What to do when you haven’t figured out what your passion is yet
a simple 5-step guide
Many of us go through life with a general acceptance of our current fates. The idea of passion is generally cornered off to the realms of Hollywood movies and geeks obsessing over their thing.
You’re just a normal human, with normal interests, doing normal things — like taking care of the kids, going to work, and coming home to Netflix and chill.
In part, you do what’s expected because it’s easy.
Or perhaps you’ve reached an age where the idea of passion itself is for the younger generation and their youthful energy. Somewhere along your journey in life, you lost or spark — or worse, never truly had the opportunity to discover your thing at all.
The idea of passion eventually gets demoted and becomes just another word in your vocabulary, deregulated to the back of your mind because you’ve never had the misfortune to experience it.
The representation of passion is a funny one. In the media, it’s been painted as a deep obsession with something — the kind that ends up being the equivalent of Elon Musk or Steve Jobs.
They are extraordinary in their pursuits, completely focused on their trajectory and extremely talented that no one else can compare against them.
Their passion is their fire — the jet fuel towards moving them from point A to point B.
But that’s just one way to display passion.
The reality is, it doesn’t have to be all flames and burning logs all the time.
Sometimes, passion is a gravitational pull towards a particular thing that can hold your interest, amusement and entertainment for a long time. It is a skill that can be developed, a habit that makes you happy during the pursuit and a certain calmness of desire when things get rough.
Passion is a relationship that you have with yourself and that thing you are passionate about.
How to find your passion
Many of us look at others and think — I don’t have a passion.
We think this because maybe we haven’t experienced our passions yet. Or perhaps we’re in an unaware state towards our passions.
If we take a step back in time, all the way back before we started getting ourselves wrapped in the dreams and systems created by others, we have an unwavering fascination with everything. This is because we were free to think and explore, to experience and to learn. We openly obsess over things — from dinosaurs, to a particular to the way the leaves fell from a tree.
From our curiosity came a desire to figure things out, to obsess in the same way Elon Musk obsessed over rockets and self-driving cars.
In order to find your passion, you need to first free yourself from the limiting thoughts that govern your current reality.
This is because our thoughts and modes of thinking is what got us to where we currently are. You need to hush that little voice inside your head that’s stopping you from trying something new, from pursuing a piece of knowledge or creating that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
The 5-step guide
Sometimes we just need a little guidance on how to discover that spark known as passion. However, you should also be aware that passion isn’t always big and bold. Sometimes, it is a sense of calmness, something that brings on an ability to slip into a deep concentration — or a thing known as flow.
Nevertheless, here is a series of steps to help you get started on finding that thing that can sustain your interest long enough to be intrinsically meaningful.
Step 1: Pick something you’re mediocre at
We often see passion at its peak. No one really sees the in-between phases. Don’t overthink or focus too much on the idea of passion — just pick something you’re mediocre at and start working on upgrading your skills in the area.
It may be video editing. It may be writing. It may be sewing or even public speaking.
Step 2: Fuse it with something you enjoyed at a child
Go back to the basics and return to that thing that managed to hold your interest for hours — something that you could spend days exploring, researching or just doing.
It may be a sport. It may be drawing. It may be learning about the different ways to make something.
Now melt it together with the thing you picked at step 1.
Step 1 is the action that will transfer your interests into something physical.
Step 3: Don’t think about the money
When we talk about passion, we tend to think that we need to find ways to monetize it. That doesn’t have to be the case all the time.
Sometimes, our passions don’t make us any money at all but it gives us a sense of fulfillment because our output as serviced our niche spaces in some way.
Just keep fusing step 1 and 2 together, experimenting with different combinations until you’ve arrived at a happy space.
Step 4: Spider web your way around
But don’t just stop once you’ve mastered the skill in step 1. When you start materializing your passion, you’ll also start to notice the ancillary things that are related to your main spheres.
Over time, you’ll also pick up a wide range of knowledge that’s related to step 1 and 2, extending your boundaries and edges, creating dots and points for you to connect together in the future, resulting in those moments of pure delight as two pieces of ideas and skills finally come together.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat
Passion is always in motion. That is how it keeps itself from being stagnant. So if you’re feeling bored, then perhaps that’s not your true calling. Start again at step 1 until you get stuck at step 4.
Because once you start spidering around a topic, idea or skill, it means that whatever it is has captured your attention long enough for you to upgrade yourself and become an expert at it.
To be passionate is to become an expert at something. It is a habit of learning and improving, a state of calmness and of doing the things you know you need to do with as little mental resistance as possible.
Passion is the thing that drives your thing forward.
The tricky part is figuring out what that thing is.
To discover something, you have to create actions of equal value. That is why step 1 and 2 of the discovery process is vital. It gives you permission to do something, to break out of your current habits and instigate a point of difference in your daily routines — and from this change, you are giving yourself the opportunity to discover your passion and the universe that comes with it.