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Are you looking out there, under rocks and unturned leaves for your passion? I know especially my generation and the one after me, we are idealistic people. We want our passion, that one thing that’s going to make everything connect. When we find it, our lives will finally make sense. Right?
So when I was reading Grit last week, I got inspired to look into the idea of a passion, so I could share with you how to find your passion!
The author, Angela Duckworth, writes that too many of us are waiting for that one moment when everything connects. Almost a cinematic climax. But that moment, for most, doesn’t exist. And according to her, that is why you can’t find your passion.
Intrigued, I read the rest of the book, did some extra research and this is what I found.
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Do we all have a passion?
The opinions on this seem divided. Some people think we all have a passion and a purpose, others claim some people just don’t have a passion. Please don’t confuse passion and purpose here, as they are quite different things. But we’ll save that difference for another day.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of science on whether something like a passion actually exists, so we’ll have to make do with opinions.
Mark Manson, author of the lifechanging magic of not giving a f*ck states that it’s often not a lack of passion that is holding us back, but a lack of priorities. He claims that we have all found our passion years ago, but we’re ignoring it. Because of the judgments of others, because we ‘’couldn’t make money with it’’ or any other reason, really.
He claims our passion is the thing that occupies most of our time on a day off. The things we did when we were kids, and felt more free to do whatever we wanted. We automatically did things we loved. But most importantly, it is something so natural to us, we often need someone else to point out that it isn’t natural to others.
Even Forbes dedicated an article to the misconception of ‘’follow your passion’’ saying that most people don’t have one, but instead have to develop it. They cite this paper, which states that instead of fixed, our interests are fluid and can change or deepen over time. ()
While Angela doesn’t mention whether she thinks everyone has a passion or not, from the context I think she does. Like Forbes, she states a passion is something we develop. Our interests are fluid, and we have to learn what we are into. But from the questions she provides, it’s clear she thinks part of our passion is innate and we’re born with them.
She describes stories of people finding their passion, more through realization than anything else. They realize they’re interested in something, and they dive into it, hoping to learn more. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
So how to find your passion?
Through being passionately curious, being open and asking yourself questions. She states that passion is a bit of discovery, a lot of development and a lifetime of deepening. But in order to start discovering your interests, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I like to think about
- Where does my mind wander
- What do I really care about
- What matters most to me
- How do I enjoy spending my time
- What do I find unbearable?
That last question might seem a bit of a strange one. But as I’ve always been taught; in order to understand what you want, you also have to understand what you don’t want.
So you can see that on paper, it should be quite simple to find your passion. And if we believe Mark Manson, it is. It’s the thing that’s staring you in the face, but you’re closing your eyes because it doesn’t seem like a viable option.
So really, that is all there is to it. On paper it sounds simple, but I know that in reality it sounds a lot harder. I think key here is to go for the things that bring you joy. Whatever it is you love doing, dive into that. Deepen your interest, learn more about it. Stick with it for a little while, don’t give up after 3 months. Try to find a course on it, so you can be guided by someone who loves that subject as well. Experiment, don’t get hung up on one thing or one idea. Be creative.
Basically, let your inner child out again, and let it run free with all the things you love.
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