How to Find Your Passion

Finding your passion isn't what you think it is. 

There isn't one secret purpose you're supposed to find that will unlock the mysteries of the universe.

There isn't one special course of action that will bring you unending waves of happiness. 

Thinking that is self-defeating hogwash. And dangerous.

I've seen so many teens and twenty-year-olds stymied by the fact they don't know what their passion is supposed to be. It's like "finding your passion" is a pop quiz they never knew they had to study for-- and they're failing miserably.

How could they not fail, though? They were playing an imaginary losing game.

There isn't one passion out there we're all supposed to find. In truth, "finding your passion" is a relatively new term dreamed up ostensibly to sell t-shirts, slogan posters or therapy appointments. Decades ago, no one had ever heard the phrase "find your passion."

But passion does have a purpose. 

The only way to go from nowhere to somewhere is to do the work. There's no such thing as talent, and there's no such thing as being a "natural" at something.

If you want to go from novice to expert or good to great, the only vehicle to take you there is persistent, deeply-focused work. 

The problem is: no one wants to do the work. 

We've all started things and then stopped. We've all gotten a flash of inspiration and then gone back to our smart phones. We've all had dreams and then settled for cheeseburgers. 

Greatness is waiting for all of us. We just stop before we ever get close to the finish line.

So how can we not stop?

Passion.

Passion keeps us on the path.

If we need to write an article a day for the next 300 days, how do we get to the keyboard on Day 46? 

We have to have the passion to want to be there. We have to have the desire to keep coming to work.

Great. I have to have passion. I get it. But how do I find that passion when I don't know what I'm supposed to do?

And there's the rub.

Because we've been sold on finding our passion, we've wasted so much time trying to envision a passionate life well-lived. We've been trained to try to find the beginning, middle, and end of a lifelong passion project--and, honestly, who can really picture that? 

No wonder so many people get stuck.

But finding your passion is really much easier than that. It's actually quite simple.

Just do what you like. 

Stop wasting time on the big, complicated picture and do what's fun for you.

And then do it again tomorrow.

If you like drawing, do a picture a day for the next 100 days. If you like writing, write one post a week for the next 100 weeks. If you like tennis, start playing five times a week. 

No one gets burned out having fun. No one stops eating the best meal they've had this year. No one stops working when she likes the work. 

Well, I don't know what I like.

Yes, you do. You just haven't spent any time on it. You know what you like; you've just never paid attention. 

Go through one day and pay special attention to the favorite parts of your day. Invariably, you'll come across something you'd like to work on all the time. 

Everybody likes something. Most people like many things. 

Just do what you like--and keep doing it. 

And one day you'll end up at the front of the line. 

 

My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.