By BRADY RIESGRAF
January 12, 2019
Passion is something we’re all looking for in life. No one wakes up every morning saying “Wow, I am just so incredibly fulfilled from job, project, or class that I have no desire to actually take”. It’s interesting how passion works. For some people, it seems to come so easily, and for others, it seems much harder to find. Either way, it’s out there for each and every person, and everyone should be striving to find their passions and live the life of their dreams.
Today we are going to be talking about the journey to finding your passion. This does not include just how to find your passion, but what the journey actually looks like and what you should be aware of on the road to find your passion. It is not something that just appears one day and falls into your lap. It is something that takes trial and error, experiences, and much reflection. Moreover, passions usually change over time, and people will often find multiple different passions throughout the course of their lives.
With this in mind, if you haven’t yet found your passion, be patient. Things come to those who pursue their dreams, and the fact that you are reading this article right now means that you are already on the pursuit of improving your life. For those that believe they have already found their passion, stick around and see what this blog has to offer, it may help offer some insight to the next step or journey in your life. Now let’s get this started and begin the process of uncovering the journey to discovering your true passions and the life you have always dreamed of.
I think too many people get caught up in the idea that they are “behind” in finding their passions. It is really easy to look around and think that everyone else has it together and they know exactly what they want to do with their lives. If that is a belief of yours, then know that most other people are just lying to you because they are in the same exact situation as you. There is never a time when it is “too late” to start anew, find your passion, or live the life of your dreams. There are hundreds of examples of this, and many of the most successful people in our society are individuals that found their passion and hit gold far beyond their 20’s. Ray Kroc, the man that started McDonald’s, was selling milkshakes until he finally founded one of the most successful franchises of all time. Guess what age Ray Kroc was when he started McDonald’s, I can tell you it probably isn’t what you think, because he was 52 years old when had the idea to start the most successful food franchise of all time. Another example of a late bloomer is John Pemberton, who started Coca-Cola at age 55. Guess who else started a multi-billion-dollar company? The founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, who didn’t start the company until he was 35. All these examples, and the thousands of others out there are proof that passion and a fulfilling life can happen at any age, and it is never too late to start the journey. Regardless of who you are, or what age you are, start making steps to discover your passion and begin to live the life that you have always wanted.
Going off the topic above, this one aligns just as well, as finding your passion is not a “one and done” experiment. Finding your passion takes time, and many failures, before you will uncover what you’re made to do. People often get frustrated when they try, try, and try again and can’t seem to find their footing or their “calling” in life. All of this is part of the process, and you have to be aware of that as you traverse through life and make your way through this journey. This process is inevitably going to take time and it’s not going to come easy, but I promise you it will all be worth it in the end. With this in mind, be patient, keep trying, and you will keep inching closer day by day to discovering your passion.
One way to go about actually discovering your passion is by finding people that are in the position you want to be in. This is not to say that you should think to yourself that you “wish you were” someone else or that you should think other individuals have a nicer life than you do, but this is meant to find someone to model your behavior and learn from. Whether you want to be a doctor, lawyer, analyst, artist, designer, or computer programmer, you can always find someone that is farther along than yourself that you can learn from. One thing that this can help you with is learning from mistakes, gaining knowledge, and side-stepping problems that those individuals may have faced. Regardless of where you currently are in life, whether you think you have found your passion or not, think you are successful or not, or think you have more to learn or not, you should always have someone at a level “above you” that you are learning from. By identifying the people in the position you want to ultimately be in, you can learn the steps that they took to get there and hopefully help boost yourself to that same level, and hopefully beyond, over time. Also, it is to note that these individuals that you identify can be in multiple areas in your life, not just related to a specific business position. You could identify someone that you think has great interpersonal skills, another person that has the technical skills that you want to learn, and another individual that is get at a hobby you want to learn about. These topics are never related exclusively to business and your professional life and you should always be aware that the tips and techniques that can help you grow in your professional life can help you grow and develop personally as well.
One way to quickly narrow down some of your passions and something you should unquestionably spend time on is reflecting on the tasks that you already spend time doing. Passions are often topics, experiences, and sources that you are naturally drawn to, and by taking a look at how you already spend your time, you can start to recognize trends in your daily life. There are four main topics that I think you should analyze when looking at what you already spend time on in life, including what you read, what you watch, what you talk about, and what you spend your free time doing. First, individuals won’t normally spend time reading on topics that they aren’t interested in (unless it is a requirement for school or work), so taking a look at your reading habits can often be very insightful. It does not matter if you read books, magazines, or new articles, just recognize the types of materials you are looking at. Are you interested in the new computer chip that was recently developed, or the new medical procedure being demonstrated by surgeons, or what is happening in the energy industry? Regardless of what it is you are reading, it is likely that you are looking into topics you are interested in and this a great way to start uncovering your true passion. The same holds true with what you watch, what you talk about, and what you spend free time doing on a daily basis. Are you constantly talking about the trends in the stock market, or a painting that you just drew, or even the specifications in the motor of an engine? Look into these aspects because these topics usually don’t come up over and over on accident and often give great insight into personality traits and passions. A good amount of reflecting and analyzing these trends in your own life will help you start to discover what you are draw to and will help you find new experiences that you can try out and learn more about to continue to build your dream life
When you are really looking to discover your passion, this may be the most pressing and important question to ask yourself. This usually uncovers the passions that you have deep, hidden, and tucked away inside yourself. When you know you can’t fail, you are willing to try anything, so this will often pull out your highest reaching goals that you won’t ever consider because you know the risk of failure, but those are the exact goals that you should be chasing after. So many people missing out on living the life of their dreams because they are scared of failure, and even, what people may think of them for striving for such lofty or “risky” goals. If you want to fall short on everything you ever dreamed of, this is the way to make that happen. If you are going to be scared of failure and what other people think, then you may as well sail it in now, because I can tell you the life lived worrying about those two things has killed more dreams than probably anything else in the world. You will never even have the chance of achieving your dreams if you don’t at least give it a try, so you might as well go out and attempt the unthinkable, because if you don’t, who will? I can’t tell you the number of people that I have seen thrown away uncanny amounts of talent, skill, and passion simply because they didn’t want to try something unconventional, or even worse, were worried about having other people see them fail. There is no worse failure in life than the failure to try, so at least get out and give it everything you have trying to build the life of your dreams. One thing to remember is that failing in most instances doesn’t even matter, because you normally end up in the same exact place that you started, and if you succeed, then you are leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else that never took the chance to try. Don’t be someone that looks back on life and says, “I wish I would have”. Be the person that looks back and knows that you gave it everything you had on every chance you got.
Hopefully these tips, ideas, and thoughts have your blood pumping and ready to chase after the goals of your dreams. Everyone has a dream life, and everyone is capable of living that life, but we need to realize what it takes to get there and remove the roadblocks that are normally put in front of us, usually put there by our own negative thoughts and beliefs. It’s not a false statement that your biggest competitor is the person looking back at you in the mirror. We are capable of achieving anything we want to in life, but that will never happen if we are limited by our own pre-beliefs, thoughts, and safety nets we put up for our own sake. Failure is a part of finding your passion, it’s a part of achieving success, and it’s definitely part of discovering your dream life. Until you are willing to try new things, fail, and not care what others think, you will never be able to reach the heights of your potential. With this new set of ideas fresh in your mind, go out and strive to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be, get out of your own way, and start to live the life that you know you are capable of.