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There is nothing on this Earth as pleasurable as pursuing passion. A man or a woman with a true passion can lose themselves in a hobby that defines them, or find a career that fulfills them for their entire life – if they can figure out a way to make money from it. A person with a passion is a powerful thing – sometimes unstoppable.
But not all of us have a passion. Some people, in fact, go their entire lives never finding something that grabs them. Does that sound like you? Do you sometimes look at people who are super-engaged in their chosen life path and feel a bit of envy, wishing you too could strike a spark that kept on burning?
Finding something you’re completely crazy about doesn’t always come naturally – those that stumble across these burning desires are the fortunate ones. But that doesn’t mean you too can’t find something to hold your attention if you just put yourself out there a little bit more.
Exploring Potential for Passion
Here’s the thing. If a passion has never found its way to you, it might be because you’ve never opened up the door. For instance, many people who are not particularly passionate about anything go their entire lives without trying anything out. They just fall into the mundane routine of living – going to work, getting married, having kids, maybe spending time at the bars on the weekends if single.
But if you just keep doing the same thing day in and day out, how can you ever discover anything new to define you?
You’ll never develop a passion by sitting on your butt thinking about it all day. A legendary guitarist has to pick up a guitar for the first time. An award-winning author has to read interesting books and then try to write a few lines themselves before they start penning novels. If you’re sitting around, waiting for passion to find you, you’re doing it wrong.
Don’t Wait For Passion To Find You
What it comes down to is that you need to actually dig your hands into life and try out different hobbies and small-time interests until something grabs you and holds your attention. Then, once you discover something you are really interested in, you can stop and focus your attention on it, exploring it further.
Doesn’t this makes more sense than just waiting for inspiration to strike?
Write Out a List of Your Interests
Today you’re going to get proactive about finding a new passion in life.
To start, go get a piece of paper and a pen. Now, write out a list of all the things you’ve always wanted to try. You can even make it “bucket list” or a list of “things you want to do before you die.” Doesn’t matter what you call it or what form it takes.
Include as many things on that list that excite you as possible. Traveling the world. Riding a motorcycle across China. Going skydiving. Learning to cook. Taking dance classes. Studying a language. Volunteering at a soup kitchen. Getting a small airplane pilot license. Anything you can think of.
You see, if you want to find something that engages you, you need to engage with the world. And this list is a world of potential at your fingertips. A chance to experience different things in life and see how you respond when actually trying them out.
Digging Into Your List
Now some of the interests and experiences on your list might be impossible to put into action anytime soon, due to the money and time constraints. That said, if one becomes important enough to you that you’re willing to put in the time and energy and make it happen, it’s a very good candidate for something you can become passionate about. So do it.
After identifying the ones on the list you’d be willing to run through concrete to try, move on to the ones with a low barrier to entry. There are almost always some you can put into action right now.
If one of the items on your bucket list is to learn to draw, for example, there’s nothing stopping you from getting your hands on an instructional booklet or pulling together the minimal amount of cash needed to take a basic class in your local community. And with the Internet these days, you can self-teach about anything you want.
So pick out a few of these interests and experiences that particularly grab you and don’t take a ton of cash or time and then put them into action. If not today than this week.
Make Trying New Things a Habit
The key is that if none of these experiences becomes a lifelong endeavor, you need to keep trying new things – and actually, I’d say that’s the case even if one of them does.
What I like to do is go down my bucket list and prioritize things. I put a “1” next to things I can do right away or am willing to do whatever it takes to make happen right away. A “2” next to the ones that are next in line. And so on. Of course, my way is pretty rudimentary, so feel free to come up with your own system.
As you scratch things off the list, move to the next and make these a priority. And, of course, your list will grow as you evolve and life presents new possibilities.
Try to commit to trying something new every week or two. You want to make it a habit to be constantly digging your hands into new ideas and experiences of life. Get out there and get dirty. Engage. You’ve only got one life, so make sure you live it.
Uncovering a Passion
In most cases, when you come across something with the potential to become a lifelong passion, you’ll know it. You’ll immediately want to do it again. And again. You’ll find yourself studying and reading about it. Thinking about it when you should be sleeping.
At this point, you know to at least start putting more energy into this area, and it’ll either hold its charm for the long run or not.
Other things on the list might just be interesting enough that you want to try them another time or two, and these have the potential to turn into something more over time. Give them another shot. Get closer and dig your hands in deeper. You might like what you find.
The Fringe Benefits of Seeking Your Passion
Even if the new things you try don’t turn out to be as fun or exciting as you would have thought, one of the keys to a successful, happy life is to always be exposing yourself to new experiences. The more unique things you experience, the more doors you open to new avenues of thought and new potential life paths.
In addition, experiencing new things has the ability to sort of “stretch” time for you, making a day take on that slow, enjoyable pace you used to experience when you were a child, before you became an adult and the days started flashing right by.
So even if none of these items on your list become a passion, you still will start having a more interesting experience of life. For some people, experiencing new things even becomes their passion!
But the main takeaway is this. You don’t find a passion by thinking; you find one by doing. So get out there and start doing today.