If you haven’t found your passion yet, here’s how to get on that horse and ride it like a cowboy.
I am a motivational speaker- and have written several books on motivation. I always get this question as a travel around speaking and consulting: “You seem very passionate about what you do, how do you do that?”
Here’s what I wrote about this in my book Jumpstart Your Motivation.
Are you married or in a committed relationship? If you are, you probably had to look around for a long time before you found the right person. How did you find the right person? More importantly, how did you know it was the right person? As your mom and dad used to say, when you are in love “you will just know.” So you knew you were passionate about this person and they knew they were passionate about you.
Professionally, the same rules apply. You will know when you find the profession or job that you can be passionate about. In order to find out what you are passionate about, you must search anywhere and everywhere. Here are some suggestions for finding your true passion professionally and personally.
- Go Back- Look back at your childhood and teen years, and ask yourself “What was I passionate about back then?” Could it be that you still are passionate about that area? It may be an old flame that is dormant and waiting to be reignited. Take some quiet time and think through that. Can you think of something deep in the back of your mind?
- Go Out- Part of the problem many of us face is that we keep doing things the same way and doing the same activities over and over. We never do anything new. Try to read new magazines, travel to new towns and go to a museum you have never visited. In our family every other Saturday is “Family Day” and this sacred day is set aside to go somewhere. The family day only has one simple rule: it must be somewhere we have never been. Seeing new sights, visiting new places, just may stimulate your imagination and lead you to discover a passion you were not aware existed. The bottom line is that if you haven’t found you passion so far you need to change your methods.
- Vacate- If you go on vacations every year, plan to go to different places. If you live in the mountains go to the beach. If you live at the beach go to the mountains. The different places you go will stimulate your imagination and help you uncover your true passion for what you love. You may accidentally run into the passion of a lifetime and a new career.
- Read- As Denis Kimbro, the author says, “Leaders are readers.” Read constantly and read about topics that you have an interest in knowing more about. Even if you have a slight fascination with a topic, get a book and read about it. Surf the net and try to find out more about it. Read the trade journals of that particular industry. For example, if you have an interest in being a police officer, read about police officers. Better yet, call your local police department and ask if they allow citizens to ride with them. The only way you are going to find out is to experience as closely as possible the area in which you have an interest. As the old Alka-Seltzer ad said “Try it you’ll like it!” I recently had someone call me who was interested in the training industry. I asked them how much they knew about it. They said they knew nothing about it. I gave them several resources, said I would be happy to help them in any way I could, to touch base and let me know how things were going. The person never called me back.
- Talk to People- Everyday you come in contact with many people who are involved in different professions and interests. When you meet people, take advantage of the opportunity and “pick their brain.” Ask them what they do and what they like about it. Try to learn as much as possible from them to see if you can relate to it, and to see if you may have an interest in that topic.
- Take Classes- Pick an area of interest and sign up for some classes at your local community college or online. You may find a subject that gets your wheels spinning and fascinates you! Think of this approach as a “buffet” approach; you are sampling different topics, trying to find your passion.
- CD’s and downloads– An additional method of discovering your passion is to listen to audio programs. There are thousands of audiotapes and CD’s on the market that you can listen to when you are traveling. These tapes can stimulate your thinking and give you great ideas that you haven’t thought of before.
- Find a Mentor- Find someone who is successful and who is involved in the area that you may have an interest in learning more about. Contact them and ask them if they are willing to have lunch with you to discuss what they do and to give you advice. If they are willing to meet with you it can be a good way to get an inside perspective on that subject.
- Find a Coach- If you go to a local gym, you have the option of hiring a personal trainer or “coach” who is an expert in fitness and nutrition. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could hire a “success coach?” Well there is good news. There are now personal success coaches nationwide who can coach you. For a fee, these trained professionals will work with you over the phone or in person and help with your overall life goals.
Knowing Passion When You See It
When you keep searching for your life passion and you finally find it, how will you know that you have found it? There are some symptoms, which are very easy to recognize:
- You will be excited about it long term.
- Your wheels will be turning 24 x7!
- Even though it is your work, you would almost be willing to do it for free
- When time flies by- that is a big clue!
- You will be willing to give 197% willingly.
- You will talk about it with friends and family constantly.
I am sure you have heard of the comic strip Dilbert. This comic strip by Scott Adams is one of the most popular in the country. Scott is passionate about being a cartoonist. He wanted to be a cartoonist in the worst way and was very passionate about it. He was working at a computer company in California full time. In order to work on his comic strip, he would get up at 5:00 am every morning and work from 5:00- 7:00. He would then go to work. If someone is willing to go to that end, that is a great definition of passion. Do you have that kind of passion now.
If you don’t cowboy, then get on your horse and go out there in the world and find your passion now!