Every one of us has a purpose in life: A dream, a goal we are aspiring to. For some, finding your passion have been easy. Some are lucky that what they do for a living and how they spend their time are aligned with their passion and joy. There’s an old expression: When you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in our life.
If only it were that easy.
The simple truth is that finding what we love to do – and being able to do it – is a difficult thing. Many of us are never so lucky. Indeed, it is only through a purpose-driven effort, extensive soul searching, and trial and error that we can even find our passion, let alone develop the courage to follow it.
So, how can we follow our passion? How can we find our pathway to success? Here are some thoughts.
What Do You Love?
When you are having an extensive conversation about finding and following your passion, this is the most important question. It also can be the most difficult, because you may now have an answer!
Here are some sample questions you can ask yourself:
- What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
- In a dream world, if money and time weren’t an issue, what would you do?
- Go back to when you were a little kid. What did you want to do, and why?
- Have you ever taken any career aptitude tests? Not those fake internet ones, but real ones that are based in science and psychology?
Remember, you don’t have to ask yourself these exact questions, and none of them are guaranteed to give you an answer. Instead, they are meant to get your creative juices flowing and designed to specifically help your mind identify what you love to do.
Don’t Just Wing It – Do Your Research
You may think that finding a passion involves lying back, waiting for that passion to hit you like an arrow fired by Cupid.
The vast majority of people are not lucky enough to simply stumble into a beloved past time or passion. They find it with work and effort.
If you find yourself inclined to enjoy a hobby or profession, don’t just stumble your way through. Instead, do real research. Use the internet or YouTube to look up what is involved with this particular passion.
Build Your Network
Do you know people in the field? Buy them a cup of coffee and pick their brain. What do they love about their field or work? What do they hate?
If you have the time and inclination, ask if you can shadow someone for a day. It doesn’t have to be a special event. In fact, it may be even better if it is just a regular, ordinary, mundane day, as this will give you a better idea for how someone’s day works.
Regardless, treat finding your passion like you would any other day of work. Give it time, attention, energy, and effort. That is the only way you can truly discover what you do and don’t like about a field.
Think Long Term
There can be little more frightening than abandoning everything you know and changing career paths to follow your dream. And, in some cases, that’s a bad idea. Remember, finding your passion should be like falling in love and developing a long-term relationship. If a relationship will stand the test of time, it’s defined by more than just a flash-in-the-pan burst of passion. A healthy long-term relationship is defined by a slow-burning desire, a deepening understanding, and discovery of your life path.
What does this mean? If you find your passion – say, law – you don’t have to drop everything and dive in, headfirst. Instead, start slow. Once you have done your research, maybe start to slowly practice for the tests necessary to get into law school. If and when you do get into law school, you can start slow, taking one class a semester. This may be helpful if you still have to work and support yourself.
The whole point of finding your passion is that it should be long-term and sustainable. You don’t immediately fall in love with a career path. You don’t automatically drop everything and change your whole life because you really, really like custody law. Instead, you slowly fall in love with it.
Don’t pressure yourself. Give yourself the time necessary to find something that you truly love, and take it from there. Remember, if you truly have identified something as a lifetime calling, each step you take will make you enjoy it a little bit more and discover some new and exciting dimension to this topic. Give yourself the time to discover a passion. Remember, it won’t come to you automatically, and that passion takes real work to discover. With time, you’ll find it.