Following your passion may sound corny or cliched, but it is by no means just another piece of oversimplified career advice. On the contrary, if you are looking for a rewarding career, following your passion is the most practical advice you can get.
Your work is not just another part of your life, it is a major part of your life, taking up a significant portion of your time. And so, if you are privileged enough to have the option, why wouldn’t you do something for work that you enjoy?
Working a job you don’t like not only makes you less likely to be successful at it but can also adversely affect your personal life by making you irritable, even resentful. A job that you are passionate about, on the other hand, is nothing less than a magic formula for a happy life.
Now, the question arises, how to find your passion in life? The short answer is, by carrying out an objective self-introspection. But of course, it is not that simple.
So, in this article, we have discussed eleven simple tips that can help you find your passion in life so that you can carve out a fulfilling career for yourself. But before we get to that, first, a quick word on the difference between a hobby and your passion in life.
Sometimes, a hobby of yours can turn out to be your passion in life, but that is far from always being the case. In fact, it is very likely that you would hate it if you were to take on a hobby of yours as full-time work. Take gardening or playing a competitive sport, for instance.
But, since your passion in life and your hobbies both involve doing something you love, people sometimes confuse the two. The main distinction is that while your hobbies are things you like to do in your free time, your passion is something you want to do for work, which takes up a significant part of your time.
If you do not know what you are passionate about, do you at least know what you are deeply interested in, or just interested in? You probably do, don’t you? For now, forget about the financial viability of your interests and just make a list of them.
You can start by simply thinking about what parts of your day you are most excited about and what they involve. Ask yourself basic questions like, is there some pastime activity that you have been engaging in frequently since your childhood? What are, or have been your hobbies? What parts of your current occupation do you enjoy most? Make a broad list and include even the things you love daydreaming about.
If you have a hard time pointing out your interests, try this: make a list of the people you admire and what they do for a living. The list can include anyone, from celebrities to family members or friends.
Paying attention to your social interactions can also be very useful for discovering your interests. If you are really passionate about something, it is very likely that you bring it up in your casual conversations all the time.
If you can’t think of anything yourself, involve the people you are close with. Ask your friends and family if there is any topic they think you get particularly vehement talking about.
When you are really into something, you also tend to enjoy teaching others about it. So, ask your friends and family if there is anything about which you always dump unsolicited information on them.
In addition to exploring your interests, you should also consider your talents. It is very common for people to underrate their natural talents. Just because it comes easy to them, they assume it must not be valuable.
You may have soft skills that are of great value in an industry or a talent that is more easily monetizable than you realize.
Here is something you could try: look at yourself like someone with an inflated sense of their abilities would look at themselves and make a list of all your positive attributes, no matter how insignificant. Once you have them down on paper, you might realize that one or more of those qualities is not as insignificant as it seems in your head.
It might also be a good idea to take one of those online personality tests to get a better idea of your temperament and natural inclinations. You may find out that there are professions out there that are really well suited to your specific personality type. But do remember to take the results of those tests with a pinch of salt.
What you find meaningful is generally a very reliable indicator of your passion in life. It can be anything from helping others to making art to making wealth.
If you don’t have a clear idea about what you derive your sense of meaning from, try asking yourself what makes an admirable person in your eyes. Make a list of your core values and then take each one of them and think about what profession would a person with this personal quality be in.
They say if you want to find out where your heart is, look at where your mind goes when it wanders. And considering how much time we spend on social media, looking at your online activities can be a great way to do that.
Look for patterns or recurrent themes in the content you consume. Open the “following” and “saved” sections of your Instagram profile and try to identify prominent niches or tropes.
Similarly, audit your YouTube and other social media handles. And don’t forget to consider what kinds of books you like to read. The informational content you consume can be a huge indicator, as people tend to want to know more about things they are passionate about.
How do you know if you are actually passionate about something or just enchanted by the glamour around it? Well, by trying it out.
