Your passion is the reason you wake up in the morning, and just the thought of it can keep you up late with excitement. But not everyone knows exactly what his passion is right away. Don’t worry — whether you’re looking for your passion to find a new career, or if you’re looking to get completely immersed in a new hobby or activity, there are a number of things you can do to find your passion.
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Think about what you love to do. To find your passion, you should first take a look at your own life and see if you’re already doing something that you love — but just not doing it very often. Figuring out what you really love to do and channeling it in a productive way that turns it into a passion can help you explore your heart’s desires. Here are some of the things you should ask yourself when you brainstorm what you love to do:
- What are my goals?
- What do I do most of the time?
- What do I keep on trying to do?
- If I could do one thing for the rest of my life, what would it be?
- What do I love to do?
- What would I do, even if I didn’t get paid to do it?
- What makes me feel like nothing else exists?
- What activity makes me feel completely in my element?
Think about what you’ve always dreamed of doing. This is different from making a list of all of the things that make you happy. Here, you’ll have to write down all of those things you’ve always dreamed about, but haven’t done because you don’t have the time, the money, or because they’re impractical or even slightly scary. Here are the questions you should ask yourself as you brainstorm what you’ve always dreamed of doing:
- What is the one thing I have always dreamed about, but never got to do?
- What did I want to do when I was a child?
- Do I have an impractical dream that I once abandoned?
- Is there something I’ve been afraid to try because it takes me out of my comfort zone?
- Is there something I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t done because of financial fears?
- Is there something I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t tried because I’ve been afraid I’d fail or just not be very good at it.
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Create a game plan. Once you’ve written down the answers to your questions, you may have a better idea of the type of things that already interest you or the things that you’ve always wanted to try. Now that you have a bit more information, you can create a plan for finding your passion. Here are some things you can decide to do:
- Make a goal of trying at least five things on your list. Plug them into your calendar. Make a plan for actually doing these things as soon as you can, even that means within a year, if the activities are more complicated, like traveling to a foreign country.
- Make a goal of trying a few completely new things that take you out of your comfort zone. They don’t have to be on your list — you can just try a few more things that pique your interest, even if you haven’t necessarily always dreamed of doing them or tried them before.
- Prioritize your potential passions. Decide which things you’d like to try first. You can try the ones that sound most intriguing first, or you can try the most practical ones first.
Method 2 of 3: Use Your Interests to Your Advantage
Turn a beloved hobby into a full-time passion. If there’s already something in your life that fills you with excitement, joy, and self-worth, then you should try to turn that hobby or activity into a full-time endeavor. Though it may scare you to make a big life change, if you know there’s something you already love, then you should spend more time pursuing it to see if it’s your passion.
- Your hobby could be anything, from ceramics, painting, or poetry, to teaching yoga or screen printing.
- If you can’t make money with your passion (like running marathons, for example), then you can find a way to make that hobby the central passion of your life by getting involved in the running world in some other way.
- You can transition slowly into spending more time doing your favorite hobby to see if it’s your passion. If you’re afraid to drop everything and devote yourself to this hobby full time, then take baby steps. First, spend the entire weekend pursuing your hobby. If this makes you realize how much you love it, then spend the whole next week pursuing your hobby. After that, you can see if you want to spend all of your time devoted to this activity.
Rekindle a childhood passion. You may feel like your life has become too routine or boring for you to have time for dreams and passions, but there must have been a point in your life when you had a real dream to pursue something courageous and exciting. Think back to your childhood self, and the things you used to dream about when you were a kid or even an adolescent. See if you can find a way to transform these dreams into a passion.
- If you always wanted to be an astronaut, then maybe this idea doesn’t appeal to you quite as much anymore. But think about why the idea appealed to you in the first place — maybe because it involved exploring space, science, or adventure — and see if you can find a new passion out of that.
- Be brave. If you wanted to be a singer or an actress, it’s never too late to try to fulfill your dreams.
