“What do you do?” is a straightforward question that can be answered by looking at your resume or paycheck. However, the question “What are you passionate about?” is more challenging for many people because they may not know the answer. Passion is important as it brings joy, purpose, and focus to life. It drives action and creativity, allowing you to be yourself freely. Having passion also attracts like-minded people who can help you achieve great things. Discovering your passion is crucial, and here are five questions to help you do that.
1. Do I do what I do because I’m passionate about it, or because I think I should do it? Start by considering your current job or how you spend most of your time. Ask yourself why you do it and how you got into it. Are you there because you genuinely want to be, or do you feel stuck? It’s easy to get swept away by societal expectations. If you were always labeled as “good at math” during your childhood, you might have pursued a career in that field. While there’s nothing wrong with being good at something, if it’s not your passion, it may prevent you from pursuing what truly excites you.
2. What am I afraid of? Identifying your fears can help you understand your passions. If you’re afraid of being alone, it’s likely because you’re passionate about relationships. Additionally, ask yourself what you’re afraid of missing out on. When you reflect on your life in the future, what do you think you’ll regret not doing? What will feel unfinished? These questions can guide you towards the things that truly matter to you.
3. What makes me lose track of time? Losing track of time while doing something you love indicates a passion for that activity. Think about what makes you completely engrossed and unaware of the passing hours. Consider what you enjoyed doing as a child, particularly around the age of 10 when you were likely pursuing activities purely out of personal interest. Reflecting on your childhood hobbies can help identify patterns and narrow down potential passions.
4. What do I read, watch, listen to, and talk about? Pay attention to your choices in entertainment and conversations. What topics interest you the most? What subjects do you feel knowledgeable about or could become an expert in? Recognizing patterns in your preferences can provide insight into your true passions.
5. Ask others. Sometimes, people close to us can see our passions more clearly than we can ourselves. If you’re struggling to discover your passion, seek the perspective of those who know you well. Ask them what they think you’re passionate about and why. Their answers may offer valuable insights into your true interests.
Answering these questions honestly and taking time to reflect can help you uncover your passions. Write down your thoughts, both immediate answers and those you aren’t sure about. This exercise is personal, so be open and don’t hold back. If you’re still stuck, seek input from others who know you well. Discovering your passion may not be easy, but it’s worth the effort because it can bring fulfillment and happiness to your life. To further explore and pursue your passion, try using the Light Your Fire worksheet available through Design.org Plus. Embrace a passionate life and make the most of it.