You don’t have to go all the way, just make a low-commitment initiative to get a taste of it. Thinking and planning are great, but after a certain point, you need to get off the desk and actually do something.
For a lot of people today, the problem isn’t not having a passion to follow but having too many passions and being confused as to which one to follow as a career path. The only practical solution to this is to actually try things out.
Also, it is often the case that when you get good at something, you become passionate about it, rather than the other way around. So, pick up one thing you are interested in and try to get really good at it with consistent practice. It will give you a far better insight into it than any amount of contemplation ever could.
We do not live in an ideal world, and an important part of following your passion is to find a way to monetize it. A lot of times, people don’t go after their passion in life simply because they are not aware they can make money off of it.
Getting in touch with people with the same interests as you would not only inspire you but, more importantly, it can be a huge help in finding out about different ways to make money doing what you are interested in.
Use your social media to reach out to people who share your interests, and discuss the financial viability of those interests with them. It may turn out that something you do for recreation has way more earning potential than you thought. For ideas, read our article, Ten Everyday Hobbies that Make Money.
Linkedin, in particular, is a great platform for finding professionals who could help you choose the right career path based on your interests. The platform has a really supportive community, and you are sure to find people who would be more than happy to share their insights and experiences with you.
Point out what is keeping you from following your passion; don’t let negative thoughts win. Write down your fears and concerns to get a better understanding of them.
Getting the right perspective on your concerns is going to be very helpful in dealing with them. Oftentimes, people have baseless insecurities and apprehensions that keep them from chasing their passion.
Weigh the potential downsides of pursuing your passion against those of not doing it. Imagine how it would feel to realize in your elder years that you never took a shot at pursuing your passion for some lame reason like the fear of rejection and ridicule.
For many people, finding their passion in life is not so much about self-discovery as it is about self-acceptance. A lot of times, our passion is right in front of us, but we are unwilling to acknowledge it.
There can be various reasons for denying it, such as ‘’ ah, but it is not very profitable’’, ‘’I am not ready to quit my job’’, or ‘’ I am not talented enough to make it in this field’’.
If you can relate to these thoughts, you just need to be honest with yourself. It is completely okay if you are not passionate enough about something to forgo your excuses for not pursuing it, but you need to say it like it is. It will help you move on from the thing and free up your mind and time for discovering your true passion.
Finding a passion can be a bumpy ride and may take more time than you first expected, so, take care not to be discouraged. And even if you do get low at times, it is okay as long as you lift yourself back up and get right back to your passion search.
Don’t stop until you have found it—it is truly worth it. There is nothing like getting up every morning excited to go to work. And no matter what the pessimistic voices in your head say, there is no reason you can't have that life too.
Contrary to common belief, you can follow your passion and be pragmatic at the same time. Finding your passion in life is a perfectly practical thing; however, due to the misleading romantic notions attached to it, it is often treated like something that would make your life like an inspiring Hollywood movie.
So be careful and remember that just because you have found your passion, it does not mean you get to be irresponsible or disregard practical considerations to follow it.
Your passion in life is not some special, magical thing finding which raises you above ordinary life. You still need to eat; you cannot pursue your passion on an empty stomach.
It is great to go all in, but if you don't give up everything to pursue your passion but rather do it in a more responsible manner, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are being unfaithful or insincere to your passion. Maybe it just means you are being an adult.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who know what their passion in life is but are held back from pursuing it by financial liabilities. They simply cannot afford to follow their passion. If you are someone like that, consider joining our Synkdup Headhunter Program.
It is a recruitment marketing program that you can join to earn a decent passive income by posting job openings on your social media handles. As a Headhunter, you are provided web links to job openings across the U.S. on your headhunter dashboard. You share these links on your social media accounts and earn a commission of up to $25 per applicant who applies to a job using your link.
You can save your Headhunter payouts and use them to finance chasing your passion. And helping people find employment opportunities can be really rewarding too; who knows, you might turn out to have a passion for helping others.