Written by: Jenny Smith
Discovering what you love to do most can have a breathtaking effect on your life. Society and the culture we live in place a whole bunch of expectations on us, which most of us simply absorb and strive to live up to. A good job, a nice home, a successful relationship, a family – these are the things we aim for, these are the things we are led to believe will deliver satisfaction to our world.
And in many cases they do. But, you only have to look at the range of self-help books on sale, the mass of inspiring, searching messages online to realise, todays society goals can leave us feeling a little, well, empty.
The problem with reaching for success in this way is that it ignores our own inner desires, the essence of what makes us who we are as individuals. Finding your passion is all about reviewing what you think you want from life. Based on society’s vision, interweaving the elements of which ARE important to you, with the other things you are passionate about. And it’s easier than you may think.
Consider your Talents
Take some time to think about all those things you are good at, the things you have a real aptitude for. Next, identify which of these you genuinely enjoy. Add to these the things you love to do, but perhaps think you are no good at, although others have complimented you on. The resulting list is the beginning of your quest to find your true passion. What truly matters here is identifying those things that you enjoy at a deep, instinctive level.
Who Irritates You?
This question is designed to help you be honest with yourself about your true feelings. Often, when we find another person annoying it is because they are displaying behaviours that we would like to exhibit, but don’t give ourselves the freedom to indulge in. (And sometimes they are just plain annoying – only you can make that judgement call!) Be honest with yourself, take that new understanding and apply it to your life. For example: if you find frivolous people irritating, could it be in part because you feel burdened by life and responsibilities that make you unable to act that way, even though you’d like to?
Go Back to Childhood
Our mini-selves were pretty wise. We knew how to have fun, indulge in what we loved to do and to hell with responsibility (what DOES that word mean anyway Mum?). It makes sense then, in our bid to unearth our true passion, to allow our minds to wander back to childhood and remember what made us smile. Singing, painting, horse-riding, meccano – when you’re a child you have a lot of freedom to choose what you play with and how you play. And those choices can be very revealing.
When do you Find it Tricky to Stop?
It’s human nature to feel weighed down by those things we don’t enjoy, and free when we’re indulging our passions. So, take a moment to consider what you are doing in those moments when you lose track of time. What fires you up so intensely that you never want to stop doing it? You have a big fat clue to your passion right there.
Enjoy the Search
Sounds obvious, right? But, if in the quest for your passion, you are placing yourself under pressure, then you are kind of defeating the object of the exercise. This isn’t another task to be ticked off. Try to view it as a journey towards your own personal enlightenment. Enjoy the adventure and remember there are no absolutes – even when you find what you think is your passion; there is no harm in continuing the search while you indulge it.
I know I love to paint, but the more I do the more I realise that for now, I’m loving sketching even more. This may be to do with the fact that my time is limited and painting demands more of it – so I’ll sideline that for now for those odd days when I do have a free hour, returning to it as my children grow and my free time expands with that process. Once you’ve found your own passion make time in your world to enjoy it. Who knows where it may lead? You could even find yourself with a new career path.