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How Can You Follow Your Passion if You Don’t Know What It Is?

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I, personally, am tired of people giving advice like, “just follow your passion,” or “do what you love and the money will come.”

If you’re one of the (very few) Millennials out there who knows exactly what you want to do with your life, and you’re taking conscious, consistent steps toward it… then by all means, continue to follow your passion!

But most of us aren’t in that boat. If you’re like the majority of Millennials thinking, “I don’t know what career I want,” and still struggling to uncover what it is that you’re actually passionate about. So what’s intended as an inspirational phrase turns into one more thing to stress about and judge yourself for.

How are you supposed to follow your passion if you don’t even know what it is?

I’ve been there… and it’s not fun.

The (Short) Backstory

I’ve always been so inspired by people who have created something amazing and impactful at a young age. I’m fascinated by college students who created successful start-ups. I’ve always been drawn to read bestselling books by people in their early 20s (or younger). And for years I’ve followed tons of blogs by other Millennials with an online empire.

As much as I admired these young entrepreneurs, it never really occurred to me that I could become one. “Normal” people don’t do things like that.

So after college, I did what I was “supposed” to do: I got a stable, decent-paying job in the field that I majored in (professional writing).

I knew I liked writing (I’ve always proudly been a huge book nerd), so I thought maybe that was my passion. And I figured, as long as I was in a job where I could write all day, I’d be happy, right?

Wrong.

Turns out your passion isn’t limited to a singular activity… it’s something much deeper.

Whenever I was bored or frustrated at my old 9-to-5s, I found myself pulling up those blogs or articles about the young entrepreneurs that inspired me so much. They seemed to have so much freedom in their lives and work–they got to make their own rules, be completely themselves at their job, and spend their time doing something worthwhile.

I was so jealous!

Then one day it finally occurred to me that, (duh) there was nothing stopping me from creating that kind of life for myself.

That’s when it hit me that I was in the completely wrong job category.

I had tried over and over again to be happy working at a company as an employee, when it was just never going to work for me. I was craving the autonomy and freedom of entrepreneurship.

It didn’t even matter that my jobs allowed me to write all day, which is something that I loved (and still love). The fact that I didn’t get to choose what, when, and why I was writing sapped all the intrinsic joy right out of it for me.

When I finally embraced the fact that I would never be truly happy unless I was working for myself, then I was able to get clear on what I actually wanted to do for my job. And I surprised myself by realizing that I only wanted writing to be a part of what I did. Mostly, I wanted to help people become the director of their lives, instead of the passenger, which is why I became a life and career coach for Millennial women.

I’m certainly not saying that entrepreneurship is the answer for everyone. In fact, I know several Millennials who tried to start their own business and quickly burnt out (even though they were supposedly “living their passion”) because they realized that what they actually wanted was the stability and collaboration that comes with working at a company.

The takeaway: Until you first know how you want to express your passion, it can be hard to get clear on what your passion is in the first place.

So how can you start getting that clarity now?

1. Take note of what has consistently fascinated you for months, years, or even since you were a kid. Upon first glance, these things might seem trivial or silly, but if you give them a closer look, I guarantee there’s some valuable information there to help your clarify your passion.

2. Figure out how you want your passion to show up. It’s time to be honest with yourself: When it comes to your job, how important is collaboration and teamwork to you? How well do you deal with authority? Do you need your passion to be a part of your day-to-day work life, or would that sap all the joy out of it? If you’re still not sure how you want your passion to show up, you might want to take a simple quiz I co-created to help you figure it out: It’s called the Passion Profile Quizand within 5 minutes it’ll pinpoint exactly how you want your passion to intersect with your career.

If I’d paid attention to what had drawn my attention and fascination for years, I may have 1) become an entrepreneur and 2) discovered that I wanted to become a coach much earlier and saved myself several years of frustration.

Trust me, it’s a lot easier to figure out your passion (and then “follow your passion”) if you first know how you want to express it.

If you decide to take the quiz, I’d love for you to come back here and leave a comment to let me know your Passion Profile!

Photo: Jake Givens / Unsplash

Topics:

#Passion Career Advice #Find Your Passion
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Loved the quiz. Firestarter.

I'm a Thriver!

Cherelle Wright
Cherelle Wright

I got Thriver!

