What’s your passion and purpose?

 

It sounds like a question for a beauty pageant, doesn’t it?

 

But seriously, if someone would ask you this question, what will you answer?

 

 

via GIPHY

 

If you can’t answer right now, don’t worry! You’re not the only one.

 

Up to 40% of adults today are clueless about what’s their passion and purpose. Sadly, many would go to their grave not realizing it.

 

It’s no wonder why Les Brown said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth.”

 

The fact that you’re reading this means tells me you’re someone who wants to not only find your passion and purpose in life but live it out.

 

That’s why in today’s article, I’ll be sharing with you 7 ways on how you can find your passion and purpose in life.

 

But first…

 

Why Is It Important to Find Your Passion and Purpose?

 

In his book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek explains that “the ability to put a WHY into words provides the emotional context for decisions.”

 

When you know your passion and purpose, you can make better decisions in your professional and personal lives. This is perhaps why many young people today consider finding their passion their number one priority in life.

The ability to put a WHY into words provides the emotional context for decisions. – Simon Sinek #StartWithWhy Click To Tweet

It also energizes you, making you feel that you can do whatever you need to do, no matter how challenging it may be. In fact, in a study published by the Annals of Behavioural Medicine, being able to find your passion helps you reduce your stress levels by 34% while increases feelings of happiness by 18%.

 

It’s Easier Said Than Done

 

Ironically, finding your passion and purpose can be one of the most challenging things you’ll face during your life. In fact, many people would spend their entire lives searching for their passion and purpose but never find it.

 

Worse, those that do aren’t able to live it out.

 

What I’ve discovered in my own personal journey of trying to find my passion and purpose in life is that there are two reasons why it’s so challenging to discover your passion and purpose.

 

Our Family

 

During a brief conversation I had with one of my godchildren some months back, the topic of college came up.

 

“So, what course will you be taking for college?” I asked.

 

“Maritime studies,” he answered. “I’m going to be a seaman.”

 

It wasn’t a bad career. In fact, I know lots of people that enjoy successful lives as a result of being seamen. What struck me was the way how he answered my question.

 

Instead of looking at me with eyes glistening with pride and sounding very excited and energetic about it, he looked at his shoes and mumbled his words. There was also a tinge of sadness in his voice.

 

That prompted me to ask him, “Is that what you really want?”

 

There was a long pause before he finally mumbled the word yes, which was then followed by these words: “That’s what my father does and what he and my mom wants for me.”

 

No wonder why he was apprehensive.

 

Growing up, we know that our parents always want the best for us. That includes us being able to live comfortable lives. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they would have a say in what career path you’ll take, especially if they’re the ones going to be paying for your tuition.

 

The problem arises when the children have another career path in mind, but their parents still persist in taking the course they chose for them.

 

In situations like this, rarely do the parents ever lose the fight. These kids find themselves now pursuing a degree they never wanted. As a result, they would grow to resent their parents for putting them in this situation. Every time they would find themselves struggling, they would blame this on their parents and not learn to be accountable for their decisions.

 

At other times, these children would develop a mindset that their opinions, dreams, and passion don’t matter. So, they begin to suppress everything.

 

Cultural Stereotypes

 

The society where you grew up can also hinder you from finding your passion and purpose.

 

Despite clamors for equality happening left and right, there are still many parts of the world where stereotypical roles and behaviors still reign supreme and are expected to be followed.

 

For those whose dreams and desires mean that they’ll have to go against the status quo, they’re in for a fight. At the very least, you can be labeled as a “rebel” or “weird.” At worst, you’ll be alienated by society, including those that are closest to you.

 

So, How Do You Find Your Passion and Purpose?

 

1. Do Morning Pages

 

 

Morning Pages is a practice coined by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, which involves doing longhand, stream of consciousness writing (translation: writing whatever you think about) for three whole pages.

 

What makes this writing practice unique is that it should be done immediately after you wake up.

 

Yes, I know that writing isn’t the first thing you’d want to do after getting out of bed. After all, your brain hasn’t booted up yet. But that’s what makes this so powerful in helping you find your passion and purpose.

 

By dumping every single thing that you think of the moment you think of it, you’re not only clearing your mind but also tapping into your subconscious. For many, this is where your suppressed desires and passion are hidden.

 

Another reason why this is so helpful in uncovering your passion and purpose in life is because it’s a “for-your-eyes-only” type of writing. That means you don’t have to worry about whether your sentences make any sense, if your words will offend anyone, or if it’s neat and legible. It’s your safe space to be you and to express whatever your feeling.

 

2. Revisit Your Childhood

 

woman reminiscing childhood

 

When we were kids, we’d spend hours dreaming and pretending who we wanted to be when we grew up. But then, life happened.

 

We were taught to grow up and act our age.

 

Over time, we’ve learned to set aside our dream jobs for something practical, acceptable, and safe.

 

And even after taking that route, life didn’t turn out as great as we’d hoped. We’d made some bad decisions scar us and leave us feeling unsure of ourselves.

 

The good news is that it’s not too late.

 

As long as you got breath in you, you can still live out your dream job as a child.

 

Take it from these people:

 

Anthony Bourdain was 50 when he became an award-winning travel show host.

 

Vera Wang didn’t start her fashion line until she was 40.

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book at the age of 65. That was also the same age when Colonel Harland David Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken.

 

And then, there’s Grandma Moses, who started painting at the young age of 76.

