Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman
If you are going to run a business or work at a job for most of your adult life, you want to make it enjoyable and as meaningful as you possibly can.
To do that, you need to be living your purpose and engaging your passions. Think back on your life, and remember things you wanted to be, the habits you developed naturally, the games you played, the books you read, and see how they may apply to your life and career today. You might be surprised by the connection points that have been right under your nose all along. Below are a list of points you might also want to consider;
1) Ask yourself these three simple questions;
a) What subject could I read 500 books about without being bored.
b) “What could I do for five years straight without getting paid?”
c) “What would I spend my time doing if I had complete financial abundance to do anything?”
2) Take an inventory of your talents
What are you good at or have a natural aptitude for? Forget about what you’re good at but don’t really like doing much. I’m talking about the things you have a knack for that delight or happily occupy you.
Are there things you like to do that you don’t think you’re that good at, that other people have complimented you on? Perhaps you even dismissed or rejected their enthusiasm.
3) Notice the activities that make you loose track of time and what you are reluctant to stop doing once you start.
What would you love to spend hours doing, that you never get enough time to do? That’s a passion, and you probably need to do it more than you are.
- Inspiration may strike some people in an instant. Suddenly, they know what they should be doing with their lives. For others, it takes work, we recommend spending 20 minutes each day thinking about the things that have interested you recently, or any opportunities that you have spotted. Your true passion is not found overnight, but is realised through series of discoveries of small interests.
4) Make it a fun adventure!
Don’t put pressure on yourself to find your passion. It is important to discover and engage in things that light you up, but it’s just as important to cultivate an un-serious child-like attitude of play, wonder and adventure.
When you deliberately open yourself to noticing things you might enjoy doing, don’t be afraid of getting it wrong. It’s all an adventure, you’re learning and growing as you go. Happiness research shows that trying new things increases dopamine levels in the brain, contributing to sustained levels of contentment. So try away! Notice what you love. Notice what makes you feel like a kid. Notice what you long to have more time for. Make time for these things, whatever you can manage, and watch your life start to change.
5) Remember what you loved doing as a child.
Did you love to draw or write stories when you were young? Try to remember the activities you enjoyed during childhood before the pressure to study the right subject or get a good job began to mount.
What hobbies did you enjoy doing before life got in the way? Would you enjoy those activities now? Use these memories to help you find your true passion as an adult. Perhaps you still have hobbies now. Could you expand on them so they take more of a centre stage in your life? In another perspective, imagine that you are very old. What do you wish you had spent the last 20 to 30 years doing?
6) Create something brand new.
One secret to finding your passion is to create something new. People are instantly passionate about projects, businesses or services that they start from scratch.
“When you create something new, you’re inventing something to be passionate about,”
7) Try visualisation
Imagine yourself getting up early, jumping out of bed, excited about going to work. You get dressed quickly, full of enthusiasm about your day. The sun is shining and you take those first steps out of your bedroom. Now work out where you are going and what kind of job follows on from that feeling of anticipation.
Picture by Joey Rosado