Saturday, February 5, 2011

Have You Found Your Passion?

In my last post (or perhaps more correctly, my first post), I mentioned passion. Most people would like their focus in life to be something that they are passionate about. But what are you passionate about?? It can be a tough question to answer, especially if you've never asked yourself before. And how can something you're passionate about sustain yourself and your family?

Like a lot of people, I had no clue what I was really passionate about. I feel pretty strongly about my family and the recent birth of my second son, and even a good bowl of ice cream. But could I really incorporate those into something to make a living?

The answer is yes, but would I want to make money with those? I'm not really interested in solely making ice cream for people for a living or getting my kids into modeling or anything.

So I was stuck. I researched it online. I recorded ideas for 6 months and still really didn't have any idea how it would be possible for me to quit my job that I'm definitely NOT passionate about. I felt like I'd never see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Finally I had an epiphany, and I can see! There's light at the end of the tunnel!! I'm not stuck in drudgery forever!!!

The thing about passion... is it can be sneaky.  With me, it definitely was. I have been doing what I'm passionate about all along! I'm just SO passionate about it, that it's just everyday life for me. It was right under my nose the whole time.

Today I listened to an interview with Derek Sivers, a hugely inspirational guy that I've just discovered. To access it, you need to sign up for Ramit Sethi's free 30-Day Hustling Course (if you scroll down the page, you can read a bit about Derek and sign up for the free course). Honestly, I signed up just for the interview, I'm that into Derek Sivers right now. Ramit mentioned in the interview that he knows his website and his book, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, come off as a little questionable. I laughed was like, "You got me!" when he said that, but from the sounds of it, he really knows what he's talking about. Even though I'm not really interested in getting "rich," I would like to make a little bit of money (another story entirely), and so I'm definitely going to look through his course to see if there's anything that I can benefit from.

Back to the passion. Derek mentioned in the interview how elusive this "passion" thing can be for some people. It's something both he and Ramit get a lot of emails about -- people saying something like, "I really wish I had your passion, but I just haven't figured out what I'm into... (and so I'll just use that as an excuse to be stuck with this job I hate)."

It's because people, me included until recently, feel like their PASSION is supposed to be this big obvious thing for everyone. For example, Treavor (my un-husband :) is really passionate about chess and computers. He plays chess every time he gets the chance, and if he hears your computer is malfunctioning, he can't help but assist. It's obvious that he's passionate about those things. It's often obvious when people are passionate about music. There are a lot of passions that appear obvious to people. But ordinary, average people by definition aren't really passionate about anything, right?


(By the way, I don't believe anyone is really ordinary or average, they just convince themselves they are. You are extraordinary and you have a passion. Even if your passion is not having a passion.)

Everybody is passionate about something. If you're stuck trying to figure out your passion, I want you to first think about the thing that knocked me out of the unpassionate box. You are so busy doing what you really want to do that you don't have time for what you think you want to do. Is that true? Mull over that for a few days, maybe a few months. And while you're mulling, write some stuff down. I suggest Leo Babauta's Short But Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion. And while you're at it, take a look at the post about doing what you love on Man vs. Debt.

Keep in mind that if you're still not sure what your passion is, while you're figuring it out, DO NOT focus on how to profit from it. Save that for later, when you're sure you can be happy doing this thing just for the fun of it, maybe for no money at all. Focusing on profit will more than likely cloud your vision -- you'll be more focused on the money than the love. That was part of the road block to finding my passion; even though I don't really want to be rich, I was still too focused on what generates income to consider what my passion ultimately turned out to be. So, remember, when finding your passion, follow your heart and not your wallet.

So, do you know what your passion is? Are you living it? Let me know!

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