How To Find Your Passion
Imagine a scenario where you actually loved getting up in the morning. I’m not just talking about those occasional weekends or days off where you actually have no plans (or only plans made and loved by you). I’m talking about every single day. Before you scoff at the ridiculousness of such a concept and flick on further down your reader just stop . Indulge me for a moment.
If I were a genie and could grant you anything you wanted, don’t tell me you wouldn’t be interested in finding a pastime (career, hobby, part-time adventure) that not only paid the bills but actually made you feel – what’s that word? – good. And I’m talking gooooooood. Like so darn happy you smile at strangers on the street, walk with a little bounce in your step, constantly update Facebook with perky little notes, and basically just spend every day feeling like a kid does on Christmas.
Sounds annoying, doesn’t it? Unless it’s you of course.
So let’s assume for starters that you still need regular income. To start with we’re going to need this muse of yours (thank-you, Mr. Tim Ferriss ) to occupy only a set amount of time. Perhaps half an hour each day, with weekends off. That’s doable, isn’t it? Of course I’m talking about a solid 30 minutes committed to changing the way you live your life. All in one block.
The idea of introducing part-time passion like this is that it eases you in to the next step. Which is to gradually move you to a point where you are making a living from doing what you love. Where your part-time passion has replaced your full-time job. Sounds good, doesn’t it? I managed to do this about 5 years ago. I was in a mid-level management position which I was kinda sick of. Ok, hated. And I was doing some part-time Personal Training before and after work. It took me a full year of being over that job to toss it in and have enough courage to try running a full-time Personal Training business. But at least I got there.
Where would you like to be a year from now? What would you love to be doing?
If you’re not at all sure what your passion might be, then I’d recommend taking some time to identify your strengths. Here are 3 easy ways to get started on that:
- Ask your friends what they’d consider your strengths/natural skills to be.
- Take an online personality or strength/weakness test. This one from Dr. Martin Seligman is world-renowned. You have to register, but that’s free.
- Invest a little time in some daily journaling. Just let the pen roll as you envisage what your perfect day, then week, then year would look like. I don’t mean the down-time (although there’s plenty of people who’ve turned a passion for travel into a solid income).
By this point you should be starting to get a little excited. Even the act of thinking about how cool it would be to actually love what you do should get the motivational juices flowing. But if you’re still really not sure what you’d like to do – or perhaps you feel like there’s so many things to choose from – then try this.
Find a clean piece of paper and a pen. Write down the numbers 1-10. Think back over past weeks, months, even years – which events/activities stand out as being joyous or exciting for you? If you can’t think of anything, consider those events you reacted to in others with excitement, even jealousy. You might like to consider the following categories as a memory-jogger or just for ideas:
· Social connection
· Helping others
· Making deals
· Re-selling goods
The long and short of it is that you want to highlight those times when you feel most alive. What makes you feel creative, happy, free, a sense of belonging?
Now that you have your passion in mind it’s time to start making it happen. This is actually the easiest part of the process so far. Remember back to the start of this article? You’ve already committed to setting aside 30 minutes per day to work on your passion, so set the timer and get started. Try not to worry too much about how you can turn it into money, just focus on action. And, if you have several possible passions in mind, then choose one and start with that. Commit to it for 21 days and then decide if you’d like to keep going or start afresh.
Here’s how you might fill that 30 minutes –
- Write about your passion, what you like about it, what comes easy to you, where you’d like to improve your skills
- Research the work of others who are effectively using your passion in their lives
- Teach it to someone else
- Read about it
- Study different methods of doing it
- Create a vision board of what your life will look like when you’re doing it
Do this diligently and sooner or later you’ll feel ready to take the next step: offering a discounted version of your service, applying for a freelance position, sharing your knowledge with someone who can help you get ahead. This could be the moment when that part-time passion suddenly really does seem like something that might one day replace your full time income. Soon as you make that first measly dollar from it you’ll have the immediate excitement of knowing that if you can make $1, you can make $100, then $1,000. You get the idea. A year from now (or less if you’re not such a scaredy-cat like I was) you just might not be imagining that lovin’ the morning scenario anymore. You’ll be living it.