I think we like to make things complicated. But finding your passion is not really that hard.
First, I think we try to fit things into being a passion, when they really aren’t. An example: I love photography. Like, really, really love. I enjoy taking photos, looking at photos and learning all about it. I often think that is my true passion, but it’s not.
It is something I enjoy a ton, and something I will for sure continue doing for the rest of my life. My true passion? People. And what inspires them, their passions. I am passionate about passion! It’s what I stay up at night thinking about, what is always on my mind, what I work on all the time. How to help people pursue and unlock their passions so they can make their dreams come true. That is what I am crazy passionate about.
Photography is one of my loves and I may even be a little bit passionate about it. But my camera can sit here on my desk for weeks without me even thinking about it. Dreams and passion and making a difference with people. I can’t go a day without diving into that.
Then, I think we think there is some one perfect thing out there that we must find and locate or we will never truly be happy. Which is so not true! So many things in life provide inspiration and joy and fulfillment. Finding your passion can really be as simple as paying attention to what that stuff is, and then cultivating more of that. (Next week, I’ll write more about cultivating our passions).
So, how do you figure out your passion?
1. What are you attracted to? What kind of people, blogs, books, movies, etc. What are those things all about? What are their passions?
2. Dig deeper. Go beyond the surface of the things you are drawn too. Yes, I love photography, but when I look deeper, I really love portrait photography – the kind that truly captures the essence of a person, that gives you a glimpse into who that person really is and what makes them tick. So, yes, you may love to read crafting blogs, but maybe it’s not the craft that is inspiring you – maybe it’s something deeper?
3. What moves you? Do you ever find yourself with tears in your eyes about something or so full of happiness and joy about something? What about that is stirring your soul? Last night, I was watching The Voice, which if you don’t know is one of those singing reality shows. All through the show I was so moved, crazy sappy-happy moved. Why? Because these courageous people were boldly chasing their dreams! And that is what most inspires me.
4. What do you think about all the time? What opens up the floodgate of ideas? What gets your creativity fired up? What do you obsess about and stay up late at night thinking about. Not the junk you worry about, but the stuff that gets you excited as you daydream about it. It is easy to get consumed by what your passionate about when we let ourselves really get into it.
5. Look back over your life, when did you most feel alive? What things from your past really excited you and got the wheels spinning? What about those things? I worked on a film project in high school. It was an 18 minute VHS movie called, “What is the meaning of life?” The month I worked on it was one of the most invigorating, consuming, inspiring experiences of my life. Yes, some of that was the medium – I love film, but more of it was the subject matter and interviewing tons of people about what life means to them, then putting those stories together.
6. Tell the truth as you explore these questions. I was recently working with a mom who was struggling with finding her passion. As we were talking it was so obvious to me what she most loved, but not to her. One of her objectives with our coaching session was to figure out her purpose and passion, and yet it was seeping out of her! She’s a therapist and working with clients is not what her passion is, it is the process. Her passion is learning about, thinking about, exploring and experiment with different processes. It’s the theories that inspired her, not the actual therapy. Seeing that and telling the truth about it was a huge aha moment for her!
7. Give up that it has to look a particular way. Your passion may very well be knitting. You obsess about it, you can’t go a day without picking up your needles, patterns are floating in your pretty little head all day long and yarn stores make you pee your pants. BUT, for many of us, our passion is not a THING. It is more of a feeling, an experience. There are many vehicles for expressing our passion, when we know what it is. A big help in discovering your passion is to let go of the HOW and focus more on the WHAT. Your passion may be the creative process. HOW you explore that can change and evolve over the course of your life. You may find that it’s the theory of creativity that truly inspires you way more than the actual making of stuff. So maybe where you find your bliss in teaching or writing about creativity instead of painting or drawing.
Now, I know for some of you, it may be that you have never bumped into your passion. Keep looking! It’s out there. Just stop trying to make it so complicated. Be committed to living a passionate life. I’m willing to bet it’s not too far away or too mysterious. Follow these steps, listen to your heart, and surrender to it. Be willing to be surprised by what it is that deeply inspires you.
Does this help? Do you have any questions about it? Any aha moments you want to share about? Let me know in the comments below. And please share this with your peeps!