How do you go about finding your passion? What can you do to further your purpose in life?
Discovering the answers may not be as difficult as you think. Now is a good a time to focus on what you are passionate about, because your passion is your purpose.
Finding Your Passion
It’s wonderful if you have always known what you want to do with your life and have found a way to do so while earning a great living. However, the rest of us may not know what we want to do with our lives. If we do know, we may not be sure how to go about finding our passion. Or we can’t because we’re tending to the rest of our real-world responsibilities (families, jobs, health, and community). Perhaps it involves being afraid to take the risk to step into our purpose.
There are some useful ways to get in touch with what you are really passionate about:
- Ask yourself what you would do with a month off. Assume you had all the money and time you need. You had no judgment or criticism from anyone else. And you had freedom from all responsibility.
- Another helpful question to ask yourself is, when you walk into a bookstore, what sections do you automatically go to? Are you drawn to travel, cooking, or the finance section?
- Take a look at activities or interests that you have always had. Perhaps you have been writing in a journal, playing in a neighborhood basketball league, volunteering for a particular cause, or serving a role in your community.
- What has someone else accomplished, of which you are envious? Envy can be a very valuable emotion, since it shows you what you want. Rather than react to envy by trying to tear down or discount the person toward whom you feel envy, use it to identify what goal you want to attain, and then set about attaining it.
- What would you want to talk about if you had 10 minutes on your soapbox to speak to the world? Maybe you would like to recite poetry to bring the beauty of words to others. Perhaps you would talk about a political issue to increase others’ awareness. Or maybe share with other parents how you handled a difficult phase with one of your children.
Once you have a list of answers, dig below the surface to interpret them. For instance, even though you would love to spend a month traveling, and you regularly head to the travel section of your bookstore, this should not necessarily be interpreted literally that you are meant to make a living as a travel writer. More often than not, your answers point to broader foundational concepts.
What is it about travel that you love? Perhaps you love meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, seeing new places, and trying new things. It could be that seeking – the opportunity to constantly experience new things – is part of your purpose.
If you love to share your experiences with others, teaching others may be part of your purpose. Perhaps the part you love most about travel is connecting with people who are very different from yourself, or bringing people from different backgrounds together. These elements are part of finding your passion, as well. List these broader concepts in order to get a more universal view of your purpose.
You Don’t Have to Quit Your Day Job
A major stumbling block to living your purpose is the belief that it must become your career. You might want to turn your passion into a paying job, but you do not have to in order to legitimize your purpose. If you want to be a writer, then write. Perhaps your passion is to make music; make music. If your purpose is to teach children, then volunteer to teach children. You do not have to quit your day job in order to pursue your passion right now.
That being said, if you would like to pursue your passion as your career, often the most difficult logistical hurdle is how to make the switch from “day job” to “dream job.” Fortunately, it is not necessary to solve this problem in order to realize your goal. Instead, identify one small step you can take – right now – to expand the amount of space your passion takes up in your everyday life. Then, see what happens. The universe has a way of opening up and showing you the next step once you take the first step.
Take the Next Step
The passionate traveler may put together an itinerary focused on cultural exchanges and form a small group to take a trip. If your passion is politics, volunteering for an advocacy group is a quick way to be involved without quitting your day job. If you are interested in starting a business, joining a trade association can put you in touch with others who can lend support, networking, and brainstorming opportunities.
One of the biggest pitfalls is convincing ourselves that we do not have the right education, experience, money, time, knowledge, or the right contacts. Your passion is there for a reason: it is your Spirit’s way of showing you your path to happiness. Just ask yourself, “What would I do if I absolutely could not fail?”
This post was written by Paula Jones and originally published on Hoffman’s Tumblr blog in 2015.