Passion is a tricky thing. Wholly unique from one person to the next and driven by a combination of past experiences, life events, and innate personality, the things that motivate people to move forward can be vast. However, for those who have not yet identified a passion – a driving force in life – finding out where to start can be a little overwhelming.
After all, how can you know what you love if you haven’t yet experienced something that inspires action?
If you’re still looking for that one true passion that has eluded you, the one element that will help you launch your business or find your purpose, you’re not alone. Only 15% of employees are engaged with their work and 21% consider themselves dissatisfied with what they’re doing.
Keep these tips and tricks in mind to break out of the rut of moving through your personal or professional life without a true passion to follow.
Put Yourself in the Right Mindset
If you’re not dedicated and motivated, you’re never going to make headway, even in something as vital as finding your passion in life. As such, it’s important to put yourself in a good head space. Be eager to learn, grow, and take on all new opportunities, including things you wouldn’t think you’d like, from hiking to taking a community leadership role.
Say, for example, you’ve never been interested in the consumer products space. This is fair – designing, creating, and launching new ideas can be an uphill battle – but there’s significant room to grow for the right products at the right time. If you have a good idea or an item you’d love to see on shelves, fear and worry shouldn’t be your dominating emotions when weighing the pros and cons.
By keeping yourself open to possibilities, rather than shutting things down before you even try, you’re more likely to make meaningful progress in any area.
In many ways, it’s critical not to look at experiences in a bubble. Even though it’s easy to assign the activities you do or the events you attend a particular category, many basic life experiences can translate into areas for growth, development, and professional opportunity.
For example, attending a PTA meeting in which you are in a position of power may not be an enjoyable or beneficial experience on the surface, but the opportunity to lead a group may inspire enthusiasm for taking a leadership role in an organization that means a lot to you. A work volunteer event may inspire a passion in non-profits, or coaching your child’s sports team may culminate in a passion for teaching and instructing others.
Not every event in life will result in the opportunity to learn more about your internal passions and motivations, but you’ll never truly know if you’re not open to the ability to draw connections.
Find Out What You Don’t Want
As individuals, each one of us has different proclivities – and, as such, certain things that will never click. Whether dealing with children isn’t for you or speaking in public makes you tremble, there are plenty of ideas or opportunities that simply won’t be enjoyable.
In order to find out what you do like, it’s also important to understand what you don’t like. There are no limits here; anything from a dislike of red meat to anxiety when leading projects can be incorporated in your quest for your passions. With so much potential out there, taking into account any level of dislike, no matter how minor or seemingly inconsequential, can help you focus your attention in the right places.
While exploring your motivations and opportunities, be sure you’re not attempting to force a square peg into a round hole. It’s okay to have weaknesses and it’s okay to admit that a particular concept, topic, or idea isn’t right for you and your overall objectives.
Embrace the Journey
Nothing is easy in life, and that includes finding what calls you.
When you aren’t sure where to start in exploring your passion, it’s only natural that the process of doing so will involve a journey of sorts. You may have some trial and error, some false starts, or even some complete mistakes on your path to finding what works for you. However, it’s important to realize that this is part of the process, and how you approach it can have a direct influence on your success.
Too many people wait for that “eureka” moment, that strike of inspiration that changes the course of your future. Unfortunately, this is largely a Hollywood concept. Real life is far more confusing and complex, and it’s okay if your quest for passion is slow and steady rather than fast and exciting. Instead, embrace the journey and be willing to accept that your quest is yours and yours alone, and likely can turn out very differently than you originally envisioned.
Follow Your Dreams
Many adults have decided that following dreams isn’t an endeavor worth pursuing, as if taking chances is for teens and young adults rather than those who are established.
If there’s something that sparks interest or joy in you, even if just for a split second, don’t be afraid to follow it. Research opportunities, talk to industry leaders, and take chances on new adventures. Passion isn’t a passive activity, and the more work you put in, the more likely you are to succeed at finding what you’re seeking.
Instead of letting fear or expectation hold you back, take advantage of chances to launch yourself forward. At the end of the day, you’ll never know what you’re missing unless you give it a try.
Passion can be the bread and butter of a successful life, driving you into hobbies, entrepreneurial opportunities, and even volunteer endeavors. However, getting from point A to point B often isn’t as direct as it may seem.
By taking time to explore your interests, learn from your mistakes, steer away from things you don’t like, and choose to actually follow your dreams, you may find that your true purpose in life is just within your grasp. Your passion is waiting. It’s up to you to figure out how to reach it.