What does dating and finding your passion have in common?
A LOT, you might think.
But, that’s not the kind of passion I’m talking about here… LOL
I’m talking about passion — the kind of which you can form a career or calling around.
Did you know that 80% of everyone can’t identify a passion*? So if you’re currently feeling like you have no passions that you can connect to a profession — you’re definitely not alone. (Phew, right?)
Strangely, discovering your passion has a lot of similarities with dating. Maybe you’re currently in the dating game. Or maybe it’s been a while since your single days. Either case, you’re probably familiar with the ups and down of it?
You might spend one date with someone you’d prefer to run as faaar away from as possible. And then another with someone you can’t stop talking to, fantasizing about or admire from head to toe. (Ah!)
So, what does dating have in common with finding your passion? Here are three key things.
1. You collect clues. When you date, or when you try to figure our what makes you tick, you collect clues. By going on dates with different kinds of people and by trying different things such as writing, dancing, yoga, psychology, sailing, tantra, movie-making, art and so on — you gain clues to what you like. I’m not talking about big, life-altering clues here that will show up in one KABOOM. I’m talking about small things that makes you light up. When I started to develop a passion for the dance bachata, one of my first clues was that I liked moving my hips to Romeo Santos ‘Propuesta Indecente’. I struggled with the moves, but moving my hips just felt sooo good!
2. You gain clarity. Have you ever experienced a really bad date? You don’t know whether to cry or laugh about it. (If you haven’t, trust me when I say that they exist). Anyways! My point is this: out of contrast comes clarity. When you experience what you don’t like, you get more clear about what you DO like. If a client or person is being rude to you, then you know you prefer to be surrounded by nicer people. If you work with excel but struggle with the details, you know you probably like working on a more strategic level, or that you like a different kind of creativity. The key here isn’t to keep your eyes focused on what you don’t like — but to instantly turn that into an insight about what you do like. To turn frustration into wisdom.
3. You get to build something up. A passion isn’t something you one day discover out of nowhere. It won’t come falling down from the sky, while the angels sing together in one big “hallelujah” moment. (Spoiler alert: this is what I used to believe). Instead, a passion is something you work into. It builds over time, just like a long-term relationship. Every date won’t be extraordinary, same goes for the activity you feel a bit curious about. As I started practicing bachata, I had some really shitty days on the dance floor. Days where I stepped on other people’s feet, or where I face punched my dance partner in the middle of a move. (By accident, promise.) This isn’t where you stop trying or give up — this is where you unplug for some time and then come back to practice your craft.
“It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness.” — Sheryl Sandberg
If you’re serious about finding your passions and discovering the work you’re “meant to do”, then sign up for a free discovery call.
PS. Show your teeth. Now bring the corner of your mouth up towards the sky. Oh la la! :)
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Photo by Brooke Winters