Finding your passion

Passion, and how to find it… This topic has been written about, talked about and advised on in so many articles and posts and conversations. To the extent that it almost feels cheesy to look at the title of this post. Only its not. Its one of the most important things one could do for herself. Why? For the simple reason that it makes us enjoy what we do on a daily basis and we naturally want to do more of what we enjoy. Thats what will get us to think bigger, to aim higher, and to reach new heights. And with that, good things are going to happen. And most importantly, these feelings of fun and enjoyment and self-fulfillment and passion are what we will remember going into old age. Thats what will matter at the end — how this made us feel.

Most of us probably go through life never finding what that is. Not because we dont want to or because we dont try. But probably because we dont try hard enough. And unless luck is on our side, we do have to try really hard. Imagine a world where everyone just magically knew what makes them awesome and unique and they would share it with the world. That would mean the perfect balance of productivity, enjoyment, self-fulfillment and lots of other good things. That would be an equilibrium. But life is not an equilibrium, its a flow, and one has to find the streams that make her go faster and as importantly the ones that make her go slower. Nothing is good or bad but by comparison.

So how does one do it? How do you try really hard and find it, find THE passion? Well, unfortunately (or fortunately?) I dont think there is a secret recipe to follow, but instead its a framework to apply. If a recipe did exist, we would probably all live in a world of equilibrium :). The framework is simple — it consists of only two steps: (1) Ask yourself how much do you really want this and how much time and effort are you willing to spend on it. No pain no gain. People usually try really hard when they feel like they dont have a choice or rather dont have a good enough alternative. Ask yourself, do you? (2) Engage in trial and error. You cant find your passion by reading books, doing self-assessment tests and talking to people. I mean, you can find ideas and you should do all these things. But the most important thing is to actually go and try it out. Its usually not easy and one has to find opportunities and make time for those in our busy schedule or in some cases even make some risky bets and just make the change. But thats where step (1) comes in — how bad do you really want it? And what are you willing to sacrifice to be doing what you love longer term?

When you try things out, observe yourself — did this activity make you feel more energetic and wanting to do more of it? Or was it hard and draining even though you excelled? You want to not just find things you are good at, you want to find things that make you feel excited and passionate and energetic, things you cant wait to do more of. Things that make you feel alive.

And lastly, when you find what you love doing, dont be absolute and expect to do that and only that 100% of the time for the rest of your life. Find something where doing what you love is a crucial component of that job. And remember that we live in a fast changing world and that means we have to adapt fast as well. What you love doing today may change tomorrow and thats OK. As long as you know how to find what you love and make the effort to find it, passion will be by your side. And you might even enjoy the process of searching.