For about as long as I can remember I’ve asked myself and continually tried to evaluate what’s important to me, or more specifically, what I’m passionate about.
I’ve searched for and read articles on “how to find your passion,” and when I’ve felt stuck even asked my wife what she thinks I’m passionate about, which as you can imagine didn’t get me very far. Typically, it starts with a question such as:
“If money wasn’t an object, what would I want to do in my life?”
Searching for this answer is one of the reasons I went out of my way to write a personal mission statement, but as I found it didn’t really answer the question of what I’m passionate about.
Instead, it focused more on the type of person I wanted to be, the things I wanted to achieve and the values that are important to me, rather than digging into exactly what makes me tick.
For me, one of the problems with the question above is that it’s work centric because it includes “money” as part of the question. Therefore, my thoughts are naturally bias towards replacing my current career with something that’s more appealing or enjoyable.
The truth is, I thoroughly enjoy my work. It’s a great environment with friendly people and I have a super fun role where I truly feel like I can make a positive lasting impact on people’s lives. And while I know not everyone can claim that they enjoy what they do for work, I personally find that it’s not the source of why I ask myself the question in the first place.
So, as I’ve thought more deeply about what I’m passionate about, I’ve begun to ask myself a different question:
“What makes me feel good?”
Ahhhh… now that’s a question, and it’s one that I can easily come up with concrete answers. Rather than focusing on an activity that I enjoy, it allows me to focus more intently on the things that make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Here’s a few of the things that I came up with:
- Being around family and friends
- To feel needed
- Physical activities and challenges
- Accomplishing a task
- Helping others
- Making people laugh and laughing
- A job well done
- Solving problems
- Building relationships
- Building stuff in general
- Cooking a great meal
- Being polite (good manners are underrated)
- Learning and teaching
- Listening to and playing music
- Overcoming a fear
- Making a difference
- Writing and reading
- Good food and coffee
I could go on and on with this list, and while I have yet to pinpoint my “true” passion, I’m fairly positive it lies within what makes me feel good. This has been a bit of a mind shift for me, in that it forces me to focus more on the emotional side of things, which I believe is at the heart of what drives people’s passions, rather than the activities which produce the emotion.
As a result, I’m working on spending more time focusing on things that make me feel good, and find that this process naturally leads me towards activities I enjoy doing. It’s a slight distinction, but one that has been extremely helpful for me.
So as you search for your passion, start by asking yourself “what makes you feel good,” and start doing more of those things!
What are you passionate about? I’d love for you to share in the comments below.