The world is a magnificent place. There are billions of people you can learn so much from. And so many incredible sights that take your breath away. And with each day being the adventure that it is, it’s so important to find that one thing that makes you jump out of bed and exclaim “Let’s do it again!” Finding your passion allows you to live a meaningful life. But your passion doesn’t just magically appear, you need to put yourself out there to find it. So, let’s explore how to find your passion.
How to Find Your Passion
1. Try Everything
One of the most exhilarating ways to find your passion is to try everything. Painting? Why, hello there Picasso. Skydiving? Yeah, I’m freeee free-fallin. Starting a YouTube channel? You could be the next Shawn Mendes. Create a list of things you’ve always wanted to do. Then, create a list of things you’d never want to do. Combine those two lists and do both. You’d be surprised at how things you always thought you were too scared or uninterested in trying could be your biggest passions. When I was 23, I vividly remember telling an ex that I had zero interest in starting a business. And two years later I ended up starting one and falling head over heels in love with entrepreneurship.
No matter how self-aware you think you are, you’d be surprised at how much you could learn about yourself just by trying something new. The try everything method works well for any area of your life. You’ll learn so much about what kind of activities excite you, motivate you, or even anger you. And eventually, you’ll find your passion. The more you push yourself into new areas, the better you become at understanding who you really are.
2. Reflect On Your Happiest Moments
We’ve all experienced that moment where we were fully immersed in the present. Maybe you experienced it after winning an award for a project you poured your soul into. Or maybe you felt it on a vacation, watching the waves crash into boulders. Rain was pelting down. And yet there you were dancing, completely drenched. In a state of pure joy.
Those magical moments are hints. Little clues telling us who we really are and what we really love. You might find your passion is helping people find love after being invited to a wedding for two of your friends who you set up on a blind date. Or maybe you completely light up every time you talk about history and so you decide to start a YouTube channel or blog so you can blab all you want without your friends yelling at you to shut up already. The person you are when you’re happiest is you at your best. And the world deserves to see that you, too.
3. Take a Test
Tests are scary. They can tell you the truth about who you are. And while self-awareness can be a great thing, self-discovery can also disappoint you. Maybe you’ll find out your best-suited for something you actively fight against. Take me, for instance. The first time I took my Myers Briggs I found out I was an ENTJ (an extroverted, intuitive, thinking, judging personality type). The first job recommendation was CEO. I was studying bioethics in school and thought something in ethics was noble. So when I saw that listed on the sheet as my perfect career, I ripped up the paper and stormed out of the room.
My whole life I had been taught “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer” so it seemed like my Myers Briggs was telling me I wasn’t as noble as I thought I was because CEOs are usually the one percent. It destroyed me. And while it did take some time, I eventually did dabble into entrepreneurship. I realized that being a business owner is neither a good or bad thing. It’s how you go about it that makes the difference. And funny enough, that test ended up helping me find my passion. Even if it was ripped up in pieces.
Whether you take a Myers-Briggs or Ennegram test, you can learn a lot about what type of role you’re best suited for. Maybe you discover that you’re best suited for creative roles. And that inspires you to take up painting as a hobby which ultimately leads to you to find your passion. You might think the ideas for your type are boring, conflicting, or just disappointing. But sometimes that resistance prevents you from being who you really are instead of who you pretend you are. And the real you deserves to shine through. You don’t need to completely change career paths if you’re happy. But maybe you’ll discover a new hobby you enjoy through the process.
4. Be In the Moment
One of the hardest things to do is to live mindfully and presently. Our minds often dwell on the past or fear the future. We miss out on so much of our life by hiding out in our minds. To find your passion, ask yourself what helps you live presently. Maybe you notice that you live in the moment while running by the lake, cool breeze blowing your hair in the wind. Or maybe you find that talking in front of an audience with a spotlight on you helps you feel alive.
It’s those little things we do that completely absorb our focus that often turn out to spark your inner fire. If it consumes your attention in a world that constantly demands your attention, you might realize you’ve found your passion. Do the things that help you live in the now. The best moment to live in is the present one. And when you’re doing what you love, it’s much easier to live in the now.
5. Take A Look at Your Stuff
We live in a consumer culture. We buy, buy, buy. And while we never consciously do it, you can learn a lot about yourself by looking at all your stuff. Which genre of books do you keep finding on your overstocked bookcase? Which style movies or tv shows do you keep rewatching? What type of equipment do you keep buying? Which apps do you check everyday? Which social media accounts do you follow? Do certain topics make you tag friends more frequently? All those little things that you keep doing each day help define who you are and what you’re interested in.
