How do I Find My Passion?
What is "passion"?
First, we must define what passion is. We can do this best by defining what passion is not.
Passion is not:
- a job that seems like a good opportunity to make money
- the latest hot fad, trend or style
- something that is innate(i.e. something you knew from day one)
- something that you have to force yourself to do
Now, what is passion? Passion is:
- something that may or may not make you money
- something that you like, love, or enjoy no matter what
- something that you discover
- something that you may get tired of if you do too often
How Does Passion Develop?
Now that we know what passion is and is not... we need to know how other people found their passion.
There are some people out there who know what their passion is and say they have always known. This is a lie! Nobody knew all along what their passion was. If you take a good look at the world and find the people who are doing what they love, you'll find out that they were simply influenced by their environment in a strong way.
For example, if a child grew up in a family that loved to cook and they have fond memories of cooking with the family... well, you can almost be guaranteed that cooking will be one of their passions. Whether they turn that into their full-time job or not is another question.
Or maybe someone grew up in a city that was big on the technology industry, and wherever they went, technology was always in their face. Naturally, you could see that this child would probably get an education in the tech field and probably be working in the tech industry eventually.
Someone could have found their passion through work, as well. So let's say a teen's first job was working at an animal shelter. He or she probably would love working with animals after that experience and would build up a passion for helping these poor creatures. Would they become a vet or a lifetime volunteer at the animal shelter? Both very likely.
How to Find Your Passion
The final and most important question is: how do you find your passion?
If you don't feel like you have a passion right now, or maybe you've lost your passion... it's time to look for one! I say one, because you can have more than one passion.
Firstly, the only way to even start to develop a passion for something is to know that it exists. You should spend your time trying to find out new things; online is not a bad place to start looking for things you didn't know existed. Start browsing around, following links everywhere, investigating what things are, searching for info. on people, things, etc. You could also go out into your community and connect with people you've never connected with before, talk to anyone and everyone about what they do (people love to talk about themselves). Ask your friends, ask your family, ask strangers! Watch TV that you normally wouldn't watch. Read newspapers and magazines that you normally wouldn't pick up. Go to the library, go to the bookstore. Go crazy!
The next thing to do is to actually try out the things that you think may be your passion. Get a part-time job, take a class, volunteer, or just go there and hang out! Find someone or some groups that are involved in whatever you want to try out and get involved. You don't need an invitation, you don't need permission - you just have to show up and don't be shy about why you're there.
If you think you'd like pottery, take a class. Your teacher and others in the class have connections with that industry or craft. They'll be happy to answer your questions, help you out when the going gets rough and they can always connect you to more information. If there are no classes available, then you can go to a pottery shop and visit with the owner. Bring him or her a tea, hang out and talk shop... or maybe volunteer there. Let them know you just want to explore what they are experts at and most people are more than happy to help. Maybe those two things didn't work out for you - find someone who knows about pottery or has it as a hobby/passion. Find him/her and pester them! Find out from him/her all they know. Soon, you'll find out if this is really your passion, or maybe it's interesting, but not that interesting.
What if You Can't Find a Passion?
If you can't find your passion and it's been a while, don't fret. I used to have many passions myself, but it seems that lately, I haven't had any.
One thing I might suggest is going back to your old passions. Rediscover them and maybe you'll rediscover that you love them.
Or help a friend/family with their passion. Who knows, it might become a passion for you, too!
The thing is, don't give up and never stop searching. You need to look every day and even if you think you're making no progress... every time you learn of something new, you're expanding your world and creating possibilities for passions.
Final Suggestion for Your Passion
If you've found your passion, congratulations! I still have some advice, though.
Do not let your passion become your full-time job. What usually ends up happening is that you start hating what you initially loved. Jobs can be fun, but invariably, they are also boring, frustrating, depressing, and anger-inducing. The fun part might only be a small portion of the job. If you take up your passion as your job, you're going to be mixing a lot of negative feelings in with those pleasurable feelings - so don't do it!
You want yourself to be able to practice your passion unfettered by money constraints... you want to practice your passion for the sake of itself. You want to enjoy every minute of it and work hard at it because you love it. Do not let money get involved.
Thus, it is better to work at a money-making job, even if you don't particularly enjoy it... just so you can follow your passion in the meantime. Make money at your day job, and keep your passion to the times when you really want to enjoy yourself.