Just Follow Your Passion… Right?
Follow your passion? That sounds like great advice, but what if you are not quite sure what your passion is? I was stuck pondering this question for months, ok – years. It was so easy for me to point out the things I did not want in my life anymore, but I had nothing in my life that resembled PASSION. You know the big, huge thing that people shout off the rooftops about? I couldn’t even pretend I was doing something that was even interesting, much less a passion or hobby. I looked around and saw people passionate about making money, passionate about goals, passionate about stents… and they wanted everyone in the world to know about it. I thought I was missing some important “gene” – everyone has a passion, right? All I had to do is find it and then make it my job!
Right… so, I set out to find my passion with hopes of changing my career to follow said found passion. Problem was, I liked things – reading, taking photographs, animals, writing; but I wasn’t insanely passionate about them. After wasting about two months (or was that years?) trying to figure it out, I realized that not having a clear definition of “MY PASSION,” was just another arbitrary road block I put up for myself. It was one more thing I could point to, to not step out of my fear and actually take action. I had to stay in my miserable job because I hadn’t yet found my passion – so until passion knocked on my door, I just had to stay miserable. Ridiculous logic when it’s written that way, but that is exactly what I thought.
So I stopped trying to follow everyone’s advice and stopped trying to find my passion and started redefining what passion meant for me. All I saw were people living their passion 110% of the time – having laser focus on one thing. That will never be me… I gave up that definition because I finally had to admit that even if I found “my passion” as I saw it being defined, I would never be happy having only one thing to focus on. For me I knew that I would still be miserable if I found A passion, so I gave myself permission to drop the word passion and start focusing on other parts of my dream job.
Find YOUR Passion
- Redefine what passion is FOR YOU. Passion isn’t always all-consuming, it’s not always grand, sweeping, undying devotion to something. It can be something that makes you smile, it can be a small accomplishment, it can be something that makes YOU take notice or action.
- Start somewhere. Passion doesn’t always have to be so powerful or compelling at the beginning. Think back to how you approached subjects or topics in school – it started with curiosity. Strong feelings or interest toward something, takes time – you have to have a spark of interest and start to learn about something before knowing if it’s something you could be passionate about.
- Give yourself permission to try. I used to equate passion with how accomplished I was at something and if I wasn’t at the so-called professional level, it couldn’t possibly be my passion. Putting yourself out there to TRY new things or EXPLORE different opportunities or LEARN something new ignites your inner energy and passion. You don’t have to be perfect or the best at something to do it; you simply have to start trying.
- Not knowing your passion = OPPORTUNITY. You have the opportunity to explore and learn; attempt and fail; try and succeed. But more than anything, you have a chance to find out more about who you are as an adult, to help define your happiness going forward.
Remember: Passion isn’t a required element to loving your job – I promise. But loving your job could help you define your passion.