Compile a list of all the things you have an interest in. Try to find the patterns to help you determine if it’s your passion. Maybe you can find a way to blend your passion with your career or your studies to help you combine the best of two worlds. If you’re always reading books about astronomy and love writing, you can start an astronomy blog. Or maybe you love selling things so you build an astronomy t-shirt store. Or you love public speaking so you create a YouTube channel about space to build your personal brand so you can eventually line up speaking gigs. There’s always a way to combine your skillset with your passion to create a career out of it or pursue it for fun. You have more than one talent or interest so feel free to mix and match traits so you can live your best life.
6. What You Loved as A Child
When I was four years old, I scribbled out song lyrics all day long. Of course, I didn’t want to be a boring old songwriter. I was always singing my songs in front of a mirror with a hairbrush in hand. I vividly remember my dad sitting my young self down for a talk. “Nicole, for a four-year-old, your songs are profound. But my God, your voice is dreadful. Please stop singing songs out loud. It’s hurting my ears.” I cried… hard. But I still kept writing songs about puppies, friends, and food condiments. Hey, I was four, cut me some slack. But nearly 30 years later, here I am… still writing (and singing out loud when no one’s around to hear it).
Your childhood self was you in your purest form. You probably did find your passion at a young age and somehow lost sight of it along the way. Life has a way of taking the fun out of you as you grow up a little bit. But that spark you had back then can come back. All you need to do is really examine what it was you loved back then. Maybe you spent hours drawing pictures, playing video games, or making up dance routines with friends. While it may seem kinda crazy, you can pursue all of those things and make money. Drawing? Check out freelance websites or upload your designs on Creative Market. Video games? Become a Twitch streamer. Dance routines? Create dance workout videos on YouTube.
7. Who Do You Wanna Be?
Our daydreams often play out the life we want, instead of the one we have. We imagine ourselves with happy families, successful careers, money in the bank, muscular bodies, or in the arms of a secret crush. The more you keep replaying the same daydream, the more you want something. But daydreams aren’t where the magic happens. Only action can do that. Instead of playing out who you want to be in your mind, you need to step outside of it long enough to pursue your passion in the real world. And you can be damn sure that it’s gonna be a lot of work. Anyone can dream but it takes effort to turn those dreams into a reality.
You can spend your whole life in your head only to get to the end of your life and realize you’ve missed out on everything. Daydreams can be real. You have the power to do that. So if you find yourself dreaming about being a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to have to start a business. And if you’ve been daydreaming about that for months, then it only makes sense for you to take action today.
8. It Comes Easy
People say nothing comes easy. That’s not true. Some of the best things in life come easy. Your relationship with your best friend? Easy. Taking in a deep breath of air? Easy. Doing work you love? Easy. While finding your passion might take a bit of sorting out, living your passion will come easy. Really think about what you’ve done that just came naturally to you. Are you really skilled at something that people are envious of? That might just be it. Think about what kind of classes you always excelled at in school. Maybe you took a cooking class and your dish was better than your teacher’s. Or you picked up a guitar and instantly knew how to make beautiful music. Maybe you were always teaching your friends how to get the answer to complicated math problems.
Some people will tell you that you need to work hard at your weaknesses. That’s terrible advice. Optimize for your strengths. If you’re really good at something, do more of it. Go from good to great to best to master. If you’re better suited to something and it comes easy to you, you can scale your skillset at a faster rate. You might decide to start a side hustle to earn additional income doing something you’re great at. You’ll find your passion by sticking with things you’re good at. Seeing the rewards will keep you motivated. Whether you get joy from completing your first triathlon or getting paid to do a bride’s makeup, the easier it is to do something, the more often you’ll want to do it. And the better you’ll get at it.
As you learn how to find your passion, you’ll inch closer to being the person you’re meant to be. You’ll find your passion by trying new things, observing what you gravitate to, recognizing what you’re naturally good at, or remembering what kind of activities you did when you were young. The whole purpose of finding your passion is to help you pursue your destiny, experience happiness, and share your talents with the world. You’re a one of a kind. All those little talents and quirks make up a totally original you. And you’re exactly what the world needs. So be brave enough to uncover who you really are and be that person fully. You never know who’s looking to meet someone just like you.
Written by: Nicole Martins Ferreira 23rd Sep 2019