It all begins as soon as we learn to talk, people ask, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. As if a 6 year old has any idea. But what about a 16 year old, constantly getting asked what their plans are for after college? Or that 26 year old with that freshly printed diploma? How about the 36, 46, or beyond year old sitting at what they thought was their “dream career” only to be left wanting more.
Some people seem to have it all figured out, some just happen to fall right into their passion and embrace it completely. Then there’s the rest of us, going where ever the wind takes us, testing the waters, thinking we know what we want but actually having no idea, feeling like we are on the right path one minute then getting completely lost the next. Until one day, it is like someone turns a light on at the end of that dark path that you’re lost on and finally you feel like you are going the right way, it is just up to you to get there. Is this the passion? The spark? Is this what the people who have it all figured out feel? I don’t know, but I do know that it is a good feeling.
So, how you find that light? How do you find your passion? First you stop looking for it.
Just stop. Stop everything actually. Stop and take some time to get to know yourself. Yes yourself. You would think you would know yourself very well, but really take the time to evaluate yourself. Take off the rose colored glasses and see yourself for who you really are not someone you are trying to be. Reflect on what brings happiness into your life, your skills, hobbies, interests, goals, role models, activities you’ve always wanted to try. Be a little selfish, remember this is for you. Your’re not trying to impress anyone or make anyone else happy but yourself.
Ok, you’ve narrowed it down to a few passions, how do you know which one is right? One simple way of doing this is to ask a few people that you are close with this simple question. “What do you think I am good at?”. Have them give you a few answers, then compare peoples answers to your passions. If you have repeat answers and answers that relate to your perspective passion, chances are that is a good choice!
Alright! You choose your passion now how do you know that this is THE ONE?? Well, my friend, know one knows, except you. You decide that for yourself. You will know when you feel it. You might get that spark, you might finally feel like you’re on the right path, working might start feeling a little less like “work”. You might feel happier, less stressed, more confident and determined. You also could feel more content in life knowing you finally found your path.
I too have always been a wanderer, trying out different pursuits in life, for different reasons. Looking back now, I can tell I was not completely passionate about them. Most of them were just “career choices” for me. Jobs you get just for a good salary, benefits, and the weekends off, if your lucky. I did the graduate college and get a “big girl job” thing, to feel accomplished and impress the family, which felt good but always left me thinking “what if”. Many doors closed for me on all the wrong paths, and I am grateful for that. I always had this one burning passion in the back of my mind for many years, it was finally time for me to find a little validation and to stop allowing people to block the light on my path.
Now, get out there and don’t follow those dreams…. CHASE THEM!!!!