It seems like the pursuit in life is all about figuring out what we are passionate about. It can feel like the purpose behind our life is to figure out what the one thing we want to do forever is. Some of us find it earlier than others. I know people who knew in kindergarten what they wanted to be and were passionate about and are still passionate about.
Some are still waiting to find that one thing they can devote their life to. They have no idea how to find it. Personally, I'm in the second category. I've been pursuing my passion for as long as I can remember. So far, it's stayed ahead of me and I haven't been able to catch up to it long enough to even figure out what it is.
What I’ve Learned So Far
While I’ve been working on this for years, I’ve learned some tricks and have some tips to pass along. My first one is to do something! It doesn’t matter what. Take some time and go out and create experiences. Try things you think you might be interested in. If you’ve read a course list or career guide and came across a title that you were like ‘huh, that could be cool,’ go do that! Learn about it. Get as much information as you can. Study it. Get yourself immersed in it.
My next tip is that finding your passion is overrated. I think, as humans, and especially as creatives, we place too much emphasis on finding the one thing we think we're supposed to be doing for the rest of our lives. I believe that if you find something you enjoy or even are remotely interested in, then keep doing it! It doesn’t need to be something you’re passionate about to the point where if you don’t do it, your life is empty and meaningless. Find hobbies, events, and things you enjoy doing - for the sole purpose of doing them! You don’t have to be fired up and passionate about every single thing you do.
Your passion is something you shouldn’t stop searching for. Even if you grew up knowing exactly what you’re going to do and how, you should continue searching for things you love and actually enjoy doing. There is no way you are only passionate about one single thing for your entire life. Besides, it can help when you need a break to do something else you enjoy. Even if you’re training to become the next Olympian, you still need a break and enjoy something that doesn’t involve a ton of pressure and stress.
Finding a Passion
Check out this article discussing how to go about discovering what you “really” want to do with your professional life. I have found reading articles and actually going through the action steps recommended has helped me find new interests and avenues to pursue. This article from SharpHeels actually helped me create and form a game plan for potential careers I was interested in. Then I could start making informed decisions and if I wanted, start taking some of the beginning steps to move into a few of the career paths.
In the end, it was Boho Berry’s article about making a mission statement that helped point me in a direction that I was most excited about. I’ve talked a lot about crafting a mission statement and this is another time where having one can help guide you in the direction you want most. While I am still working on finding exactly what I’m passionate about, I have a better sense of what types of things I enjoy and what I don’t. Plus, I have an awesome stack of experiences and memories that are not only going to benefit me in any situations I need past help with, I also can now fill my scrapbooks!
My favorite definition and explanation of how to figure out what you’re passionate about is from Psychology for Photographers. Jenika talks about the difference between a hobby and a passion. The definition she gives of the two seem like common sense and something we should know, but it was something that spoke to me - loudly.
As Jenika mentions, a hobby is “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.” A passion, in older English, meant suffering and therefore is something you are overwhelmingly devoted to and, some might say, obsessed with. A passion is something you’re willing to suffer for to keep doing. It’s something you’ll take a hit on in terms of finances, time, or relationships just to be able to keep doing whatever it is you want.
If you’re anything like me, which I’m sensing you are since you’re reading this post, you have a list of potential things that you’re super interested in and can’t seem to get rid of. My list includes blogging, writing, studying Ancient Egypt, studying small business practices - social media, blogging practices, email marketing, and so on, crafting, dancing, and more! It seems like as soon as I settle on one thing, something else comes along and catches my fancy.
If you look at my Pinterest boards, it is reflected a bit through what pins are being shared that week from me. There are times where all I do is share pins about improving my writing skills and making my writing a business and then it changes into the event planning business, then into pins on marketing and social media. You get the idea. I know I’ve talked to some of you who go through the same thing!
I have chosen this time in my life to focus on my business/blog, while continuing to learn about all of the other hobbies I am interested in. I am hoping to figure out which one I am passionate about soon. In the meantime, here is a list of hobbies that you may have. Hopefully, it can help you start to figure out what you’re passionate about.
All in all, you need to enjoy your life. Don’t spend all of your time worrying that you don’t have one thing you’re passionate about. Don’t fret that you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Focus on having fun and enjoying experiences. Take trips, try new activities, meet new people, and live your life.