One day while driving into work, I was listening to a nationally syndicated radio show where there was a motivational coach giving advice on being successful. A caller called in to share her story in hopes of finding a solution. Her story was that she pursued several different businesses but had never found success. Either she would not fully pursue the venture or give up if success seemed unlikely. She couldn’t understand why she was unable to find success and was seeking expert advice on what she should do. The motivational coach’s response was that she should find her passion and pursue it. Brilliant! Right? If only it were that simple. Hearing it in the caller’s voice, she left the call still wondering how to be successful.
All too often the message about pursuing one’s passion has been delivered as a blanket response to those that are discontent with their jobs or feel there’s more to life than they’ve experienced. Albeit a true expression, it’s vague and it leaves people without much direction. Some people know at a very young age what they want to do in life and build their life around those pursuits. Others of us find ourselves on a path seeking for what seems to be this mystical passion that only people who are lucky can have. They hear the words, “find that one thing that makes you want to wake up each morning and that thing would be considered your passion!” Seems like a simple solution but as the saying goes, “it’s easier said than done.” Also, I wonder if it even applies to those of us who aren’t morning people (nothing makes me anxious to get up). I think I’ll modify it to include, “or find the thing(s) that makes you not want to go to sleep at night.”
There is a gargantuan gap between the idea of discovering your passion and the action(s) towards pursuing your passion. The unanswered questions and underlying inhibitors causes one to be on what can be considered an aimless path. Although there are thousands of books, articles, and blogs on this topic, there still remains a befuddlement around the concept of “pursuing your passion”.
“How do I find my passion?” Let me be honest, I absolutely hate the phrase “find your passion”. (I use the term “passion” on the About page of the blog because people are familiar with it. Don’t judge me. Just know that each time I typed it, I rolled my eyes.) I hear this question about passion asked daily and sometimes multiple times a day. Don’t get me wrong. When I first heard the idea of finding one’s passion, I was totally on the bandwagon. I finally had to jump off because it was getting me nowhere…fast. I believe it’s a valid question but there are some more foundational questions you should ask that will lead you on the path of self-discovery and success. For this blog post, let’s start with the question below:
How do you want life to look and feel?
I know this reads like a fluffy possibly unanswerable question but bear with me. Have you taken the time to assess your desires for your overall life? This is not a question like “where do you see yourself in the next 5, 10, or 15 years?” It’s more about evaluating and defining what you consider to be “quality of life”. I recently listened to an interview featuring The Minimalists (http://www.theminimalists.com) and they talked about reducing the clutter in your life. It’s basically taking an assessment of what you really need and eliminating what you really don’t. For example, one of the guys talked about how he was making 6-figures in a corporate job, owned 2 Lexus, and lived in a posh condo. He made the decision to quit his job to become a full-time writer and eliminate the excess vehicles and home. By putting things into perspective, he and his partner have now written 2 books and have a popular blog. Now, with that said, I’m not telling you to quit your job. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t have a Lexus or 2. I’m not telling you to not buy an expensive home. However, I am challenging you to decide what’s important to you. What do you need in life to be content? Look at areas of relationships, finances, spirituality, and career. Your answers will help in setting some life goals.
As always, I would love for you to share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below!