A wise man once said “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable!” Actually, a little girl named Matilda said it but Roald Dahl was the writer behind this lovely quote. When it comes to doing something on an everyday basis, how do you rank yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 10 meaning you are following your passion? Yes, that was a trick question but what I am truly trying to find out is “Are you following your passion?” Do you get out of bed every day with a spring in your step and your heart is light with joy? If not, then why aren’t you doing it? When you are motivated by passion, everyday feels like you are working towards your heart’s goals and desires. While you may have a few bad days, your work still won’t feel like a chore to you because you feel fulfilled, knowing the fact you are pursuing your passion. While the lucky ones get to feel like that, what about you? Do you feel passionate about what you do? Have you actually identified your passion in the first place? If you have answered ‘no’ to most of the questions, I am here to change you into a ‘yes’ man. The first thing we need to do is to take a blank piece of paper and start drawing a mind map on it.
What Are You Good At?
A mind map helps you chart and visualize exactly what is going on in your heart and your mind. All you need to do is draw a circle and write your name inside it. Now, draw a few other circles connecting to it and fill them in with whatever we will be discussing next. Now you have the basic structure of your mind map all set and ready. Your name is in the middle, the empty bubbles beckon to be filled with your thoughts so the first thing you need to think about is, ‘What are you good at?’ It can be anything. Seriously, a person can be good at a ton of things so start writing them down. Is it cooking? Gardening? Photography? Following the stock exchange market? Making sales? Traveling? Whatever it is, just jot it all down. Now sit back and take a look at the map you have made. Out of all these things, narrow the list down further to find out what you are truly good at.
What Makes You Happy?
When you have noted down and identified what you are truly good at, how about sifting through the list and writing down what actually makes you happy out of all the things you are good at? For example: You may be good at sales but does that make you happy? You may be good at cooking too, but does it fill you with a feeling of completion or a sense of purpose? When you start looking at the things you are good at with this critical view, you will begin to get on the right track to finding your passion. Since you want to be on the right track though, do think critically about what makes you happy. Watching TV can make you happy too but it doesn’t have to belong on your mind map because when you think about it critically, it may be just a way for you to relax and get rid of the stress you were feeling throughout the day.
Can You Imagine Yourself Continuing in the Same Way for Years to Come?
Now, you might have a messy mind map but it’s time to put it aside for a little bit. It’s time to use your own mind to see what you can consider your passion out of the mind map. You have already answered two important questions which were ‘What are you good at?’ and, ‘What makes you happy? Using this information, try to visualize what you think you can imagine yourself doing for years to come. Can you still feel happy if you had to continue on in sales? Can you still imagine yourself following the stock exchange even when you are old? Your passion does not dim over age. In fact, it grows stronger as your skills improve and you gain access to vital resources which allow you to pursue your passion with more vigor and energy than you previously had. Can you see yourself being excited about making another sale? Getting more profit or snapping more pictures at a party or wedding down the road?
Hooray! We Discovered Your Passion!
If you start being able to answer these questions with ‘yes’, then you know you have found your passion. One thing you have to pay attention to though, is that it is possible for you have to have two passions. Two things which make you feel passionate about them but it can be in two completely different ways. So, what do you do? You choose between them. Which one calls to you more? Which one can give you the satisfaction and sense of purpose you desire? But most importantly, which one can make you feel like you can build your future on it? Once you have answered those questions you have truly identified your passion. But once you have identified your passion, what do you do? Before you hop around with joy, call your boss and resign from your current job which is sucking the happiness and passion out of you, take some time to think things through. If you aren’t following your passion already, you don’t have to do it this instant.
Start looking around for opportunities which will allow you to pursue it but still keep doing what you are doing. You might have heard stories about people who just got up and left and never looked back since a particular day but keep in mind you have to be practical. Do you have a huge circle which can provide you the moral support you need? Do you have enough saved up to support yourself while you try to kick-start your passion down the road to success? If you said ‘no’ to both, hold on and give yourself some time to turn those no’s into yes’s. Discovering your passion is interesting and definitely important but it shouldn’t break a person in the process. There will be plenty of opportunities to try taking risks and leaps of faith but when you are just starting out on the road towards your passion, you need a firm footing which can help make the foundation or base for your amazing journey. With these things in mind, you can finally head on to find your passion and pursue it in life and when it comes time to take a leap of faith when you are well on your way, go ahead and do it!