I remember kindergarten like it was yesterday – well, bits of it at least.
My teacher gave us a sheet of paper that had a blank space at the top and writing lines on the bottom so that we could tell our short story with the words that we were just learning how to write. As she handed us the paper, she asked us to think about what we wanted to do when we grew up. Once we had our idea, we were supposed to draw a picture of us doing whatever it was and then write a little something about it.
I’m pretty sure I had two different professions listed at one point, but I was a kid and didn’t care about thinking inside the box. By golly if I wanted to do two different things, I was going to do it! I got out my crayons and jotted down “artist” and “teacher” somewhere on the page and began dreaming up this huge dream that I had.
As I think back to that day, I’m amazed at how much my desires in life changed and how interests I had back then completely altered into this whole different life that I’m living today. A part of me misses being an innocent child with dreams that were always reachable and never too crazy or impossible. It was my time to literally believe that I could do anything as long as I had a passion for it.
Growing Up: Childhood Desires Change to Underlying True Passions
I went through a few other “what I want to be when I grow up” thoughts as I went through the years: marine biologist, dancer, zoologist, scientist, figure skater, and I’m sure there are a few others floating on papers or in journals somewhere.
Looking back, I realize that a lot of my dreams were based on things I had seen or had been influenced by somewhat. I was sheltered from the hardships that people experience in these careers and all the effort that goes into actually getting a job in those fields.
It wasn’t until I was a teenager and had my first job that I realized how much of a passion I had for helping others. It was a different feeling because it was something that came from the heart and not from outside influences. It was something that I experienced and enjoyed – It didn’t matter if other people liked it or not.
This is where I learned step number one of finding your true passion: Being able to enjoy the activity without having the influence of others.
Steps for Finding Your True Passion
I feel like there are so many things that go into finding out who you truly are as a person and what interests you have. Unfortunately, so many people get caught up in the desire to be popular or follow other people that they forget their own dreams. When those dreams fade away, so does finding your true passion.
That brings us to step number two of finding your true passion: Don’t be afraid to create paths in knee-high grass.
What does that mean? It means to make your own path and go into untouched territory sometimes. It means getting your feet wet and taking a chance where no one else did. I know several small business owners who have had to do this, but I know they can look back and appreciate the risk they took to do something that sparked their fire – their true passion in life.
What If You’re Feeling Lost?
Alright, so sometimes the answers aren’t so clear and you literally feel yourself being pulled in a million different directions. Maybe one day you wake up and want to be a blogger but the next day you decide you want to go to school to be a hairstylist.
Trust me, you are not alone in this journey if you feel a bit lost when it comes to finding your true passion. I’m one of those people that feels happiness by doing a variety of things and I often catch myself daydreaming about all the wonderful things I want to do. Although it’s not a bad thing to have all these passions burning, sometimes we need to hone in our fire and find it’s true source of passion. Here’s how we can do that:
- Write in a journal about all the things you like/dislike. You may even want to keep a daily journal for a month so that you can see any patterns in your interests and behaviors.
- Take a career or personality assessment
- Have a friend or family member write down all of the strengths they see in you
Questions to Help You Find Your True Passion
Sometimes we need to simply reflect on our lives and focus on our underlying feelings in order to find out what our true passion is. If you’re in the mood for some self-reflection, ask yourself these questions:
- What makes me most happy throughout the day?
- If money weren’t an issue, what would you be doing each day?
- Do you enjoy working around people or being alone most of the time?
- What topic makes your adrenaline rush a bit during a conversation?
- When you talk with your friends, do you find yourself getting defensive or standing up for any particular things?
- What do you think your biggest strengths are? Weaknesses?
- What have you learned from your previous work or school experiences?
- How do you feel in your current state of mind?
- How would you define happiness? Does your current situation fit into that definition?
These are just a few ideas to help you get the ball rolling so that you can find your true passion and start discovering the fire that is in you. You have the ability to do great things in this life… Don’t tell yourself differently.
Today, let’s challenge ourselves to bring some of our dreams to reality. What will you be doing to get there?