How to Find Your Passions | A Practical - No 'BS' Approach
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
What is passion?
We'll go with Wikepedia's definition for this one - Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something.
Why is passion important?
Here are my thoughts on passion, take it with a grain of salt
Passion is a valuable energy source that can drive us to take action.
Passion is a great motivator, however you can't completely rely on it.
Aligning your life with your passions will minimise procrastination and improve productivity.
When linked with a clear vision and purpose - passion can help with overcoming fear, embracing failure, making decisions, taking action and changing habits.
Unlocking your passions can play a key role in deepening your self awareness.
A few years ago I made the decision to try and design my life so it was more aligned with my passions and activities that I enjoy.
This was the reason I founded Future Golf (now one of the world's largest communities of younger golfers). I wanted to explore the following question - is it possible to turn your passion into your livelihood?. The answer is yes - although it's not as simple as I imagined (I'll write another blog post to detail this journey).
Our time on this planet is limited, so it makes sense to spend a decent proportion of our lives doing things that we enjoy and are passionate about.
Short on time? - skip ahead and DOWNLOAD the Passion Matrix PDF - doing this exercise will give you a snapshot of your passions.
Otherwise, keep on reading for a more detailed guide.
“If the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, I find that incredibly depressing.”
- Elon Musk
Step 1 - Throw Some Darts
The good news is, it’s never too late to find your passion.
A popular misconception about passion is that it's innate. However, finding your passion is a process of trial and error.
The key is continuously assessing the activities you spend time on and evaluating how much these activities excite and inspire you.
For the next SEVEN days make a note of what you are doing every time you feel joy, enthusiasm or excitement.
Commit to trying ONE new thing this month - take a class, read a book, book an event, go somewhere different, reach out to someone who inspires you and ask them questions.
Trying new things is one of the best forms of personal development.
Step 2 - Be a little bit naughty
Richard Branson started Virgin by bootlegging records.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created a device to make free long distance phone calls.
Mark Zuckerberg created a site that rated if college students were hot or not.
Testing the boundaries and stepping outside ones comfort zone is a hallmark trait of successful people.
Take a few risks and step outside your comfort zone. Do the opposite of your 'normal' and see what it unlocks.
When doing this exercise, approach it with an open mind and understand that our passions change over time - what you were passionate about in your 20's, is likely to change in your 40's and again in your 60's.
Step 3 - Pivotal, Joyful and Memorable Moments
Think about the pivotal and memorable moments in your life.
This is exercise is designed to help get the juices going - do not get stuck on a question if you're finding it difficult to answer. It's designed to help you explore and reflect.
Search your childhood for clues - what did you love doing? what brought you joy? What did you dream about? What excited you?
Make a list of the experiences and moments in your life that have been the most memorable and made your heart sing.
What was a life changing conversation you had with a mentor or a friend?
What’s a movie, book or song that inspires you.
When was your last ‘aha’ moment?
Listen to the thoughts and ideas you have while showering, walking, driving, travelling, having sex or daydreaming.
What makes your senses tingle (sights, tastes, smells, sounds, feelings).
Review your camera roll in your phone - make a note of your memorable moments over the past 12 months.
In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho reminds us to "look and listen out for the omens”.
Let your intuition guide you.
The objective here is to find what inspires, scares and excites you.
Step 4 - Download and Complete 'The Passion Matrix'
Below is link to the Passion Matrix.
This is a FREE downloadable and printable PDF.
Fill it out and you will have a snapshot of your passions. You can revisit it regularly to see how your passions are evolving.
Once you've filled in the Passion Matrix - look for trends and start asking yourself 'why'?... Why am I drawn to these activities? Why do I admire these people? Why do I enjoy this activity? Why I am drawn to these places?
In the next post in this series, we'll explore what to do once you've found your passion and how to frequently access a "flow state".
Let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments and please feel free to share this.
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