3 Steps to Help You Discover and Activate Your Passion
“Follow your passion” is common advice. Yet passion is often mistaken for something we should inherently know, or for some great mystery that lies inside of us just waiting to be discovered.
Discovering your passion is not always a simple pursuit. There can be a lot of confusion around the idea of doing what you love and pursuing your passion. So how can you discover your what you love to do – and once discovered, is it possible to turn it into a profitable living?
What’s My Passion?
So many people are hard-pressed to answer that question. Most of us have multiple interests and hobbies, and we like our jobs for the most part. How do you know if any of these are your passion? Here are a few pointers to help demystify the process.
- Your passion might not be what you’re currently doing for a living. We spend a good 1/3 of our lives at work. All that focus can make you feel like your job should be your passion. Even if you have a career you're happy with, it may not be your passion or something you want to do long-term.
- Don’t think about your passion from a monetary perspective – yet. Being preoccupied with earning potential can lead you to limit your options and you may exclude the one thing you’re most passionate about. Once you discover your top interests, make a list and choose the top two or three that appeal to you.
- Be open to possibilities – including things you’ve never thought of before. Don't rush to judgement when looking for the things that bring you the most joy. By closing off options, you may be blocking the path to something truly revolutionary in your life without even knowing it.
- Look for patterns. What do you love to read about, search for online, listen to in podcasts and audiobooks, and what topics can you not stop talking about to others? Look for the commonalities in these topics. This is a great insight into where your passion lies.
- Broaden your perspective. Most of us are multi-passionate; don’t limit yourself to just one interest if you’re torn between multiple options.
Activate Your Passion
- Research your interests by checking out Pinterest and your social media feeds, read articles and browse websites that feature the things that call to you.
- Commit to trying different things versus just thinking about them: The best way to determine if something is truly a passion versus just a passing fad is to actually do the thing that interests you. Does it live up to your expectations? Do you find yourself getting bored after a few days or weeks? Is it something you want to develop further as a committed focus or just dabble in?
- Create a plan and put it on the calendar: Set aside dedicated time to focus on your interests. Schedule it on the calendar to ensure you allow yourself adequate time every week to engage with your passion.
- Practice to develop excellence: Malcolm Gladwell theorizes that it takes 10,000 hours to develop full mastery of any subject. When you first start focusing on your passion, you may be a beginner – the good news is that every expert was once a beginner. Don’t get frustrated or compare yourself to those who have already mastered their journey. Move at your pace and blaze your own trail.
Should You Monetize Your Passion or Keep it as a Hobby?
- First things first: Ask yourself whether you’re doing this for the sheer love of it, or if this is a passion that you want to turn into a monetized venture. There’s no wrong answer – it’s a matter of deciding whether you prefer a hobby vs. a side-hustle or business opportunity.
- If you feel that monetizing your passion will take the fun out of it, you may opt to stick with your passion as a hobby that you engage in for your personal enjoyment
- If you decide to take the business route, dive deeper and explore how you can turn your passion into a profitable venture. Here’s the scoop – you can monetize just about anything. (Teach a skill like crochet, sell your art and teach others how to create, or as a writer/poet - create a cooperative/membership group).
- What’s the ideal combination of head and heart needed to make it work? Doing what you love and making money at it requires both having your heart in the game, as well as using logic and sound business practices for long-term success and sustained motivation.
- Find others who have successfully built a business based on the topic you’re passionate about and discover what has worked for them. Success leaves clues and you don’t need to start from scratch when monetizing your passion. Research your peers in the industry and understand their offerings, audience and best practices.
Following your passion is an ongoing journey, rather than a one-and-done discovery. Your passions will change and evolve along the way. There will be times when a certain passion no longer calls to you, but another will arise to take its place. Be open to exploring the possibilities that each turn along the path brings.
Start your exploration by using the steps above to begin discovering your passions. Once you find the interests that call to you, expand your exploration and – don’t forget to enjoy the journey.
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