One question I get asked a lot is ‘how do you find your passion?’. I’m lucky that I managed to find my passions early on in my life so I assume that people think that I have some wisdom to share about how they can find theirs.
Thinking back on answers to this question I have given over the years I’m not sure if I have been much help at all, I’ve given the ‘think back to when you were a kid and think about what you loved doing then’ answer and the ‘who do you admire and what do you admire about them?’ way of thinking. While these types of self reflective questions may help people look deeper into what the could enjoy doing, recently I’ve had a different perspective on how people can find their passions in life.
The thing is, I think a lot of people actually know what their passions are, or at least what they enjoy doing and if they were to be honest with themselves they would easily identify what they would do if they had the freedom to live their lives filled with passion. With this in mind I’ve been wondering if the real question people are asking me is ‘how do you create a life where you can spend as much of your time as possible doing the things you love?’. This is a completely different question and it leads to a different way of thinking and another level of questions which can be quite confronting.
One of the questions to think about is ‘what would you be willing to give up and change about your current life to allow time for you to work on your passions?’. Would you be willing to drive a crappy car and reduce your standard of living if it meant that you could lead a life where you were able to follow your passions every day? I’m sure that if we were to answer these questions in public many of us would say that we aren’t that materialistic and we would be willing to do this, but would you really be willing to give up your current standard of living? Could you handle a downgrade on the social ladder? Could you handle the uncertainty of not having the security that your current life gives you and the comfort that comes with it?
These are all hard questions to think about. Deciding to move towards a passion-filled life doesn’t always mean that you will experience a drop in lifestyle but if you are willing to explore these questions you can start to really see what is holding you back from a life where you are doing things you love all the time.
The exploration of the limiters that restrict you from developing yourself helps you to clearly see the work that needs to be done to move away from these. When I started moving towards a life where I lived my passions every day I realised that I had way too much debt which was holding me back from the choices I wanted to make. With this knowledge I spent a year living very frugally and worked hard to reduce debt from my life and once I had got to a place where I had hardly any debt it was easier for me to have the freedom to spend time pursuing my passions, I was able to devote more of my life to them and evolve with them and not worry about where money for the next bill would come from.
Occasionally you’ll meet a person who has made a total shift in their life, they go from a life that is stuck on the treadmill of the day to day grind to one where they have this new found energy because they have filled their life with activities that they care most about. Often the first thing these people do is remove their limiters and then make the choice to fill their time developing their passions.
If you feel you don’t have a passion in your life and look at people around you who do and desire what they have, it could be time to delve into what you need to give up to start leading such a life. This is not an easy process and it may require that you made some tough decisions around letting go of safety and certainty your current life has but if you can do this and then devote time and energy into developing your passions you may find that one day someone will be asking you the question ‘how do you find your passion?’.
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