I got Side Hustler

Awesome, thanks for sharing, everyone! I love seeing the results :)

Side Hustler, "...because you don't fit cleanly into any box." LOL - story of my life. Maybe I can learn from this & use it to my advantage!

Lisana Piro
Lisana Piro

Such a great quiz! It feels very easy to choose the right answer, from your gut. I got Firestarter, which is basically my truest and most helpful CV. Thanks for this!

Tribe Member! Couldn't describe my work needs any more clearly. Really helpful to recognize when I'm looking for jobs.

I got thriver, and for the most part I think its true.

I got side hustler. Very helpful describing certain aspects of my personality and how it will benefit me in a career!

Fermín Tribaldos
Fermín Tribaldos

Kristen. Can you please contact me? We are developing a project to inspire people to find and follow their passion. The fanpage is here: facebook.com/ideantity fermin@ideantity.org

I got side hustler, and I think that it's really relevant.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Tribe Member... so amazingly accurate, this was actually really helpful in helping me realize some next steps, thank you!

"Results processing error!" ¬¬'

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great article - thanks for sharing!

In case someone needs further guidance I'm organizing online workshops to help people find their passion and life purpose.

You can find more information here:

http://consciouscareerchoices.com/passiontest

Cheers!
Maria

Raiha Ahmed
Raiha Ahmed

I took the quiz and I am a firestarter....it is quite true, specially for the drawbacks part, and the advice is what I am already working on, sticking to one project at a time!

I got Thriver and I think it's very true. I always thought I wanted something else. Thankfully, I now know where to focus on :)

Loved this! Side Hustler :)

I am most definitely a Side Hustler! Thanks!

I got Firestarter - and I couldn't agree more! ♥

Thriver...pretty spot on! Definitely impressed! I'm actually going through a laid off-unemployed life crisis in having difficulty finding anything in my field and might resort to finding a life coach

Side Hustler. Looking back, it makes sense. I have literally spent my entire life hustling all kinds of projects. Thanks!

Thanks everyone for sharing your results! I love hearing how much they resonated with you.

Ani Nguyen
Ani Nguyen

I'm a Thriver... which is shockingly pretty spot on.

Laura Cutshall
Laura Cutshall

I'm a Tribe Member. I don't have strong feelings about that result, personally.

Olivia Murdock
Olivia Murdock

I got "firestarter". I'd say it's pretty accurate overall but certainly does not fit my current career choice. Time to make an action plan and get some sh*t done!

Sarah Schirduan
Sarah Schirduan

Thriver! Couldn't agree more. Balance=Happy Life!

Side Hustler!! Love it! Definitely sharing this!

I am a Firestarter! Loved the test! Sharing!! :)

Fire Starter!

Sedina Moges
Sedina Moges

Firestarter

Stefanie Standing
Stefanie Standing

I got thriver. It fits perfectly and I feel that my perception of my passions have changed. I understand now that instead of trying to find a career that fulfills my passions (I don't really know what they would be in that situation) I need to find a career that will allow me to fulfill my passions outside of work and have a great work-life balance.

Side Hustler...now to seek another one out so I can support that hustle. :)

Aya Kechout
Aya Kechout

i'm a tribe member and i loved it because it truly defines me

Firestarter- this quiz is more like a conformation, especially the feeling overwhelm with ideas. trying to focusing on just one or two ideas.......ok maybe three :) is nearly impossible because they're all oh so important and cannot wait.

Tribe Member! This is a great read and short and sweet quiz.

firestarter 🔥🔥🔥

Tribe Member. Nailed it!

MAKE SOME SPACE FOR YOUR PASSION TO GROW - GIVE YOURSELF SOME "ME-TIME"

People say that a passion fills you up entirely and that you “live and breathe” your passion, which is true, but it also requires space and time. Therefore, it’s essential to create space in your life to be able to host your future passion. One of the main reasons for not having found your passion yet is that you were too busy taking care of other things.

Not knowing your passion is something that can happen to everybody, especially those who are engaged 200% in their job or family life. The busier you are with low-value or repetitive tasks the deeper your passion is buried. At some point in my life when I got really busy, I realised I was lacking a passion while everybody around seemed to have one.

In the following post (see below), I go through 6 steps to uncover your passion in life and answer these 2 questions: 1. Why having a passion makes you a better human being 2. How to find yours

See: https://medium.com/@Boris_Dadvisard/previous-post-more-about-me-my-story-ced8cd21e6c6

Hope this helps!



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