What If I Can't Find My Passion In Life? 30 Things To Be Exercise + 8 Tactics
Last Saturday we had our first social distance outdoor bbq, bringing close friends together not seen in person for over two and a half months. Video conferencing is an amazing tool, but will never replace the live, spontaneous one on one discussions formed sitting outside with friends at a bbq, where you talk about anything, nothing, or one of the most important concepts in life - discovering your passion.
One such discussion on finding your passion in life caught my attention...
"You're lucky you found your passion, we wish we felt as passionate about something in life as you do for your writing and your content," a friend said as he sat holding his partners hand.
Those five words "finding your passion in life" became stuck inside my head as the night progress. I'd heard them from a good friend in Edmonton as well, and again from another friend via text just a few weeks ago.
So the question was, how do you find your passion in life?
How do you find your passion in life?
I realized in developing the content for The-Inspired, I'd overlooked this incredibly important topic. With over a 120 articles and counting, I hadn't specifically covered tools or tactics to help you find your passion.
After all, this website was designed to help you reach your goals, and surely that also meant finding your passion in life first.
So I went back to my research to find a place to start. I knew right where to go.
So that's what this article is all about. Today I'll provide tactics and an exercise that will help you find your passion in life. No small thing, but worth a try.
And it starts with a story.
My Story, and How I Rediscovered My Passion in Life
In 2017 I finally decided it was time to put the authentic me first. I resigned from my corporate job to begin working on Goran 2.0. This would begin a 10 month journey into who I really was and what I really wanted out of this life.
I was burnt out from 12 consecutive years of fast paced, high intensity, business grind. I'd poured my heart and soul into my work and didn't feel the return. What I was building wasn't mine. And it didn't align to who I fully was.
From the never ending projects, meetings, politics, deadlines and from the constant push of moving someone else's vision forward, I knew I needed not just a break, but a new focus.
I loved the people on my team, but I was tried of working on someone else's dream. I knew it was time I started working on mine.
So I put a plan in place to take time off and let my journey begin. And that's when the problem started.
You see I had seven major goals, seven big things I wanted to be.
Seven. That was too many.
A friend heard this and he knew it was too much. He told me. I knew it too, but for some reason I needed to try them all, and in reality, it was the best decision I made.
The reason is, after starting on seven big goals, I realized that five of the seven were ideas born of the wrong reason. Five of the seven had nothing to do with my passion in life.
Those five ideas, I wasn't doing for me, I was for my ego. But as obvious as it might be for an outsider looking in, you just never know until you try.
Finding Your Passion: Tactic 1 - Experience Building Your Passion
You'll need to literally start working on things you believe you're passionate about to see the truth. Schedule in the time, the hours, the days, the long nights, the missed appointments or postponed meetings with friends, because you put your passion first.
I needed to go through the process of trying all seven major goals out until I realized how unhappy and unsatisfied some of those goals made me.
But cutting out the excess fat around perceived dreams, you'll see the true ones.
After two months I realized what I really wanted to be and do.
I realized my life's passion through experience.
Finding Your Passion: Tactic 2 - How You'll Know For Sure?
You'll know you've found your passion in life when optimized experience kicks in. When you experience and discover yourself in Flow. In other words, when you spend time doing something that gives you some or all of these:
a. Aligns with your talents and puts your creativity into action,
b. Creates anticipatory enthusiasm, an excitement to get started on your activity
c. Unleashes a deep desire towards success in learning, doing, creating, or mastering,
d. Challenges you in mind, body and spirit.
e. Brings inner peace, a strong sense of satisfaction during the process and after
f. That you do truly for you, and no one else,
g. Causes time to stand still. Hours pass because you are so fully immersed inside the activity
This, whatever it is that does this for you - is your passion in life.
For me, my biggest passion is writing. When I write, time stops. Hours go by. I'll look at the clock and it will say 730am and then I'll look again and it will be 9am and it will feel only as if minutes passed. But this only happens when I'm fully immersed in the experience.
Writing an email does not give me flow. But writing high quality content that moves the spirit, touches the soul, sparks emotion, and inspires the reader, does. That's when I know I'm experiencing my life's passion in action.
But what if you're not sure exactly what you want to do or be?
How to Find your Passion in Life: Tactic 3 - 30 Things You Want to Be, Do or Have: Inspired Tools & Tactics
Finding your passion in life is not as easy as it sounds, but one fantastically under utilized exercise will get you started. In Jack Canfield's book "Success Principles" he covers one such approach which works as follows:
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 1: Write down 30 things you either want to Be, Do or Have in Life. Also include things you love to do.
Note: I've altered Jack Canfield's approach slightly, as he asks you to write a list that is a list of 20 for each Be, Do, and Have and also Love to Do's. Personally I think writing these out all separately is too much to ask, and reducing the free flow process of it all. You'll understand if you try that approach.
