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Written by Sally Kellett, professional meditation teacher

“You are so lucky you have found your passion, I still don’t know what mine is”

This is one of the most common things people say to me as they see me passionately pursuing a life in practising and teaching mindfulness.

The next line I then get asked is…. “How do I find my passion?”

The reality is, there is no short answer and people will find their passion in different ways.  One thing I know for sure is that when people are passionate about living their best lives, regardless of whether they have a ‘passion’ or not, there is this amazing energy that surrounds them. It fuels them and gives them purpose. It gets them out of bed in the morning. It makes life so worth living.

What you need to know about finding your passion:

- A passion is not always one grand thing that you need to find

Sometimes we feel that our passion has to be this one single grand thing or hobby that appears in our life and stays forever. We then take this one thing and build a life or career around it. This is not always true.

Your passion CAN CHANGE. You can have different things that you are passionate about in the different chapters of your life. The passions that you have as a child are different to yours as a teenager and adult.

When we sit here wondering what our passion is as an adult, we forget that one day we will become elderly and again our passion can change.

So there is no need to become fixated on finding a ‘forever passion’. Instead, we can re-frame and take the pressure off. Think of it as what can I be passionate about in this life stage, knowing that it may change later?

- Your passion will not appear out of thin air

Our passion doesn’t just fall out of the sky.

A lot of my clients are sitting and waiting for their passion to suddenly appear. The problem with this method is that you can’t always expect it to show up if you are doing nothing different in your life to find it.

So, start to try news things and go through a process of elimination see what YOU DON’T LIKE.  In the process of knowing what you don’t like, you’ll end up finding what you do like! It’s like dating, you date a series of duds when you’re young, only to learn what it is that you truly want in your future partner.

Personally, I have given so many things a go in my life in pursuit of passion. I did a scuba diving course to overcome my fear of deep water thinking that I could be passionate about exploring the depths of the ocean. But no, I ended up hating the cold of the ocean instead!

- Your passion doesn’t always have to become your career

Your passion can remain your hobby or you can make a living out of it. When finding and evaluating your passion, you should also ask yourself what category you want it to remain in.

A lot of people dislike their jobs because they feel like they aren’t passionate about them. Whilst in an ideal world, we would all do what we love for a living, it doesn’t always have to be the case.

If you’re not passionate about your job but it helps enable you to pursue your passion on the side then I’d say that’s a pretty great thing!

- Your passion doesn’t always have to be a Thing

A passion is not always a thing.  For example ‘Oh my passion is fishing, writing, playing sport, interior design, music’….

 You can have a passion for helping people, rescuing animals, speaking up about the struggles of motherhood, building homes for the less fortunate – these passions are sometimes less obvious, however they give you another aspect to explore.

My advice is, stay opened minded and keep trying new things – eventually, your passion will reveal itself, and if it doesn’t, you are at least living a joyous life in the meantime!

EXERCISE: To start finding your passion

Step 1

It is time to develop a short plan of attack to find your passion. Get a notebook and start answering the following:

  • What are the activities your life consists of right now?
    For example, mine would be my mindfulness practice, exercise, friends & family, gardening, going to the markets and cooking, caring for foster dogs, my studies in eastern philosophy and spending time with my husband.
  • What are the hobbies and things you have done in the past outside of your day job?
  • What are the hobbies and things you have done in the past outside of your day job?
  • What are the hobbies and things you have done in the past outside of your day job?
  • What are the hobbies and things you have done in the past outside of your day job?
  • What are the hobbies and things you have done in the past outside of your day job?
  • What are the hobbies and things you have done in the past outside of your day job?

Step Two

Now, start a new page in your notebook and fill in the gaps from your answers above:

Something that I really need more of in my life right now is _____ and _____. If I had _____and ____, I would feel more _____and _____.

I’d like to start exploring what I’m passionate about. It’s going to take some trial an error but here is where I can start.

I have tried these activities in the past _____(list the main ones)_____. The reason why I didn’t like them was because __________. I know that I need to find something that I am truly interested in and something that isn’t _____and ____.

The things and topics that I am most into right now are _____and _____. My personality suits them well because I am _____and _____. Perhaps I can start to explore some options that are related to this or somehow involve these things.

Here are some ways that I could potentially explore my passion in _____and _____:

  • Input some ways you can use XXX to help people
  • Input some courses that are related to XXX
  • Input activities/business ideas that are related to XXX
  • Input some ways you can incorporate more XXXX into your life

Perhaps I can start __________ with my interest in XXX.

To do this, I need to set aside some time. I will try and do this when __________.

I will make a start on this right away, meaning I will contemplate on this and take action to explore XXXX. If I end up not liking it, then I’ll quit and move onto my next option quickly. I will keep my heart and mind open and persist in my pursuit of my passion.

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