- Unfortunately, you may have to take a practical approach in some cases. If you wanted to be an Olympic gymnast when you were ten and you’re forty now, it’s unlikely that there’s a gold medal in your future. But if you were once really passionate about gymnastics, see if you can involve yourself in it in some other way, such as being a trainer, coach, or being involved at a gym in some capacity.
- If you were lucky enough to keep a journal when you were younger, go through it. See what passions sparked your fancy, and what dreams you wrote about again and again.
Combine your talents. Maybe you have more than one talent, like doing tricks on a BMX, and you love to write. Could you see yourself writing books on BMX riding and tricks, or true stories about how those riders started out doing what they love? Here are a few other ways to combine your talent:
- Maybe you love to write poetry as well as interpretive dance; could you interpret one of your poems, or write a poem about your love for dance?
- If you’re a talented writer, make the most of your writing skills. If you love something, blogging about it or making a website about it will help you share your passion, use your writing skills, and develop your love for what you’re doing.
- If you have a passion for languages and an unrelated field, such as animal rights, see if you can use your language skills to work as a translator or interpreter in that field.
Do the thing you’ve always dreamed about. No matter how gutsy, risky, or impractical that thing may be, you should work hard to make your dream a reality. Who knows — maybe you’ll try salsa dancing and will realize its not the thing for you, or you’ll travel to the Galapagos Islands and will feel uninspired. But it’s more likely that by being brave and doing the thing you’ve always dreamed about, you’ll be lighting that spark that ignites you.
- Be determined to pursue your dream, in spite of practical and financial constraints. Make a plan that allows you to try your dream out, even if it’s only for a little while. It could take a while to save up to pursue this dream or to make the proper arrangements, but it will be worth it.
- If you’re afraid to try the new thing, like climbing to the top of a mountain, ask your friends for their support. You don’t have to try something new and scary alone.
- Start talking about what you’re going to do before you do it. If you really wanted to build your own treehouse, start telling everyone about it. This will get you closer to making your dreams a reality. You’ll be less likely to back down if everyone knows you want to pursue your dreams.
Try a new sport. You may not know it, but your true passion could be mountain biking or archery. Though you may think you only like to go jogging once in a while, you’ll never know what your true passion is until you try. Trying a new sport will get your adrenaline running, will make you more excited about the world, and will also be a great form of exercise. If you find you really love this sport, you can end up being a teacher, a coach, or even start sharing your love for the sport with devoted followers online. Here are some things to try:
- Dancing. Take a class in salsa, ballroom dancing, foxtrot, hip hop, or anything you can think of.
- Yoga. Take a variety of yoga classes to see if this is your life’s calling.
- Running. You can just run on your own and see how great it feels, or you can set a goal of training for a 5K and work your way up to a marathon.
- Swimming. Not only is swimming a fantastic full-body workout, but you may find that your head clears and your body feels like it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be when you’re in the water. Swimming in a lake or an ocean can also make you feel more in touch with nature.
- Martial arts. Take a karate or jujitsu class and see how it makes you feel.
- Team sports. Join a bowling, baseball, softball, soccer, or volleyball league and find your passion for a new sport as well as the joy of sharing it with others.
- Less-traditional sports. Try curling, archery, mountain biking, skateboarding, or any other sport that has always intrigued you.
Explore your artistic side. You may have a wonderful artistic side without even knowing it. To explore your artistic side, you can try painting, writing, acting, singing, or designing clothes, just to name a few things. There are a number of things that you can do to find your inner-artist.
- Play an instrument. Maybe you loved playing the piano when you were a kid and stopped. Give it another try.
- Write. Try your hand at penning a play, poem, short story, or even a novel. You may find that you have more to say than you think.
- Act. You don’t have to be Jennifer Lawrence to try acting, whether you just have fun staging a play with a few friends, or try to join a local theatre company.
- Sing. If you’ve always had a passion for singing but never had time to share your voice with others, this is it. You can also join a chorus or an a cappella group if singing in a group is more your thing.
- Draw, paint, or sculpt. Use a variety of tools to either sketch a drawing, paint a landscape, or create a sculpture. You may be able to find your true passion by working with your hands.
