How many times have you been told to “just follow your passions”? And how many of those times have you rolled your eyes at the question? It’s a simple enough concept and great advice for those who have always known what their passions and talents are. For the rest of us, however, it takes a little more work to figure out what the heck this ‘passion’ business is all about.
Why is it so important?
It may seem obvious, but spending 40 hours a week at work is a lot of time. It’s enough time to completely shape your emotions and wellbeing, lifestyle, and relationships, to name a few. When this impact is a negative one, it can take time to even realise the extent of its effects. You may start slowly increasing alcohol consumption, getting upset over little things more easily (or just generally being irritable), getting exhausted more easily, or spending less time on the things you love – all symptoms that are hard to notice as they gradually creep up on you, but after time make a huge difference to your quality of life. As we know, finding meaning in work is the most effective way to turn those negative life impacts into positive ones – and linking your work with your passion is a foolproof way to discover and apply that meaning.
Ok great, but I have NO idea what my passion is
There are several ways to gain a clearer understanding of what your passions might be, even if you’re not sure at the moment – and inspiration can come in the strangest ways. Without a doubt, the best way to start is to simply begin exploring. Consider the subjects that comprise most of the books you read or media that you consume. What could you learn about, or talk about, for countless hours without getting bored? Are there any topics that make you rant with enthusiasm? A common obstacle here is “yes, but I can’t make a career out of that. It’s impractical”. Doing some research may yield out-of-the-box options that don’t necessarily follow an obvious path.
Additionally, an impractical passion can become very practical when combined with something you’re good at or experienced in. Somebody whose passion is cooking may not be well suited to a career in a commercial kitchen for a multitude of reasons, but their digital marketing degree could certainly help them open a successful eCommerce store selling cookware and baking accessories. Your current work can also give you clues, even if you’re not finding meaning or fulfilment there. Consider the individual aspects of your role in which you shine – planning and organising, leading, putting your creative ideas into action. How can you run with this aspect of your job and apply it elsewhere?
Don’t be afraid to take a stab in the dark and try something you’ve never thought of before, like learning a new language or sport – and most importantly, approach new endeavours with 100% enthusiasm. Bring the passion to anything you do, and inspiration will present itself in ways that you might not have encountered with a purely analytical approach.
Author: Rise Team