I’m personally fed up with people providing advice that “just follow your passion,” or “do what you love and the money will come.”
If you’re one of the rare Millennials who have a clear vision for what they want to do with their lives and are taking actionable steps towards it, then don’t let anything hold you back! Keep going after your dreams.
Yet, unfortunately, the majority of Millennials don’t have that luxury. If you’re in this boat, thinking, “I don’t know what career I want,” However, you are still having difficulty determining what your true passion is. Thus, instead of inspiring us, this quote ironically adds to our existing feelings of anxiety and self-criticism.
How can you possibly pursue your dreams if you don’t even know what they are?
Believe me, I understand the frustration of being in that position. It’s not a pleasant experience.
The (Brief) Backstory
Over the years, I was often influenced by people who achieved great feats at a young age. College students developing successful start-ups inspired me; as did books written by 20-somethings that topped bestseller lists. The blogs of Millennials with thriving online empires further provoked my curiosity and admiration.
Despite my admiration for these go-getters, I never entertained the thought that it could be me. After all, such endeavors were only meant to be taken on by extraordinary people – or so I believed.
After I had graduated from college, I followed the conventional path and secured a reliable job in my major field of professional writing that provided me with an acceptable salary.
I have always been a passionate reader, so I assumed that writing must be my true passion. As long as I had the opportunity to write all day at work, then surely it would make me blissful, correct?
It turns out that your passion runs far deeper than a single activity; it is something of much greater magnitude.
In my past 9-to-5 jobs, when I was feeling worn down or bored, nothing lifted me up more than reading the stories of successful young entrepreneurs who were living out their dreams. They seemed to have so much independence in what they did – setting their own limits and rules, staying authentic in all areas of work life, and taking meaningful action every single day. It never failed to give me motivation and hope for a better future!
I was envious of their good fortune.
It suddenly dawned on me that I could be the master of my own destiny, and create a life exactly how I wanted it to look.
At that moment, I realized I had chosen the wrong career path.
Despite my numerous attempts to be content with a job as an employee, I just could not make it work. All the while, deep down inside of me yearned for autonomy and independence that only comes from being an entrepreneur.
Even though my jobs gave me the amazing opportunity to write every day, something I still love and adore doing, it didn’t make up for not having control over what I wrote or why. That lack of freedom managed to take away all the pleasure from writing that made it so special in the first place.
When I opened myself up to the reality that true contentment could only be obtained by being my own boss, clarity and direction became apparent; what I truly wanted to do with my career was finally revealed. Suddenly, I uncovered that writing was only one of many areas I wanted to explore. More importantly, my real aim was to guide people in taking the reins over their lives instead of playing a passive role. This inspired me to become a life and career coach specifically for Millennial women; an endeavor that has been immensely fulfilling since its inception.
Although I’m not advocating that entrepreneurship is the ideal route for everyone, I’ve encountered a few Millennials who quickly grew tired of their entrepreneurial journey even though they were chasing after what they thought was their “passion.” After this realization, these individuals chose to pursue stability and teamwork by joining an established organization instead.
An important lesson to be learned: Until you know how you want to express your passion, it can be difficult for you to identify what exactly that passion is.
How can you obtain clarity and confidence in your decisions right away?
1. As you reminisce on what has held your attention for months, even years, and possibly since childhood, don’t write off these concepts as trivial. Take the time to analyze them further; I guarantee that hidden within lies a crucial insight into uncovering your authentic passion!
2. Clarify what you need from your next job. Now is the time to be truthful with yourself: Just how critical are collaboration and teamwork for you in a career? How well do you manage authority figures? Make sure that whatever position it is, there’s plenty of opportunity for your passion to shine through. Are you yearning to infuse your passion into your daily career path, or would that stifle the joy of it? If you still can’t decide how best to proceed with incorporating your passions in a meaningful way, consider taking my Passion Profile Quiz. It’s quick and easy – just five minutes is all it takes for this quiz to pinpoint exactly how you should join forces with work and pleasure!
Had I tuned into my own interests and passions sooner, chances are that I would have become an entrepreneur earlier and realized much quicker that a career in coaching was the path for me. This could’ve spared me several years of discouragement.
Believe me, it’s much simpler to recognize your ardor (and then “pursue your passion”) if you initially comprehend how you want to manifest it.
If you’re up for an adventure, I encourage you to take the quiz and come back here to share your Passion Profile with me!