How To Discover What Your Passion Is
The Idea Trader is dedicated to spreading interesting ideas and current news to readers and interested parties. This blog contains opinions and insights for ideas and investment opportunities and is not intended as advice for investing.
We’ve all heard stories of people who never truly knew what they wanted from their life until they were in their late twenties or early thirties. At that stage, they would suddenly realize it — they wanted to be an artist, or musician, or writer.
With a little help, they could hone those skills and begin living out this new dream career. It can feel like you are chasing your dreams as hard now as you was back then, but there is one important thing about these later dreams: They already exist within you.
Your current passion is likely something you have been practicing for years. You may not know how to make it work outside of the house yet, but if you gave it some serious thought, you probably already possess most of the ingredients needed to succeed.
It’s time to bring those things together into one powerful force.
Reading other writers’ books and experimenting with ways to improve your writing style is a way to do that. Running through basic exercises for improving your grammar and syntax is another tactic.
But none of that will matter much unless you learn how to motivate yourself to put those lessons into action.
This article will talk about some strategies to help you achieve that. It will include tips and tricks on how to discover your passion, and how to keep it at a steady pace.
Look at your lifestyle
There are many ways to discover what your passion is. Looking at your current life, exploring things you enjoy doing, and asking yourself why you’re not enjoying this activity more than you are may be some of the key pieces of information.
It can feel kind of hit or miss whether something seems interesting to you, so trying to understand how you get motivated about different activities could help figure out what you want to do next.
Some people find music very inspiring, while others prefer reading books. We all have our favorite colors that we like to use when painting or designing decorations or furniture.
Knowing what makes you excited might help you learn how to pursue your dreams. You will also know if it's time to make changes or stay in the status quo. Changing courses doesn't always mean quitting, but thinking about what you don’t like about your present state of affairs and brainstorming possibilities for alternatives can only benefit you.
Ask yourself what you enjoy doing
We’ve talked before about how to find your career passion, but there is another way to do it — ask yourself what you are passionate about.
It sounds weird, I know, but this can work. A lot of people get stuck in rut because they don’t take time to explore what things they love to do.
They keep going through the motions with no true motivation or inspiration.
So, how does one go about asking themselves what they like to do?
Here are some tips.
Consider creating a passion map
A way to discover your passions is by thinking about things that make you happy and want to do them more of.
You can also create opportunities for yourself to pursue your dreams through introducing new skills, engaging in activities that are related to your dreams, and investing in the resources needed to develop your dream career or job.
By being aware of your dreams and what makes you feel accomplished, you will begin to find ways to achieve them.
If you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, start by asking yourself what you like to do and what types of experiences make you happy. You may need to add some components to your list, such as asking yourself why it sounds fun or how to make it more practical, but if you're able to identify at least one thing that truly energizes you, then you've got a good starting point.
Many people spend their lives chasing the wrong things because they haven't defined what matters to them. By defining what's important to you, you open up opportunities to pursue those things and contribute towards helping others accomplish the same. It also helps you focus on building self-confidence and understanding who you are.
"I think everyone has a talent -- something they really enjoy doing," says Lisa Nielsen, PhD, author of The Best Life gives you permission to have a life full of joy (And tips for achieving that joyful life).
Become a lifelong learner
One of the biggest blocks for people in finding their passion is that they feel that once you find it, you’re done.
Finding your passion isn’t something that happens once and then you move onto the next thing. It’s an ongoing process that will always be there for you.
You don’t have to do anything with your life that makes you passionate, but if you're able to add things into your daily routine that energize you, or eliminate things that drain you, then you've found your passion.
By adding these components to your lifestyle, you'll start feeling more confident in the job you are doing and what you are doing with your life. You’ll begin to feel happier too, because you’ve identified a skill set that gives you joy.
Let’s look at another example. Suppose you wanted to know what your passion was. You don’t necessarily have to be passionate about something that makes a lot of money, but it does matter how much money you make as a career.
It doesn’t matter if you love business or if you’re good with numbers, so long as you enjoy doing both. If you can’t imagine not making enough money to satisfy yourself, then you should consider whether being rich is your top priority.
If it isn’t, maybe learning more skills that pay well is the better path for you. Starting a new career might help you find your passion too.
Your passion will eventually get left behind, even though it’s the one thing you're spending all your time on. The more important things in life are building other parts of your self – relationships, spirituality, hobbies, etc.
They all contribute to who you are as a person and help support your mental health, which comes first. - Lauren O'Brien
You'll be surprised where your passion lies once you take the time to explore it. And don't forget, it's okay to change your mind many times along the way.
But remember, unless you are very smart or talented, chances are your passion won't lead to huge profits or fame.
Even if you have a passion, it is very possible that you will not feel like doing it every day. You may even go through times when you cannot think of anything you enjoy!
That is totally normal! In fact, it’s quite common. Most people don’t know what they want out of life until they are in their mid-twenties at the earliest.
Don’t worry about it too much though because there is another way to discover your passions.
You can find out by asking yourself – why do I put off things that make me happy?
Why am I reluctant to read my favorite book? Why don’t I spend more time with my friends? Why don’t I take lessons or exercise more?
It’s difficult to remember how we used to love something when we were younger, but as we get older our feelings change.
Hopefully instead of thinking about what you don’t like, you start thinking about what you do like and ask yourself why you aren’t doing those things now. - Sam
There is an easy way to check this – simply look back at your notes from earlier in the year.
Did you ever wonder why you stopped reading books or going to lectures months ago? It was probably because you didn’t really care any longer.
Get a mentor
One of the most effective ways to discover your passion is by getting someone who already has their career “laid out” for what they love to do. They have spent years developing skills that make them successful at it, so you can learn a lot from them!
Ask yourself these questions and see if anyone around you comes up with an answer. Then, ask them more about it – you might be surprised where their answers take you.
Does this person seem happy? Are they showing other people how to achieve their goal or are they keeping it to themselves? If the latter, maybe they don't feel comfortable sharing it yet.
Reading books and listening to podcasts about their field may also help you find what you want to pursue.
The second way to discover your passion is by setting goals. You will need to know what you want, but beyond that, it’s figuring out how to get those things.
As we discussed before, knowing who you are and being comfortable with yourself is the first step towards having passions. Once you have done this, you can start thinking about what you want to do next.
You may already have some ideas of things you would like to do, but you can test them by creating milestones along the way. For example, if you wanted to run a business, you could set a goal to take a free running class or learn how to swim.
By doing these exercises, you will find out whether they make you feel more motivated or not, and if so, then you can move forward with pursuing them. If not, you can forget about them and look for other opportunities to try again later.
Your dreams don’t usually come true by chance, so when you don’t seem to be moving toward them, it’s time to reevaluate your life priorities. Starting today, put the dream in the back burner and focus on something else instead.
It’s important to note that dreaming isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes we get distracted too easily. Dreams require more preparation and effort than most people give them, which is why they often go unrealized.