Whether you’re a 22-year-old, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college grad or you just celebrated the big 5-0, you may be struggling to find your true passion in life. You’re not alone. For some, it’s a lifelong struggle. Even if you think you know what your true passion is, life comes at you fast sometimes. Passions can shift and fall in and out of favor. Long story short, it’s tough. But here are some essential questions you should ask yourself if you’re trying to zero in on your true passion.
What would I do if money was of no consideration?
It may be cynical, or it may just be realistic, but at the heart of many of our decisions lies money. Without money, we can’t really do a lot in today’s society. It’s a hard fact to accept but that doesn’t make it any less true. If you’ve made career decisions in the past based on money, maybe the key to at least finding out what your true passion could be is to take money out of the equation.
What did I love to do as a child?
You may not think your childhood fantasies apply to your adult life, but they can. Our childhood dreams are the purest manifestation of our inner yearnings – before the real world changes and oftentimes corrupts us. Ask yourself what you loved as a child. As The Muse notes, this could be your truest passion. This may provide a hint, at least, of what you really want to do with your life.
What do I love to do the most during my off time?
Many of us reserve our true passions for that time outside work. A job is a job, and it pays for our true passions. Ok, so what is that passion? What do you spend the majority of your time doing when you’re not on the clock? Camping and hiking? Sewing? Reading? It is possible to turn a beloved hobby into a business or work your way into a career that’s adjacent to it.
Can I be happy with a practical career?
One could make the argument that any career is practical as long as you can make money doing it. And while that might be true in theory, some careers are more practical than others (but can still provide you with something to be passionate about). Becoming a real estate agent, for example is something that’s fun and practical. Getting a professional certificate in a skilled trade is another.
If I died tomorrow, what would I regret not doing?
Is this a little morbid? Sure. But it’s certainly effective. Sometimes the key to realizing your passion is to flip the script on its head a bit. Instead of asking yourself what you want to do, ask yourself what you haven’t done yet that really bothers you. Sometimes this question can put you on the right path. For example, If I died today, it’d regret not helping people less fortunate than me. This could put you on the track to finding a passion in some sort of charitable cause.
The bottom line is this: no matter your age, no matter how many setbacks you’ve had in life, and not matter how many times you’ve fooled yourself into following something that wasn’t really your true passion – there’s no reason to give up. Everybody knows themselves and what they want. It exists inside of you. It’s not really about creating or even finding a passion – it’s about figuring out a way to access it.
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