Finding and fueling your passions
Written by Sarah Dower
In our last issue, I wrote about how this modern life is often quite demanding. Sometimes we can get so bogged down in the minutiae of our lives that we can forget finding time to do things that make us light up. With the amount of time, most of us are spending at home here in Australia now, this is even more pronounced, as we find ourselves missing friends and family who live overseas and interstate. So what can we do to bring back the spark, and find our passions?
What is passion?
The Webster dictionary refers to passion as “1: a strong feeling or emotion He spoke with passion. 2: an object of someone's love, liking, or desire Art is my passion.”(Definition of PASSION 2019). Our passions in life are generally something we love doing and could do all day without getting tired. As such, if we find what we are passionate about, we can feel like we barely work a day in our life, as the old saying goes. However, most of us get pressured to some degree or fall into occupations or jobs that we don’t enjoy that much, and our passions end up getting pushed into our leisure time.
Questions to ask to uncover our passions
If you’re at a bit of a loss to uncover your passions, I’d suggest asking yourself a series of questions, and perhaps writing down the answers.
- What do you already love doing?
- What do other people think you are good at, and seem to be natural at? Is there something others always say you seem to enjoy? Is that something that makes you light up?
- Are there topics you could learn or read about for hours, and never get bored?
- Are there recurring themes that keep coming up for you?
- Is there anything you’ve ever cried tears of joy about when you were doing it?
As you reflect on some of these questions, don’t feel the need to stick with your first answer, or the answer you may have given 5 years ago. We change and grow as people, and as a result, our passions may change over time, and this is perfectly natural. Take time to reflect on your answers, write them down somewhere accessible, like the notes section on your phone, and come back to them over the coming days.
Action to take to uncover our passions
We can also help ourselves as we work on our list, and uncover our passions. As you reflect on the list above, there are a few tips you may find useful and may help to make this search for passion more manageable.
- Make sure you don’t feel pressured as you consider these questions. Take some time out to meditate or relax, and clear your mind, before you attempt to think about this. When we feel pressured by work, family or money concerns, our minds and answers may be clouded by these issues.
- Take your time, and think about these in a comfortable place, and make sure you’re not hungry or uncomfortable or similar.
- Consider what small steps you can do to uncover a passion. Are there weekend classes or short courses you can take in that area? This will give you a taster of whatever skill or activity you are looking at, without having to commit your life savings.
- Definitely don’t quit your day job as soon as you think you’ve found the “thing”. Use the income you get from this, to help you build up your skill set, and build up your knowledge. Even if you’re working toward a career change, work towards it gradually, unless you have enough savings to see you through.
- Keep practicing. Keep doing the things that light you up, and see what fits?
- Consider ways in which you could do this alongside your main source of income, and take the time to investigate ways to monetise your passion, and earn an income from it.
- Consider that your passion may be something you can happily indulge on weekends, or after hours, on in your annual leave. Not all passions are things that you will need to leave your job or business to pursue, or it may not be practical to leave your job or business to pursue a passion.
- Dare to dream big, just because something doesn’t exist in your area, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist at all, and that you couldn’t “make a go of it”.
- Answer the questions with a view that money and time are no object. This sounds crazy, but can really help uncover things. So often we answer questions with a limited mindset, and as a result, our answers are limited, and don’t allow us to reach our full potential.
Other things to consider
Finally, there are ways we can bring “passion” to everyday life as well. We all have tasks and chores around the house that we hate, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be done with some degree of passion. Is there some great music you can listen to while you take out the trash, or do those other household chores? If dancing is a passion, perhaps put on some great music, and dance while you do the housework. I know it sounds cliched but it can really help you enjoy life.
Also consider that just because something is your passion, doesn't mean you’ll enjoy it 100% of the time. A dancer can be passionate about what they do, but not about some of the things that come as part of the package, such as injuries, or some of the things you may need to do to look after your body.
If you’re looking for a few resources to help you dream big, and uncover passions, I recommend Kristina Karlsson’s book, Your Dream Life Starts Here (Karlsson 2018). This book and the associated exercises will guide you through some practical exercises to start uncovering your passions and interests. Also, take time out to listen to podcasts and expand your horizons. I’ve heard so many inspiring stories and heard of so many inspiring occupations while listening to podcasts, and many of them have been occupations I didn’t even know existed beforehand.
Happy reading, and listening, and most of all, enjoy the journey.
Definition of PASSION 2019, Merriam-webster.com.
Karlsson, K 2018, Your dream life starts here: essential and simple steps to creating the life of your dreams, Kikki. K, Port Melbourne, Vic.
Finding and fueling your passions Finding and fueling your passions Finding and fueling your passions