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10 Ways to Identify Your Passions
Have you ever been asked what you’re most passionate about and found yourself stumped?
Do you find yourself unhappy and hoping there is more in life, but unable to figure out what?
The last few posts I’ve written have been heavily centered on the mental side of turning your passion into a career. I’m sure there were things you read and it felt like you were being “called out” or as if it was written exactly for you.
I’m hoping this helped you realize you’re not the only person dealing with that stuff. I’m also hoping that you realized that if there are other people dealing with the same stuff, that there must be ways to overcome the challenges you’ve been facing. If that’s the case, and you’ve begun working on changing your way of thinking, you’re ready for the next step … Identifying your passion!
The following are 10 things you can do to help identify your passions:
- What do you currently love doing? This is a question that may be extremely easy for some people, and for others it will be like pulling teeth! I’d encourage you to think as hard as you can and make it a goal to come up with as large a list as possible of things you love doing at this point in your life. Is it cooking? Is it traveling? Do you love playing video games? It’s not your job to determine whether you can make money at it right now. You should simply write down as many things as you can come up with.
- What are you the best at? You might be thinking this question is redundant, but it’s not. You’d be surprised at how many people are amazing at the things they do for work, but just because they excel at a certain task or occupation, doesn’t mean they are passionate about it. I’d agree that things you excel at are most likely things you are currently, or were at one time in your life, passionate about. It’s important to identify where you’re most proficient since if you apply those skills to an area you ARE passionate about, you may change your tune.
- Is there something you wish you pursued earlier in life? When we are young, we believe we can accomplish anything and typically come up with all types of things we’d like to accomplish. If you can’t remember back that far, or wonder if that still holds true with younger people today … just go ask someone in Middle School what they’d like to be when they grow up. It’s amazing the goals we can set before we’ve been beaten down long enough to give up on our dreams. Try to put yourself in the mindset of when you were in middle school. What did you want to that you never pursued?
- Where would you like to be a year from now? What would you love to be doing? Spend some time alone with a blank sheet of paper and an open mind. Consider where you’d want to be a year from now if money and time weren’t an issue. What would you love to be doing at that point? If nothing else this exercise will help you begin to dream again and if done right, you can set yourself on a path to make that situation you imagined actually happen! Don’t ever allow yourself to stop dreaming!
- Ask your friends what they would consider your natural skills or strengths. The saying, “I can’t see the forest through the trees,” is extremely applicable when it comes to getting to know our own strengths and weaknesses. Although it may be difficult for you … it’s not tough at all for your friends. The challenging part is putting yourself out there and asking them, “What is the one thing you think I am best at?” The risk of putting yourself out there is ABSOLUTELY worth it if it can bring clarity to your unique abilities and passions.
- Reflect on the past week, month, and years and identify the events and activities that made you happy or excited. You’ll want to do this with a blank sheet of paper and write down every event or activity you can think of. Once you’ve completed your list you can look at each of the things you put on the list and ask yourself, “What about this event/activity brought me the most joy or excitement?” If you find yourself providing consistent answers to many of these items, you may be getting close to identifying that passion!
- Identify your professional hero. Who is the person you look up to most in the professional world? Spend some time talking with this person if you can, or if you can’t, do as much research as you can including possibly talking with people who know this person. Discover what makes this person tick and also what their typical day looks like. If you’ve always wanted to be in the position they’re in, this can help you determine if that is your true passion.
- Take an online personality and strength finder test. There are a number of different tests out there but I found this website that has multiple tests and they provide great information. You will have to register to access the tests, but it’s worth it. For the sake of full disclosure, I do not receive anything for passing this link along. I found it in my research and simply found it useful.
- Read through a college course catalog. If you’ve been stuck in a rut so long that you just cannot come up with a list of things you’re passionate about, go to a local college (in person or online) and check out their list of available courses. Perhaps you’ll find something that is intriguing that gives you the motivation to break out of that rut and get a brand new start!
- Write in a journal every day. This is a creative way of dreaming out your future and including the smallest of details. The first thing you should do is write out what your perfect day would look like. Once you’ve done that do the same thing for the perfect week, perfect month, and then move onto the perfect year. This will help you paint a picture of what’s most important to you and also what gets your juices flowing.
Great article Pete! It’s always good to revisit some of these questions. A good book to check out is “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath. I highly recommend it.
SEO Grand Rapids
Excellent article – especially for someone who might be getting stuck in a rut – very helpful tactics!