Discovering our life’s passion is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves as each of us strive to live our most unique and fulfilling life. Whether one’s life passion is to nurture their voice and original beauty like Barbra Streisand, attend medical school to become a physician to help those suffering from health ailments, or be the voice for those who don’t have a voice, but need protectors, supporters and love, no matter what your calling is, when you discover it, it is a knowledge that will provide clarity in how you should move forward.
This is not to say that once you find your life’s passion that the road ahead will be free from obstacles, but what it will provide is direction. What it will provide is more peace of mind in knowing you are heading in the right direction which increases your momentum, fortitude and confidence.
So what does it take to discover your life’s passion?
“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” - Author Unknown
The first place to begin when setting out to discover your life’s passion is to make a list of activities that erase the passing of time. What activities, hobbies, responsibilities or chores do you thoroughly enjoy (even if others don’t understand why)? What can you get lost in? For some it may be organizing and ridding their homes of clutter, for others it may be spending time with animals or children, and yet others traveling and seeing endless new sites and meeting new people at every turn. Or maybe it’s as simple as styling a home’s interior or cooking meals for your family. Make a list of anything that currently interests you as well as what piqued your interest as a child that you may have forgotten about.
2. Proper and Endless Practice.
“Everybody has the will to win; few people have the will to prepare to win.” –Bobby Knight
Often this is the element that people leave out. In Practice Perfect, a recently released book by Doug Lemov, the premise is that talent which leads to success is a result of practice. But not just any practice. A repeated practice of the proper techniques – the proper brush strokes to create your own brand of art, the proper use of a digital camera to create pristine photographs, the proper skills to create a decadent cheese sauce or the proper skills to communicate with potential clients or colleagues. Because when we practice endlessly the wrong way to do something, we are fulfilling Einstein’s definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But if we choose to take classes that extend our knowledge of what interests us, become determined to practice endlessly the proper techniques and have the patience to give those skills time to become habits, then we will not only be able to do what we enjoy, we will become quite proficient at it as well which aids tremendously in our quest to be successful.
3. Discover a Usefulness.
“Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Harold Whitman
One of the significant keys to continuing to pursue what you are interested is is feeling as though you are offering a skill that is helping, improving or adding value to others and/or the world at large. When you feel there is a need for your skills, when you feel good about the efforts your are putting out in the world, this provides even more inspiration to keep persevering even when you aren’t seeing the results just yet. For example, as a teacher, while some may question one’s decision to become one due to the pay and having the responsibility of teaching what may seem to be an unpredictable variable – students/children, those who are passionate about the profession most likely will site that knowing your efforts, if used properly, could improve the lives of their students surpasses any of the other potential detractors to choose to enter the field. A life’s passion must include the knowledge that you are adding value to the world you live in – no matter how large or small. After all, amazingly wonderful things occur because of infinite small efforts that are consistently put forth again and again and again.
Interest + Proper and Endless Practice + Discovery of Usefulness = Your Life’s Passion
Believe it or not, it is a simple equation. What trips many people up is step #2. Often we want something, but don’t realize all the work that it will entail or the time and focus required. That is why it is crucial that you have a deep and genuine interest for what you are doing. More than anything the process, if you love what you choose to do, should be the most enjoyable part and the success you arrive at in the end will will simply be that extra helping of fulfillment (click here to discover why the journey surpasses the destination).
But above all, once you discover what you are deeply interested in, even if no one understands it yet (trust me, when I began blogging, very few of my friends and family understood what the heck I was embarking on), pursue it relentlessly. Beautiful, amazing, breath-taking and never-before-thought-were-possible things are waiting to unfold.
“Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night.”
-- Glade Byron Addams