"Just follow your passion!" I'm sure you've heard this one before, especially around the new year. So what exactly is passion? It's not as clear of an answer as getting paid for doing what you love.
What is passion?
"Passion" means a strong excitement or enthusiasm for something or about doing something. A passion is often something you would love to do constantly – such as traveling the world with your dog.
If you are passionate about your job or career, this is often a more specific type of passion. A passion that motivates us to delve into complex problems and helps support us through setbacks and hurdles. A passion that ignites your desire to solve problems, learn, and make a positive impact. You find your work is often recharging and rewarding vs. draining and a waste of time.
According to a Deloitte study, 87% of the US working population doesn't feel passionate about their current jobs. And a lot of scientists and occupational experts agree that there is a very narrow road that runs between finding and living your passions and the measure of success you'll likely have – both on a personal and professional measurement.
So, how do you find your passion? Uncovering and being willing to tap into passion means you have to try.
The secret to discovering your passion this year isn't looking for it – it's doing it.
Knowing how to live a fulfilling life and finding your passion is all about putting in the time and effort to find out and do what you really love. But what does this really mean?
We've looked into the latest research and compiled all the best tips on how to find out what your passion and purpose are in life. Find out 8 ways to discover what you really want to do with your life.
8 Things you can do to find your passion and live a healthier life
1) Change your perspective | Shift your mindset.
If you are already convinced fulfilling work or activities don't exist, how can you find them? You have to be open to changing your perspective and remaining open to possibilities if you want to find your passion in life.
Adopt and change your mindset to one where you can accomplish what you love with your life, and you are capable of finding passion. You can shift your perspective by consciously choosing to believe that your characteristics are not determined and that you can continue to grow and change over time.
For example, in a healthier mindset, mistakes turn into learning opportunities, and there's always another chance to improve and feel better. Instead of telling yourself, "I'm a complete idiot," after doing poorly on a test, try and have more realistic thoughts such as "I didn't do well, but next time I can prepare more and ask for help and likely do better."
You can shift your perspective to think, "life is a game of mistakes you can constantly improve upon."
Studies have shown that shifting your mindset can help improve your overall health, alleviate stress, enhance emotional processing, and help you overcome life's challenges.
2) Surround yourself with people who follow their passions.
Have friends and family who are following their passions? Spend more time with them and ask them more about their passions. Don't be afraid to start a casual conversation with them about how they went about finding what they loved and how it became a significant part of their lives. In life, you should seek out and connect with people who make your impossible possible every day.
This can also mean expanding your current circle of friends and spending more time with people inspired by their work and with similar interests.
3) Create a personal statement.
Have you written a personal statement of what you want to accomplish this year? In five years? A personal statement is just a simple gathering of your thoughts typed up or written down on paper of what you look to accomplish with your life on a professional and personal level.
You can think of your personal statement as an excellent general compass that can lead you in a general direction that you can look towards when more weighted decisions need to be made. It's also a perfect way to assess your strengths and potential for success.
4) Define your core values.
Do you know what your core values are?
Discovering your core values can not only increase your confidence, but it can also improve your decision-making skills. Examples of core values include charity, creativity, ambition, empathy, excellence, enthusiasm, dependability, family, friendships, generosity, growth, happiness, health, loyalty, love, learning, leadership, safety, wealth, spirituality, and wisdom.
It can be helpful to write down a list of your core values, think about the people who you admire and consider their core values, and define and rank your top core values from one to ten.
Knowing your core values can also give insight into how to best motivate yourself for positive behavioral change.
5) Make a list of everything you enjoy doing and do these things more often.
What do you love to do? Write it all down! Take the time to sit down and make a list on a piece of paper or just in the notes section of your phone of all the things you love to do. Once you have your list, begin going through your list and checking off activities regularly.
Studies have shown that making time to do what you love can help you ease your stress, manage chronic pain, lift your mood, and add years to your life.
If you do something every day, like making matcha for ten weeks, it will likely feel automatic to you.
6) Reflect on your achievements and strengths.
Have you had a chance to sit down and think about your five most significant achievements this past month? This past year? To really find out what you are passionate about, it's essential to acknowledge your strengths and accomplishments.
Often, the things we recognize as our biggest accomplishments are activities we can make into a passion.
7) Get guidance from a professional.
Do you currently have access to any therapist at work or see a life coach? Do you work with a nutritionist to help improve your relationship with food? You should consider it!
You can do a lot of self-searching on the internet to find out how to find your passion, but there's nothing wrong with requesting some help. When you are trying to ignite your passion in life but feeling lost and unsure of where to begin, it can be beneficial to have the help of a professional guiding you in the right direction.
You can reach out to a career coach or life coach who can help point you in the right direction and give you a good baseline assessment.
8) Commit to journaling.
What did Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein have in common? They both kept a diary and recorded their life experiences by writing about them.
The daily ritual of journaling may sound intimidating, but the truth is, committing to just writing down a few of our thoughts from the day is a great and simple way to help us keep track of personal growth and progress.
Studies have also shown that keeping better track of your intentions by journaling can be beneficial in the following ways:
Track progress and growth
Set and achieve goals
Improve writing skills
Gain better communication skills
Alleviate stress and anxiety
Improve memory and brain function
There are many types of journals you can keep, too – such as food journals, sketch journals, gratitude journals, fitness journals, to-do lists, stream-of-consciousness journals, and dream journals.
The bottom line | Start doing
How many times have you told yourself this is the year you will find your passion?
Be willing to try different types of activities and work. It's rare, for example, for people to be super passionate about something they know nothing about. If you practice and develop understanding through the challenges of pursuit, you give yourself a chance to fall in love with an activity that can become a passion.
Also, remember passion isn't a one-time thing, nor is it often something that happens in one day. Finding your passion can change and shift throughout your life, depending on time and circumstances.
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