I am retired from my professional career and happy to be a volunteer and a “lady who lunches,” I was still drawn to the question “What would you do for free.” Although I should have asked this of myself earlier in life, I find that eventually I loved what I did for a living and would have done it for no pay. Well, some of it, anyway.

    • Well I’m glad you are still lunching. πŸ™‚ I believe the timing of when we ask ourselves deeper questions is of lesser importance than are we asking at all? Bravo for coming to the realization that you actually did what you loved. How fortunate. So many cannot honestly say this. Enjoy your volunteering and thank you for doing so!

    • Good to have you stop by, Chris. And thanks for commenting. I am passionate about passion but even more jazzed with self-belief and choice. Enjoy the (what I surmise is) now preferable running weather.

  2. Oh gosh, such pertinent advice! ‘Saving money’ particularly hits home! So many people complain that they are financially unable to pursue their dreams but I have never heard anyone talk about saving up for a dream. I saved up, avoided debts and that had enabled me to dabble in things that in the end led to a fulfilling career. Still saving, because I do not want to, in your words, ‘let financial pressures dictate my choices.’ Thank you for this great post πŸ™‚

    • You, Alexis, are a shining example of believing and doing. And look at what your actions have yielded! Thanks much for sharing your personal and successful experiences, specific to this topic. Brava!

  3. I’m fortunate enough to not begrudge my work life. Is it my passion? No, but I am grateful for what I do because I feel I make a difference, or at least have the opportunity to do so. I’m also fortunate enough to be able to attend to my passions in life. Am I using my passions to make a living? No. But I am living well because of my passions. Great and motivational words here today Eric. Thank you.

    • As are your thoughtful posts, Kimberly. Thank you for your kind sentiment. I am warmed that you find a sense of hope in the words. That’s what makes this sharing effort and community worthwhile. πŸ™‚

    • Have missed your more frequent posts, Jake, so it’s good to have you stop by. Thanks for your kind compliment. So the curious Eric is wondering, what are you going to do with those questions you “love?” πŸ™‚

  4. Wise words and thoughts Eric. Change, in itself, is the most terrifying thing I face and I am surprised at how often it is necessary to reassess and change (be it small habits or big lifestyle changes). However, I have yet to be disappointed with the process. I believe the journey of finding passion is what matters, as it allows for what you describe above as “significant in the creation of exceptionalism.” Exceptional post Eric.

    • An interesting juxtaposition, Randall. You’ve yet to be disappointed with the change process (kudos!) still, you cite it as the most terrifying process you face. If the process is yielding desired/favorable outcomes, what prevents you from embracing rather than fearing it? Pardon the rhetorical probing… you caught me with my coaching hat on. πŸ™‚ Appreciate your thoughtful comments.

      • Good question. I fear losing comfort and security, a change in work being the most recent… Having to create something new is exciting, but unknown risk is the worry. If not pushed with frustrations from my work last year, accepting what comes my way (with great income) would have won-out over growing in life (and pursuing passions).

        I still hold ideas of my 30s where gaining financial independence / career growth was #1, but as I transition into middle age requires some change as my view of life changes. An office is impossible for me, so there is this pull of continuing with a creation of a new company or unplugging and follow that mantra of ‘life is to be lived’. Happiness is somewhere in the middle ~ and change is necessary ~ but I just view risk so differently these days, so it makes pushing for some changes more daunting πŸ™‚

        Deeper thoughts than these two paragraphs can emit… I like your coaching hat, suits you well! Thanks Eric.

  5. Great message, Eric! My passion is painting and music, — but do and other interesting things, I try to develop passion.
    Speaking of the question: “What Would you do for free? (My favorite question.)” – I think each of us can spread free, goodness and beauty around him and with love. πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful day, Eric and many blessings! Stefania πŸ™‚

  6. Passion… I love that word. The output is really different when you’re doing something that you’re passionate about. Am I correct when I say that your passion is sharing your wisdom with the rest of the world? I hope that you continue doing so as I learn so much from you. πŸ˜€

    • Not exactly. I think a more accurate explanation of my passion aligns with: creating awareness in people for being at intentional choice, exploring possibilities to yield their purpose or calling and, encouraging people to confidently exercise self-belief.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate the sentiment and you!

      • It’s nice that your passion is so self-giving. It gives good balance to those who just wants to take and take without giving anything back to the world. More power to your passion! πŸ™‚

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