What is Passion?
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m sure there’s more to life than this. If only I can find out what it is!”
I certainly did, and it took me a while to realise that I wasn’t alone.
Most of us go through a passionless life. We wished we’d find something that – for a lack of a better word – ‘spark joy’ in our lives.
But how do we find passion? Does it even exist?
Yes, it does, and you WILL find it eventually. Here are some tips on how I found mine.
Tip 1: It Doesn’t Have to Relate to Your Job
Recently I was at a conference and there was a panel of local successful women entrepreneurs who owned successful businesses. All of them unanimously agreed that they were happy because they got to wake up every day doing something they loved.
Was I envious? Yes, a little.
But I also know this: passion doesn’t have to be your job.
Many people think that you MUST find passion in your job, and if you can’t find it, then it’s 100 percent wrong. You MUST search for another job which makes you ‘happy’.
This is simply not true.
What is ‘happiness’ in your job anyway? Because every job has its bad days, so looking for complete happiness in one’s job is frankly, unrealistic.
Yes, it would be great if you can make a career out of what you love doing, but you can also find your passion outside your career.
I know a salesperson who loves yoga, and teaches yoga part-time. Another example are stay-home moms whose job is to take care of their children; their lives are filled with passion despite not having a ‘job’.
Tip 2: You Can Have Many Passions.
Another misconception on finding passion is this – just like finding ‘The One’ we think that we can have only ONE passion in our lifetime.
Society and culture have made us think that there’s only one thing which we can be truly passionate about. I used to be so confused because my initial passion was in teaching, and when I lost my spark in it, I felt utterly lost.
Worst, I believed that since I lost my passion in teaching, I won’t be able to find it in anything else.
This belief is not only limiting, it makes us believe that there’s only one thing which we are good at. Is it a logical thought? Definitely not. Was I stupid to think it? Definitely yes.
Passion is varied, and it CAN change. I know that what I am excited about now will probably not be something which I am excited about tomorrow, and that’s okay.
Just look at Oprah Winfrey’s transformation from simple talk show host to philanthropist – there is no limit to what we can do.
So, don’t fret if you feel like you’re not good or passionate about anything now. You probably haven’t developed your passion just yet.
If you’re currently still searching for your passion, here’s what you can do:
Tip 3: Ask Questions Using Your Heart, Not Your Head
There was a quote I read once: Passion cannot be found in your head, because it lives in your heart.
Ever wanted to do something you thought would be fun, only to think twice about it? Rationality is good to keep us grounded, but too much of it also limits us from finding what we love.
Take the example of Lady Gaga who followed her heart despite people telling her she wasn’t any good.
The truth is, when you find your passion, you’ll know it’s right because it FEELS right, not because you THINK it is.
One of the questions I asked myself during my search for passion is this: If I didn’t have to worry about financials, what would I do? And after I answered that question…
Tip 4: Be Courageous in Exploring
There’s no shortcut to finding your passion, and the road to it is confusing, long, and messy. The only way to know what you’re good at is to explore hobbies which might interest you.
Luckily, everything is easily accessible nowadays, and there are many classes and online groups for things like leathercraft, singing, cooking, etc. All it takes is for us to be courageous enough to take the first step.
If it doesn’t feel right, then we simply move on to the next one. At least we were brave enough to try.
For myself, I tried to explore my interest in marketing, yoga, cooking, and then writing.
I knew that I loved writing. But I always thought that I sucked at it, and nobody will be interested in what I wrote. Plus, I didn’t want to take a severe pay cut from my current job.
But I am so glad that I was brave enough to try writing in a blog, and then making it my part-time job, and I have never looked back since.
Is writing my passion? Yes. But I know that it is just one of my passions, and that I might fall in and out of love from it a few times, and that’s ok.
So, if you haven’t found your passion yet, don’t stress about it. Think of it as an opportunity that is waiting right around the corner.
But as the old saying goes: Don’t expect it to come to you, sometimes you must go out there and get it.
For more articles on passion, read Behind the Scenes: Struggling from Hard Work to Success; Darius Shu’s Story, and A Malaysian Making Magic in Britain’s Got Talent – This Is Andrew Lee’s Story.