 

Sure, it’s not going to be easy. But that’s the beauty when you find and reconnect with your passion: It’s going to give you the energy and resilience to make it happen.

As long as you got breath in you, you can still live out your dream job as a child. #NeverTooLate Click To Tweet

3. Be Willing to Try New Things

 

woman trying something new

 

Like most kids, I was quite a fussy eater. Whenever I would decline a dish that wasn’t familiar to me, my dad would always ask me: “Why? Have you already tried it?”

 

Of course, I’d answer, “No.” To which he’d reply, “Why don’t you try it? You won’t know if you don’t like it if you don’t try.”

 

I heard him ask me that question so many times that I’d still hear him asking this question in my head whenever I’ll be hesitating about trying something new.

 

Did I like everything he got me to try? No.

 

But if it weren’t for him challenging me with this question, I wouldn’t have rediscovered my passion for writing, much less make this into a career.

 

Trying new things can be scary because it’s something you’ve never done before. There’s always the possibility that it wouldn’t work out.

 

And you’re right.

 

But then again, there’s also the chance that you’d like it and it would turn out great for you.

 

The only way you’ll know is if you step out and give it a try.

 

4. Ask People You Trust

 

girl talk

 

Your friends, coworkers, and family see things that you may not be aware of. Asking them for their input can help you uncover your strengths and what you could be passionate about.

 

I’d want to emphasize here to make sure that the people you ask are those you can trust to tell you who you really are and not who they want you to be.

 

This is crucial because some people will take this opportunity to put their expectations on you. As a result, you end up getting molded into who they want you to be instead of who you really are.

 

At the same time, make sure that you prepare yourself for whatever answer they’d tell you.

 

That’s because it can be painful to hear someone tell you something contrary to what you believe. It can even make you so defensive that you shut out whatever feedback they tell you.

 

But if you want to find your passion and purpose in life, you need to suck it up and listen to what they have to say. Then, take some time to reflect and ponder on it. If you really believe in your gut that they’re wrong, just put their feedback on the shelf. If these people genuinely wanted to help you out, they’d understand.

 

5. Consider Topics That Strike a Nerve

 

lgbt rights

 

Another way to discover your passion and purpose in life is to look back and reflect on topics and issues that bother you.

 

These issues trigger what’s called inequity aversion. This is the angry feeling you experience because something is happening that’s entirely against what you consider to be normal.

 

For example, normal to you is for women to be respected and loved for who they are. So, when you encounter a woman sharing the harrowing tale of how she was bullied in high school because she was gay, you feel anger starting to brew inside you.

 

Or perhaps you find yourself crying as you see a video of people desperately trying to save a dolphin tangled with discarded fishing lines and other pieces of garbage.

 

Instead of bottling these emotions up or simply sharing your thoughts and opinions with your friends, channel these feelings to action by joining causes established to address these social issues.

 

6. Check Out Your Netflix and Youtube Feeds

 

woman watching netflix

 

Part of finding your passion and purpose is knowing the things that interest you. And what better place to find out what these are than on your Netflix and Youtube feeds.

 

Both Netflix and Youtube use algorithms that take note of the types of videos you watch. That’s how they make sure that the videos and movies they recommend are those that will be interesting to you, so you can keep on watching.

 

That’s also why you and your spouse, best friend, or sibling would have different videos and movies populating your feeds.

 

7. Identify the Things You’re Good At

 

While researching for this article, I found a video by Cal Newport where he taught that following your passion is wrong.

 

Admittedly, I was stunned when I watched the video. So much so, I second-guessed myself on whether or not I should even publish this article.

 

But as I watched the video, I breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn’t off track, especially when he mentioned the second reason why he said that following your passion is wrong:

 

That’s why if you noticed up, I’ve always mentioned passion and purpose together.

 

That’s because passion and purpose are interlinked. Simply knowing your passion isn’t enough. You also need to make sure that you’ve got the skills to make it happen.

 

Unfortunately, this is where many people who try to follow their passion get it wrong. Yes, they could be passionate about a whole of things. But sadly, they don’t have the skills or talents needed to transform this passion into a career or business.

 

Here are three questions to ask so you can find out what are you genuinely good at:

 

  • What are things you find easy to do that others struggle with?
  • What advice do people ask you for?
  • What are the reasons people come to you for help?

 

Mind you, talents and gifts aren’t just limited to the arts and being creative.

 

Take Marie Kondo, for example. At the age of 19, she worked as a professional tidier in Japan. I think you’d agree that’s hardly what many would consider (in the conventional sense) a talent or gift.

 

But she loved it and enjoyed doing it for others. Today, she’s a bestselling author and has her own show on Netflix. Now, every time you come across a Youtube video or blog post on organizing stuff, you can be sure that her name will come up.

 

Finding Your Passion and Purpose is a Journey

 

Even if you follow the tips I shared here, don’t expect that you’ll find your passion and purpose immediately.

 

It’s also possible your passion and purpose can change a decade or two from now.

 

That’s because you’re growing and evolving.

 

Don’t rush. Enjoy the journey. Soon, you’ll get there.

 

Now, Over to You!

 

Have you found your passion and purpose? If so, share it in the comments below.

 

If not, what’s one thing you’ll do today so that you can start your journey of discovering your life’s passion and purpose? Share it in the comments also below.

 

 

Sign up here to get the latest tips, updates, and loads of other stuff I don’t share anywhere else.

 

 





Source link