I’ve read a thousand suggestions to help you find your passion in the world—like this blog post or this one (with all due respects to those authors). Most of them don’t help. Oddly enough, this blog is trying to help you do exactly that (I’ve written about passion before). But I have a trick up my sleeve.
Here’s how most “advice on finding your passion” articles go:
How to find your passion in 4 easy steps:
1) get alone and reflective
2) ask yourself what you’d do if you knew you couldn’t fail
3) ask yourself what you’d do if you had unlimited funds
4) go do whatever you answer
If your biggest questions in life could be answered with such a simple process, you wouldn’t have the questions. They would be answered already. Though these questions (and others like them) are not bad, they will not give you what you’re looking for. For most of my life, they left me feeling frustrated and more lost.
Now for the trick up my sleeve:
What you are looking for is something deeper, more connected, and more complex than these questions.
In order to talk about the impact that you really long to make, you must have a sense of your desires and where they come from. You also have the work of navigating how your longing for impact intersects with the needs and expectations that you face day-to-day. These are not easy answers.
As you do this deeper work, you’ll find that you are able to answer questions like: “what do you want more than anything else?” But answers to those questions are the product of a process of knowing who you are, how you have come to be, and what you have to give. Those kind of questions are not the process themselves.
You can find your passion. You will find it (at least if I have anything to do with it). Just remember that the easy answers are just that: easy. Your questions deserve more than easy answers can provide. You deserve better than that. The work you’ve done thus far matters more than that.
Some good resources to get you started:
- The Long Guide to Finding Your Calling
- The Meaning Movement Podcast (particularly the [short] episodes)
- How to Write Your Story
In the comments, have you ever done a “find your passion” exercise? How was it helpful or unhelpful? What other means have you found beneficial? Or, just tell me what you think of all of this. Click here to comment.