Find your passion: 5 steps to get you there
Finding your passioncan be an incredibly worthwhile journey, but the idea can be daunting. How exactly does one find their passion? It’s not an easy question.
1. Define your values.
Not what you think you should value based on societal norms, religion, or anything else. Your actual values. This is a great place to start. If you need an exhaustive list of options, this may help. By finding what your values are, you can start to see who you are through a lens of what is the most valuable to you. That is a vital step in finding one’s passion.
2. List your current commitments.
Commitments can include work, school, family obligations such as motherhood, etc. Anything you spend time on is a commitment, and make sure you get them all down! For extra help determining what counts, this article at Escape Cubicle Nation is great.
3. Define your top five life goals. Define what success looks like for these.
Where do you have to go? What do you have to do? What must you learn? What is really important for you to feel accomplished, successful, and happy? For some people, it could be marriage and children; for others, it is world travel. Find your happiness, and define it.
4. Write your personal mission statement.
It can look like a lot of things, but I know mine utilized all five of my core values and resulted in my major life goal. Play with the wording until you find a combination you like that feel right. I found this killer worksheet to help you write a statement that really represents you.
5. Pick a goal and start actively working towards it.
Right now. Stop reading this blog and go do something. If you aren’t working towards your goals every single day, you should probably reconsider how you spend your time. Find the right flow for you, and start making progress. Here is an extra boost to get your ass in gear!
This concise process helped me to pin down exactly what I was passionate about, and not just the fleeting passion that comes with working on something new. Christianna Pierce and I were recently discussing being what most people would consider rather flighty. We work passionately towards a goal for three or four months, and then we move on. It drives my boyfriend absolutely bonkers sometimes, but he understands it is part of who I am and how I operate.
Some passions don’t disappear. These are the ones you need to focus on. Allow the fleeting passions to participate, but if you can keep in mind your values, mission statement, and overall goals in life, it is much easier to determine if a commitment is right for you.
It is all too easy to say yes to every new exciting project that comes along. But, you can’t do everything. This is something I have serious trouble with, and I will be the first to admit I have a problem accepting too many commitments, either out of guilt, a real desire to help, or if it is one of those fleeting passions.
Gianpaulo Pietri and several others of us in the minimalist community had a really great discussion on Twitter the other day discussing how to turn down projects.
Everett Bogue says, “Raise rates. Say no more often. I’ve found I can only effectively concentrate on one active project with full attention at a time.”
Tammy Strobel says, “Working on multiple projects at once never works for me. So I focus on 1 big project at a time. Otherwise quality suffers.”
I say, “I look at my ideal life list. If the project doesn’t match the values, it doesn’t make the cut.”
There is a common theme through all of this. You should only take on what you have time to do well. If you can’t put enough time in to do it well, do not do it! You’re only going to be showcasing halfway work, because you only had half the time available to do it. I’m a recent offender of my own rule.
I had breakfast the the other day at the most charming, little cafe. Eclectically decorated and off the beaten path, the cafe has been a part of the local community since 1941. The food was incredible. I had crepes with fresh fruit and the best, creamy inside ever, and my boyfriend had an omelet that wasn’t just the old heap o’ eggs standby. The owner, Cindy, was positively delightful. Eccentric, hard-working Cindy is a political campaigner’s dream, because she is about as close to the idea of what America is all about as is stereotypically thought.
However, in all of this charm, it was easy to see Cindy was distressed. Business was down $2000 in the past month from an unfair city sign ordinance. Her business was being disproportionately effected by the law, and my poor boyfriend just saw my eyes light up.
Here was someone in need. Here was someone I could help. Cindy doesn’t know the first thing about computers and the internet, and I was convinced I could help her. I have already started a little bit for her, and you can see the work here. If you are as ablaze over the situation as we were, please sign the petition on the site.
The site isn’t especially well done. It hasn’t received the time it deserves. That is my fault. I was foolish to take it on. Thus, I am looking for someone to pass the reins to, because Cindy deserves help. I’m just not the right person to do it right now. This is a really hard decision for me, because I love to help people. It is one of my biggest strengths. However, acknowledging you have to say “no” is vital to keeping true to your passions.
True passion doesn’t disappear in two weeks, so be willing to invest some time in what you love? What moves you? Isn’t that the idea behind “motivation?”