Instead get your journal or notepad out and try this - list your own 30 things you want to be, do or have in life, including things you'd love to do. Here's an example that might help:
Examples of a List of Be, Do, Have's, or Love to Dos
1. I'd love to learn how to scuba dive in a warm tropical place like Hawaii.
2. I want to be a school teacher for age's 5-10.
3. I want to have my own home, mortgage free.
4. I want to be financially independent.
5. I'd love to learn how to be a guitar player, and play in a band.
6. I want to change careers from Call Centre to Quality Assurance Analyst.
7. I want to be a professional yoga instructor on youtube.
8. I'd love to be a part time or full time volunteer for the youth, elderly, homeless or those with special needs.
9. I want to be a restaurant owner.
10. I want to start painting or drawing as a hobby.
11. I want to become an online entrepreneur, helping people master how to play certain video games on youtube.
12. I want to master machine learning so I can get a job in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
13. I want to go to university so I can learn how to think for myself or get a job in a specific field.
14. I'd love to do more hiking, running, biking, tennis, yoga, weight lifting or exercise in general so I can feel better and improve my health.
15. I'd love to learn how to become a great cook or Chef.
16. I want to become a real estate developer, or agent, or buy, renovate and flip homes
17. I want to retire early so I can spend more time with my family.
18. I want to travel to 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 countries in the world before I die.
19. I want to become an online meditation instructor on youtube because I want people to learn how to live a more centre, peaceful life.
20. I want to move out of my country to another place with more opportunities.
21. I want to become a professional landscaper from upscale homes.
22. I want to run my own Karate or Kick Boxing or Boxing studio to help under privileged youth find a outlet and community outside of the streets.
23. I want to become President of the United States of America.
24. I want to become a Hockey Player in the NHL.
25. I want to become a Professional Soccer Coach.
27. I want to become a Wim Hof or Holotropic Breath work Facilitator or Instructor.
28. I want to volunteer in politics to help give back to my community on ideas that I'm passionate about.
29. I want to become a Nurse or Doctor or Dentist.
30. I want to help the world find a cure for COVID-19.
I could go on, but the above are all just examples of potential Be's, Do's, Have's or Love to Do's that might include some things you've had on your mind.
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 2: Narrow the List. Now - the hard part, if you're truly looking for a passion in your life, take the items out that are the 'BE's and list your top 3, 2 or 1. Do they compliment each other? Can they work along side the other? If you want to be a Nurse, but also want to become a professional Soccer Coach, well, anything is possible, but the odds will be stacked against you, as per the lesson I learned above with my list of 7 big goals.
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 3 "BE" Breakdown. If the 'BE' you found was too general, break it down into something more specific. If you want to become a Nurse, think about the grades you'll need in school, think about the university you'll want to attend, and think about the money you'll need to save or also have to help pay for it. Those become part of your goal breakdowns that we cover at The-Inspired under Goal Setting.
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 4 Prioritize and Share. If you have a top 3, are you certain of the order? If so great, if not re-prioritize. Share your list with a close friend, ask them what they think. Sometimes close friends will know something about you that was missed off your list.
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 5: Get Started. Don't worry about having a perfect plan of action yet, but start working on your potential passion streams. I'd recommend at least a few weeks of going at it to see how you're doing or feeling. You may know sooner, or you may need more time, that I leave to you.
IMPORTANT: No 1 should get more time and energy than no 2 and so on.
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 6: Weekly Evaluation. Sundays for me are my favourite day to evaluate my progress. Mondays work too. I'd recommend sometime near the front end of a week which will tell you how you're doing, and what you might need to adjust for the week ahead.
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 7: Adjust Your Approach: Don't be afraid to remove or add something to your list if you're feeling what you decided on isn't working. You'll know what feels right. Another way to look at it -if one item is taking all your time, but you know it's not as important as some of your other goals, reduce it, or remove it. See Step 5 above.
Passion in Life Tactic: Step 8: Keep going to build the habit: In two to three weeks you'll have formed the incredible new habit of working towards your goals. So keep going until scheduling in your passion for life is part of your regular week. This also means taking other things out of your schedule that interfere with your new passion driven habits.
i.e. staying up late, drinking too much alcohol, snacking on foods that give you a bad nights sleep (high sugar, low fiber), not prioritizing sleep etc.
The Next Step is Yours to Make...
"He who says he can, and he who says he can not, are both usually right."
Remember to live well and live fully. Appreciate each moment. If you are still looking for your passion don't give up to find it.
Ultimately, it is you who decides what and who you want to be in this life.
Thanks for reading and I hope that helped someone out there. Until next time stay strong, stay healthy and thrive.
Finding your Life's Passion
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About the author - Goran Yerkovich is the founder of The-Inspired.com, an online magazine designed to help readers reach their personal goals. The-Inspired includes some of the best tools, tactics, and habits from the greatest minds of today and yesterday. Goran lives in the greater Vancouver area with his wife and two cats Kimchi and Kauai.