Still one of the most consistent questions I get in my practice is: Can you help me find my passion?
“Find my passion” is such a misnomer. We don’t ever find passion as if it were ever lost, instead, we evolve into it.
The other misconception is that we’ll finally be motivated once we figure it out.
Yet, if we sit around waiting for motivation to blow in through the curtains, we may just be sitting a long ass time.
I like Mastin Kipp’s quote: When you get courage, you gain clarity.
I had no idea that personal development would be my passion, although looking back it seems obvious. I’ve been a coach and teacher my entire life in some realm. Hindsight is always 20/20.
What the hell do they mean?
Nothing is lost when you invest in yourself.
After reading about Leonardo Da Vinci years ago I took up Italian and bought myself a bongo–two things prior that seemed like a total waste of time. This past year I even got a new skateboard and a pair of ice skates. For me, play is creativity–I get some of my best ideas in motion.
Last year I took storytelling classes and improv. Skills I attribute to bettering communication all around.
You can read books, take online/in person courses, you can even switch jobs, or pick up a part-time or intern position in your off-time.
There is really very little excuse in the era of Youtube and online tools and apps not to explore everything within your reach.
We can even begin to follow people (not stalk, ehemm… just peruse the life of, if you will) in positions we imagine we’d like to hold. What does their day-to-day look like? How long did it take for them to get where they are? What schooling/training did it take?
We often glorify positions without ever knowing what a day in the life looks like: lawyer, doctor, financial specialist, etc. All of which sound awful to me, partly because I know the hours/schedule expected climbing the ladder of these fields. And that’s just not my jam!
Still research can only go so far without action. Passion requires action. We must get our hands dirty to have that very important visceral response. We can feel ourselves leaning in, we feel that flutter of lust, we feel the confusion of fear and excitement (not unlike that of romance).
The biggest misconception about passion is that it’s outside of you somewhere. In all the books I’ve read, podcasts/audiobooks I’ve listened to, TEDs I’ve watched, Kung Fu Panda, the answer is always the same: look deeper within.
If we are most honest with ourselves, we (at the very least) know the next right step, and that’s absolutely all you need.
Who knows where it will lead you?
I started a creatives website in 2010 that ultimately failed, but got me into performance poetry, which led me to storytelling and speaking, and then I wrote my book which got me back into coaching and training.
I had no idea what I was doing (except the next right step for what I was capable of processing at the time).
I love this Harvard commencement speech by Natalie Portman–thank you, Nicole–where she blames her shortcomings and ignorance for all her success. Had she known how hard it would be, she may have never tried.
I could say that for many things now: my failed website, my book, my company, but I wouldn’t trade the experiences for the knowledge I have now.
If you’re anything like I was, crying about your passion, just start doing. Sometimes the best guide is learning what you don’t like first.
Remember, no effort is lost. We are explorers after all.
You have no right to remain bored!
I leave you with this: What’s one thing you grew to love that you had no idea you’d enjoy until you began? Anything?