What are you passionate about?
I asked this question in my last post about life, death and passion.
Amidst the responses here and in my inbox from people who knew what they loved and wanted, were some who didn’t.
I don’t believe there’s a single person on Earth who ISN’T passionate, who didn’t have a dream growing up.
But somewhere along the line, you lost sight.
Except, you didn’t really.
Something that scared you into hiding your dreams deep inside, safe from the world, from anyone who might crush them before they’ve had a chance to come true.
- Maybe you got laughed at or told to grow up
- Maybe you went after something you wanted and failed, so gave up
- Maybe you do know what you want but are too afraid to say it out loud
- Or they seem too small / big / silly / outrageous / normal
- Maybe you hide them because you want something you think you shouldn’t
A major reason you can get stuck answering this question is thinking that you need to have one answer for this.
Find that one overriding passion you can dedicate your life to, to find your ‘purpose’ in life.
Being a multipassionate person, it’s no wonder you struggle with this!
Because you’re looking for THE passion.
Which mostly doesn’t exist.
Life isn’t always about finding the ‘ultimate’ passion, it could be about living out all of them in varying degrees. Choosing what feels good, what feels resonant with you. Deciding what you want to experience next.
Like I said in that post about passion – the happiest people in the world are those who have a goal/dream and are making progress towards it.
Why is this so important?
Because a life without dreams, a life without passion is half a life. It leads to regrets and sadness. And btw, when I say passion I don’t just mean things like social activism or jumping out of planes – it could be something as ‘simple’ as reading or walking!
Your passions are very personal and unique to you, even if others share the same passions cos how you interpret them and bring them into your life is something only you can do.
Oh and your dreams, your desires are 10000% valid JUST because you have them. You do NOT have to defend them to anyone, or feel guilty about wanting what you want, k?
There’s no time like the present to get started. So here are 5 ways to help you find, own and live your passionate life out loud.
1) Ask the right questions:
- What makes you smile?
- What makes you lose time?
- What comes naturally to you?
- What can’t you stop talking about?
- What are you really awesome at doing?
- If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
- What would you do for free because you love it so much?
- If you had 12 months to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now?
Yeah but … thoughts are starting to pop up, aren’t they? Listen, just for now, ignore the voice that says ‘this is impractical’ or ‘this will never happen’. Send it out for a walk.
Then grab a journal or piece of paper and start answering these questions. Give yourself a chunk of time or a few minutes of ‘fantasy’ time a day to do this. That’s how you let go of the practicalities for the moment. No BUTS allowed.
2) Think about a time when you felt the happiest & most alive!
Describe the scene. What was happening? Who were you with? What were you doing? What was being said about / to you? How were you feeling? What did you love about that moment?
Eg: A time I felt really alive was when I was in Delhi with my friends and we all jumped into a car in the middle of the night and drove into the city to get ice-cream at India Gate. We’d been hanging out at a friend’s place laughing and talking and someone suggested we go for a joyride. It was so spontaneous and fun, we laughed ALL the way, sang songs in the car and ribbed each other. I felt completely fulfilled, joyous, connected.
From this I get that I am passionate about fun, community and connection and any work that I do has to have these elements in them for me to feel truly alive and living my dream.
I’m also really happy when I am sipping hot chocolate and reading a book by the window as it rains and thunders outside. What I love about that is how mysterious and beautiful it seems from my cosy warm home.
This shows me that learning, nature and alone time is also important to me. So my ideal life must somehow incorporate these as well.
3) Go into your childhood
As a child you knew exactly what you wanted. Those weren’t just flights of fancy, they are real clues to finding your passion. If you don’t remember, ask your mom.
If you wanted to be an astronaut, what about it fascinated you? What did you love the most about the idea? Was it the adventure? The unknown? The enormity? The glory? The exclusivity? Start mining for these little pieces of gold.
They hold the keys to what makes you tick.
If you wanted to be a singer or teacher but didn’t have the voice or lost the passion for it, don’t give up hope! Maybe you won’t be a rockstar but you can still have singing in your life in other ways. You could teach singing, join a karaoke club, sing for fun, go to concerts etc. Get creative!
Btw, not every passion has to turn into a living. Thinking that is a big mistake.
Something or someone killed your dreams when you were a child. You are now responsible for bringing them back to life in ways that work for you.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Not even you.
4) Mine for Values
How you do one thing is how you do everything. You may not have realised it but everything you do in life has to do with your values and belief systems.
A value is your moral and personal guide and compass to life.
A belief is a premise that you hold as truth, whether it is or not.
Together, these 2 are what determine how you live your life, respond, react, communicate, think and act. Eg: having a value of say, adventure, would tell you that you’re passionate about new experiences, learning and using certain skills.
Knowing this comes in handy when it comes to the kind of life and career you choose.
Don’t know what your values are? Start here with this list of values by Steve Pavlina and write down the ones that speak to you. Another way to do it is to create your own.
After all, this is your life – you get to live it your way and that includes deciding what values you want to prioritise. If everything you say and do is based on your values and beliefs, wouldn’t YOU rather be in charge of creating empowering ones instead of subconsciously being run by them?
5) Look into the Future
Imagine your life 10 years down the line. If you kept doing what you’re doing today, believing what you believe today, would you be happy where you end up? Or is there something you need to change?
The things you want to do today that scare you – if you never did them, would you regret them in 10 years? 5? 1?
If so, I want you to read this:
There are the top 5 regrets of terminally ill patients:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
I wish I didn’t work so hard
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
I wish that I had let myself be happier
Which one of these regrets sounds like you?
It’s not too late to start living the life you want, not the life you think you should have. It never is.
If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” – Alan Armstrong.
I want to know: What’s your dream? How did you find your passion? Please leave a comment, thanks!
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