“If I only knew what I was passionate about then I could figure out the ideal career for me!” Feeling this way is a frustrating place to be. It is hard to find work you are passionate about when you don’t know WHAT you are passionate about. Often we feel numb under frustrating or forced circumstances. Passion is a feeling too, so taking excellent care of yourself is always the first step in allowing yourself to feel it. Down time ensures that you are able to experience those feelings of passion.
The next step to finding your passion is to begin searching for clues. Often this is another place where people get stuck because most people spend inordinate amounts of time discounting their interests. Have you ever said, “I could never make a living doing that!?” When you hear yourself saying that- Stop! Just allow yourself to rediscover interests and find new ones—without worrying whether you can make a living at it. Allow yourself the freedom and time to just explore for a while—don’t rush it.
Finding your passion is like searching for treasure. You have to look for clues. Start by looking around your house. Just walk around noticing the things you love. Do you collect art, make crafts, have loads of books? What catalogs do you have a hard time throwing out? Look around with fresh eyes as if you were a stranger trying to figure out who this person is by looking through her house. Take out a notebook (your clue notebook!) and write down everything you see that tells something about you and what you like. Are you learning some things? Let’s move on with our exploration… What are your all time favorite movies? Why are they your favorites? What are your favorite magazines? One of my clients loved fashion magazines but not for the clothes. She rarely read the articles but instead noticed and admired the way the magazine and photos were laid out. Another client would go straight to the political section of the paper or magazine he was reading. What about you?
Passion is a feeling just like joy, anger or love so notice any strong feelings you have. Notice your feelings about events or things. What news stories really stick in your mind and cause you to be angry, happy or excited? Perhaps you have strong feelings about justice and fairness for others. Maybe you get enthused when you hear about a program empowering women or protecting children. As you find these clues add them to your “clue” book.
I can hear you saying, “I could never make a living using my passion for____.” Don’t be so sure! There are stories after stories of people making a fine living out of using the most obscure passion. Oprah loves to talk, Donald Trump loves to collect real estate, Cesar Millan is passionate about training dogs, I love to get to know people and talk on the phone. A great example of using your passions to create a unique career is Jean Duane. Jean worked as a business consultant. In her personal life she was struggling with allergies to dairy and gluten. She got so tired of the bland, boring food she ended up eating and because cooking was one of her passions she began experimenting with dairy and gluten-free recipes. This led her to start her own business which combined her passions for performing, cooking, teaching, writing and business planning. She created a DVD as well as other products to help people learn how to cook delicious dairy and gluten-free recipes. Making a living doing what you love is not only possible but absolutely doable when you are willing to be creative and play outside the box!
Now it is time for action. Take your list of passions (or possible passions if you are not sure!) and began exploring them. Do this like a child would -just for fun. Get a book to read on your passion, take a class, volunteer. As you experiment you will find out if it is truly a passion of yours or not. Wonderful events will happen when you take action to become involved in your passion. Doors will open and you will see ways to use your passion that you would have never thought of before. Start your treasure hunt today and enjoy the adventure!
I’d love to have you share some of your discoveries here on my blog. What passions have you discovered as you do this exercise? Do you have a wonderful story of how someone turned their passion into a way to make a living? If you do share it here for others to read!
Dance with Joy,
Take the FREE “How to Discover Your Passion-filled Work” e class. For more information go to http://www.passionfilledwork.com