When you have a passion for a something, whether it’s drawing or collecting Star Wars figures, what does it feel like when you are in the moment? Do you seem to lose track of time, do you forget to eat, do the stresses in your life either appear less daunting or even melt away altogether?
And when you’re not actively doing it, do you light up when you talk about the activity, are you excited leading up to the beginning of your session, class, etc? Do you feel inspired afterward?
Well, if you can’t think of anything that gives you those feelings, don’t worry my friend, that doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. We’ll get you going in the right direction, so you can hop on the fast track to passion town (or at least you’ll start experimenting with different hobbies).
When I first started researching ways to find passion, I became pretty disappointed. I came across suggestions that were rather apparent and non-creative such as:
-“What Do You Already Love to Do”: If I loved it oh-so-much to begin with, it would already be my passion and I wouldn’t be searching on how to find one in the first place!
-“Start With Your Talents or Something You’re Already Good At”: What is it with these people? Just because I’m good at it, doesn’t mean it’s a passion of mine. And like I said before, I must not love doing it too much, otherwise, I wouldn’t need to be looking on the internet for tips on how to find my passion.
-“Brainstorm”: Freakin’ duh. If you have already spent some time and energy on the matter, chances are you’ve racked your brain quite a bit. And since you are turning to their blog or article for help, it’s clear you’re not coming up with anything worth getting excited about.
FOUR TIPS THAT COULD ACTUALLY SPARK AN IDEA
1) WHAT WAS A FAMILY MEMBER’S PASSION
It is no secret that talent can be genetic. For example, you see it all the time in the entertainment business. Children of famous actors and actresses follow in their parents footsteps.
In a Psychology Today article, author Scott Barry Kaufman shares how at age 16 he decides to start playing the cello. Now even though his grandfather was an successful cellist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Scott had never learned to play.
Instantly, he was hooked. Practicing came easily to him, so easy in fact, that he received the prestigious music award only two years later.
“The interplay between talent and motivation is equally reinforcing…But when our brains enjoy engaging in particular material, whether it be breakdancing moves or math theorems, the neurotransmitter dopamine gets released- increasing our energy and drive toward further activity in that domain.”
Basically, when you’re naturally talented at a skill, you find it easy to learn, which makes feel good, and that inspires you to keep taking action.
The point I’m trying to make is, if there’s a member of your family that has or had a special ability, it’s possible that you could share that same gift or something along those same lines.
The thing to remember is to keep an open mind. If your grandma loved to create quilts, how do you know you’d rather hang yourself with a rusty wire unless you try it (trying quilting out, not hanging yourself…) You might fall head over heels in love with it! Or, you might hate it with every fiber of your being like you originally thought.
2) WHAT ELECTIVES DID YOU TAKE IN HIGH SCHOOL
Okay, going back in time again to your high school years. Did you enroll in a photography class, were you interested in the French language and culture, did you really get a kick out of creating functional art out of clay? Well, try picking back up where you left off years ago.
Hop on one of those daily deal sites where they have tons of cheap classes for almost anything you can think of. It’s perfect because a) it’s a heck of a deal and b) the majority of the offers aren’t long term, so if you end up disliking the class, you’re not locked in forever.
3) WHAT DID YOU LOVE TO DO AS A CHILD
When you were a child, did you love taking dance classes? Could you not stop making those colorful pot holders on the looms? Were you obsessed with climbing on the jungle jim?
I’m not saying you have to go to your parents basement and find that ole loom or go to the nearest playground, but translate that to grown-up activities, and you may just be on to something. If you loved ballet class as a kid, try a salsa dance class, instead of horsing around on a jungle jim, go rock climbing.
Catch my drift?
4) GIVE IT SOME TIME
Remind yourself that it might take a few times of trying it before an activity really “clicks” with you. Don’t give up after the first time simply because you didn’t want to quit your job, move to the mountains and become a ski instructor the very first time you went skiing…well, something that resembled skiing anyway. But hey, you had a good time right?
It is possible for passion to develop over time. If you had an enjoyable experience and would consider going a second time, by all means, GO! Now, if the follow up encounter was just as fun-filled, I suggest taking a trip to the library and checking out a couple fascinating books on the subject to pique your interest even further.
You never know what a little history on you newest pastime will do for you. Say you continue hitting up your hobby and you are liking it more and more every time you go. Invest in a couple private lessons to expand on what you already know!
So why did I write a blog post on finding your passion? I did it for a few reasons…
Passion Can Be All-Consuming
The world around you seems to disappear and it can completely take your mind off FOOD. One of my latest passions, which my husband won’t let me do anymore because I spend too much and win too little, is gambling. I love it. The penny slots seem to call out to me and I can spend hours at the casino without the mere thought of having a bite to eat.
For years, I considered dance my passion, but that turned into “work” long ago.
Using my own tips, I came to the conclusion of blogging. When I was younger, I religiously wrote in my journal, as a little kid, I thoroughly enjoyed writing stories and as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to help people.
So far, I am getting a kick out of this whole blogging thing.
Passion Can Give You Purpose
You decide that this one thing is what you were put on this earth to do. It makes you feel alive.
Often, people are mistaken that a passion has to be creative or unique in order for it to count, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! If you can’t get enough of electromagnetism, you sit your butt down and do it to it. If you still love collecting those Garbage Pail Kid cards more than life itself. Get loud and be proud!
There’s no “Passion Police” out there telling you what is and is not considered a passion. If the activity makes you feel like you’re doing something with your life, then nobody else can tell you otherwise.
Pursuing your Passion Makes You Happy
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but when you love doing that passion of yours, it’s going to get you all revved up.
You may relish in how easily you can lose touch with reality for awhile. Or you may bask in the challenge of it, where you achieve a difficult skill and it causes great exhilaration.
However it stokes your fire, you’ll feel as though you’re on top of the world. And when something causes pure joy, you want to experience it again and again.
Kaufman, S. (2009). Genius, Genes and Gusto: How Passion Finds You. Psychology Today. [online] Available at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200911/genius-genes-and-gusto-how-passions-find-you [Accessed 17 Dec. 2014].