I used to not know what I’d love to spend myself on, what to contribute to the world, something that I can throw myself into. Raising a family is, no question, the most important thing for me, but doing something that I’m passionate about is something that defines me as a human being.
Not knowing my purpose is the most excruciating feeling. I used to even bug my husband to give me his thought about this, but the truth is, I’m the only one who can find out.
As the nineteenth-century British prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli once said, we are only great when we act from passion.
But how do you find passion? I have 7 ideas:
1. Revisit your childhood.
What did you love to do? Do you love to play Indiana Jones and pretend you’re discovering fossils in the soil? Do you “cook” your favorite dish, or do you love to help Mommy sell her baked goodies?
Reconnecting to your childhood is rekindling your old passion, which might be the key to finding your purpose now that you’re already in adulthood.
Another way of rediscovering your childhood is to answer this simple question: what are your superpowers? The idea behind this question from Yamashita is to “unpack the combination of personality traits and aptitudes you bring effortlessly to any situation.” Figure out your “superpowers” and see how it can translate into something that you’d like to do everyday.
2. Know what makes you excited.
Merriam-Webster could not have said it any better. Passion is “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” It constantly motivates you to move now and to do more. It doesn’t prevent setbacks, but it doesn’t deter you from what you’re doing. Passion is the one thing that separates a vocation from a career; with passion, money becomes secondary.
3. Share the excitement.
Cliché as it sounds, but no man is an island, and a shared passion is the key to its sustainability. By sharing, you help others know their meaning, and they take on the journey together with you. With them, you learn more about your source of passion and become more inspired to press on toward your goals. Join workshops, meet ups or groups. Take that class you are always thinking about. Sharpen your skills and discover more about yourself, together with new friends.
4. Make a list of your role models.
Consider these people as your compass, which points you to the direction you want to be. You don’t need to follow their lives to a T (and certainly there are a few things that you don’t want to emulate ever), but you can learn so much from them: failures, achievements, challenges, solutions, and even traits or values that help them succeed. Analyze them and find out how you can apply what you’ve discovered in your own life, and make them your inspiration to live your passion.
5. Give it a shot.
There’s nothing more painful than not acting on your passion. If it’s really want you to want to do, then it’s always worth every risk. By giving it a shot, you can see if it’s your calling.
But what if it isn’t? Move on to the next! The important thing is you avoid living a life filled with what-ifs and regrets.
6. Take a break from business thinking.
Thinking often about calculated risks will only get you nowhere. Worse, it may only promote fear, which will move you further away from your passion.
While it’s always a good idea to be logical and be smart with your decisions, at the end of the day, all things are uncertain and are risky. But you do many of them anyway because they enrich your life.
7. Never quit trying.
You don’t always get everything you want on first try. However, you’ll also never reach your ultimate destination if you stop seeking your passion today. Besides, delayed rewards are the most gratifying.
Discovering your passion may require a lot work (and money) from your end, but once you found what rocks your world, what keeps you up at night (aside from the baby crying or doing the kid’s project), and what your real calling is, everything will be so worth it. Imagine waking up in the morning with your heart bursting with joy because of what you are about to do and experience, then going to bed ecstatic and fulfilled that you have lived another meaningful day.