There are many people who do not know what their true passion is. I believe that if you want to be happy and content in your life, we need to focus on what we really love to do.
And every human being is born with a special gift.
So, how do you find your passion?
One should remember that a good tree is recognizable by its fruit. If you think you have found your true passion or your “calling”, but do not feel completely confident, then test yourself and look at the results. What feedback do you get from yourself – from your own life – when you engage in this possible passion?
Take one step at a time and listen inward. Do you feel that you are filled with energy? Do you feel scared but at the same time more vital than ever? Do you feel true to yourself?
If so, you may have found your calling in life, your passion. Otherwise, just keep looking – and remember, again, that this is not necessarily a new career you are looking for.
There is always a way to follow your passion, whether it is profitable or not.
Here are 10 questions that will help you think further about what your passion and gift in life is…
1. What are you good at?
Unless you are just starting life, you are guaranteed to have some skills or talents; some kind of aptitude.
Even if you now consider yourself a jack of all trades, master of none, you may have shown some special talent when you were young, even as young as when you went to kindergarten.
Have you always been a good writer, speaker, draftsman, organizer, builder, teacher, friend?
Have you been good at ideas, connecting people, gardening, sales? Give this a thought. Take at least 30 minutes and go through this question – often we have a tendency to forget the things we have done well.
Think back, as far back as you can, to jobs, projects, hobbies, and so on.
What you find could be your passion. Or maybe you have several things.
Start a list of potential candidates.
2. What are you reading about?
What have you spent hour after hour reading about online? Which newspapers do you look forward to reading? Which blogs do you follow?
Which section of the bookshelf do you usually go to? There can be many topics here, add them to your list.
3. What triggers you?
It could be something at work – a small part of your work that triggers you.
It can be something you do outside of work – a hobby, a side job, something you do voluntarily, as a parent, a partner, or a friend.
It may be something you have not done in a while.
Again, think about this for 30 minutes, or at least 15. If you do not, you will most likely put a cane in your own wheel.
Add any answers to your list.
4. What have you been dreaming about in secret?
You may have some obscene dream job you’ve always wanted – to be a writer, actor, architect, doctor, entrepreneur, or maybe a programmer.
But some fear, some self-doubt, has held you back, has led you to reject the idea. Maybe there are several.
Add these professions to the list – no matter how unrealistic they may seem.
5. Learn, ask, take notes
Okay, you have a list. Choose the item on the list that triggers you the most. This is your first candidate.
Read about it, talk to and read about people who have been successful in the field (for example, through their blogs if they have any, or through email).
Make a list of notes of things you need to learn, need to improve on, skills you want to master, people to talk to.
Read on, but just do not wait too long before diving into the next step.
6. Experiment, try
This is where learning really begins. If you are not already doing it, start doing the thing you have chosen.
If you already do, you may be able to skip this step, or you may run for a second candidate. But if you do not have it, start now – just do it.
It may be behind closed doors at home, but make it public as soon as you can, however you choose to do so. This motivates you to improve, gives you feedback, and means that your reputation will improve as you do so.
Notice how you feel when you do this – is it something you look forward to, that triggers you, that you love to share?
7. Narrow down
I recommend that you select 3-5 items from your list and take them through steps 5 & 6.
This may take a whole month, or you may have already learned and tried them all. So now you have to ask yourself: which one triggers you the most?
Which of these produces something that others can pay for or be triggered by?
Which one can you see yourself doing for years (even if it’s not a traditional career choice)?
Choose one, or two at most, and focus on it.
You will take it through the next three steps: banishing your fears, finding the time, and, if possible, turning it into a career.
If that does not work, you can always try the next thing on your list – there is no shame in giving something a try and failing, it gives you valuable lessons that will help you succeed in the next try.
8. Banish your fears
This is the biggest obstacle for most people – self-doubt and fear of failure.
You have to face it and ban it. First, acknowledge it instead of ignoring or denying it. Second, write it down to externalize it, to make it concrete.
Third, feel it, and be okay with feeling it.
Fourth, ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” Usually it’s not catastrophic. Fifth, be prepared to do it anyway, and then do it.
Take small steps, as small as possible, and forget what may or may not happen – focus on what is actually happening, right now.
And then celebrate your success, no matter how small it may be.
9. Find the time
Do not have time to follow this passion? Then you can create the time! If this is a priority, you will create the time – refurnish your life until you have it.
This may mean that you get up earlier, or that you do it after work, during your lunchtime, or on the weekends.
This will probably mean that you cancel some commitments, cut back on the unnecessary in your work and / or do some in advance (just like you do when you go out and travel).
Do what is required.
10. How you make a living doing it
This does not happen overnight. You need to do something, get good at it, be passionate about it. This can take months or years, but the most important thing is that you have fun.
(As cliche as it sound I think that the most important thing is not to win, but to have fun.)
When you reach the stage that someone would pay you for what you do, bingo – There are lots of ways you can make a living doing it, such as freelance or consulting, creating information products such as e-books, or writing a blog and selling ads.
In fact, I recommend you create a blog if you do not already have one – it will help you establish your thinking, build a reputation, find people who are interested in what you do, and demonstrate your knowledge and passion.
What would you regret not having tried? / How to find your spark
We all have dreams that we want to achieve and somehow, life pushes us in a different direction.
If you were at the end of your life, what would you regret not doing?
What would you like to do, that you get another chance?
Think about what it could be. Whatever it is that you may have to regret now or later for not having tried, this is a good chance, be it your true passion.