Pick up a new hobby. There are a variety of hobbies that may not require any athletic or artistic skill that can still turn into a passion for you. Whether you want to be a coin collector or pick up a new language, any new hobby you pursue can turn into a real passion for you. Here are some hobbies you can consider:
- Birdwatching. You can connect with nature while learning a lot about the animal kingdom. If you’re passionate about this, you can write a book or lead bird-watching expeditions.
- Pet grooming. Maybe you’ve always loved pets — now is your time to turn your hobby into a full – time passion.
- Learn a new language. You can pick up a language just for fun and then find that you’re living and breathing foreign words. Convert this to a passion by working as a translator or getting so absorbed in the foreign language that you read and watch movies only in that language or even move to a foreign country because of it.
- Cooking. You may be taking your stellar cooking skills for granted. If you already love cooking, start watching more cooking shows, reading food blogs, and sharing your recipes with your friends and see if you can make your love for tasty cuisine into a full-time passion.
- Carpentry. You may be a whiz at building furniture but only do it once in a while. See if you can turn your skills into a passion by building an entire room of furniture, or even starting a small furniture-making business.
Get out of your comfort zone. If you’re having trouble finding your passion, it may be because you’re so used to doing the same old thing that you don’t have the guts to try anything new. If you really want to find your passion, then you’ll have to test yourself and step out of your comfort zone to find the thing that really appeals to you. Here are some things to try:
- Try an extreme activity, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, or zip-lining. You may find a new love for this crazy thing.
- Do something you don’t think you’re good at. If you think you’re a terrible dancer, cook, knitter, or writer, try spending one hour a week on this act. See if you’re not only not as bad as you think, but if you’re developing a real love for this activity.
- If you’re artistically minded, try something more logical, like crossword puzzles or chess. If you’re very practical, try something artistic with less rigid rules, like oil painting or yodeling.
- If you’re convinced that you’re tone deaf, pick up an instrument. Learn to play the piano, flute, or even the recorder and see how this opens up your world.
Travel. Traveling can be a great way to open up your world and find a passion with new eyes. Though your budget may restrict you from extensive traveling, you should do what you can to go to a completely new place and see a new way of living, eating, and breathing. Whether you’re traveling to a new state or across the world, this can help you find something that you’re passionate about.
- You may find that your true passion is travel. If you find out that you have wanderlust, make the most of it and plan a yearly — or even a monthly — trip.
- Take lots of photos when you travel. You may find that your new passion is photography.
- Get inspired. Use your surroundings to find your passion. If you’re on a beach in Florida, you may find that your new passion is shell collecting; if you’re touring the Louvre in Paris, you may find that your new passion is fine art.
Volunteer in your community. Take the time to volunteer in your community, and you may find that you have a new passion. There are a variety of ways to volunteer in your community: you can help people develop their writing and reading skills at your local library, volunteer at your local soup kitchen, or help clean up a park in your community.
- If you help clean up a park, you can find a new passion for gardening.
- If you help people learn to read, you may develop a passion for teaching.
- If you work at a homeless shelter, you may develop a love for helping people in need.
- If you take a leadership role in a volunteering event, such as organizing people to work at a clothing drive, then you may find a passion for leadership.
Try new things with the help of others. You may have a friend who is obsessed with archery or creating comic books, or a family member who is the best dessert chef in the country. Let the people you know, or the teachers in your community, help you explore a new talent or passion.
- Let one of your friends who is really passionate about something give you a tutorial, whether it’s robotics or flower arranging. Your friend’s passion for that thing will inspire you.
- Have your family member introduce you to his favorite thing in the world, whether it’s fixing motorcycles, or fishing. You’ll be surprised by how passionate you may feel about something you knew about for years.
- Take a class. Whether you’re taking an art class or a class on the history of the USSR, you may find that having a teacher or professional explain a concept to you ignites your passion. Sign up for any class that sounds intriguing, whether it’s at a community college, online, or at a local rec center, and prepare to be inspired.
- Read. Reading a book by an expert in a certain field or a person who is truly passionate about something can help you ignite your own passion.