“Pursuing your passion” is a popular phrase.
And it’s a relatively new luxury of our modern world.
“I need to find my passion,” is probably not something you heard out of the mouth of your great grandfather or mother.
They were too busy trying to survive and put food on the table.
It’s our great grandparents we have to thank for allowing us to pursue the top of Maslow’s pyramid.
Whenever I hear, “I can’t find my passion” (*add high-pitched whiny tone)…
I want to respond with, “Whhhaaaattt? (*add false dramatic interest)…
Did you look under the seat of your car?
In between your couch cushions?
Under your bed?
Whaddya mean you can’t find your passion?
Where, when, and how did you lose it?
Did it fall out of your pocket?”
(or just WTF? for short)
The truth is that “I can’t find my passion” is just an excuse in disguise.
An excuse to avoid responsibility and a convenient way to perpetually do nothing.
We use it to cover up for the fact that we’re not progressing, growing, and taking action in life.
The real problem isn’t that it’s lost or missing.
Passion isn’t something you “find” or discover.
Passion is already there. You were born with it. It’s inbred.
It’s hard coded into your software program.
It’s part of the design system of how you were created.
Imagine standing in front of your creator and saying (whining), “I’m just not passionate.”
Hearing that would either break his/her heart or he/she would just hit you upside your head (depending on your version of your creator).
Look, I know you might not be all pumped up about life or your work right now.
It’s natural to go through ebbs and flows.
Life is an emotional roller coaster for sure.
It’s perfectly normal, and it happens to all of us.
But let’s look at moving forward instead of just wallowing in the quicksand of this perpetual excuse.
Having contemplated my own “passion” in life with a desire to find my purpose, I have discovered a few practices to help guide my decision-making and direction in my professional pursuits.
So, as promised, let’s begin with Step 1 of our series on How to (really) Find Your Passion by listening to the audio above…
Action for Today:
As I revealed in the audio, Step 1 to Finding Your Passion is by first discovering what it is that you love.
To discover what you love, write down the answers to the questions below:
- If you had all the money you ever needed and had already vacationed, traveled everywhere you wanted to go and were back home with nothing to do, what would you do now? What would you do, if only for the fun and feeling of personal satisfaction it would provide?
- If you could trade professional places with anybody you know or have ever witnessed, who would it be? Why? What aspect of their job or business appeals to you most? What other businesses have those same aspects?
- When have you felt most alive, most accomplished and most satisfied in life? What were you doing? What about it gave you those feelings?
Don’t just think about the industry, product or job title–think about the function.
- What functional things do you love doing? What are you doing when time disappears? When 3-hours feels like 30-minutes?
- What are you uniquely good at? What comes naturally to you? What do you think is your special superpower?
I’ve been in several radically different industries, selling radically different products, but those endeavors I’ve loved the most always centered around me doing relatively the same function.
It wasn’t the product, industry or profession I loved, it was the function I got up every day to do.
This is a BIG tip and significant distinction.
Focus on finding the function you love, not the product or industry.
This infinitely expands your options and is the true source code to your passion.
Also, remember to be as honest as possible.
Don’t give the answers that would make you look cool to the world of social media, would impress your peers, or you think that I want to hear.
If you are 100% honest with yourself, you will be relieved by the clarity the answers will provide.