Sometimes at my workshops, when I talk about “living your passion,” I look out in the audience and can see a couple of blank faces staring back at me. It’s clear by the people’s expressions that they have absolutely no clue what their passion is. In fact, many participants have voiced this concern verbally, admitting in front of the entire group that they have no idea what they’re excited about.
The thing is, at some point in our lives, we have all had desires. We’ve all had dreams of what we wanted in our future. We’ve had visions of what the “perfect” life would be, what we’d do if money were no object and we could spend our days engaged in whatever we wished.
A lot of times, these dreams, these passions, get pushed down, making it hard to recognize them or remember what they are. Bills get in the way so, instead of pursuing what makes us happy, we pursue what makes us money. Family members get sick so, instead of taking care of ourselves and doing what we love, we spend our free time taking care of them, nursing them back to health and setting our own needs on the sidelines.
Do this long enough and your passions can easily escape you, making it hard to recall what they are. And if this is where you’re at right now, causing you to be unsure of what makes your heart skip a beat or makes you talk faster because you have so much to say about it, that’s okay.
Sometimes it takes time for us to remember what our passions are, so be patient with yourself. Give yourself permission to slow down, to not rush the process, and eventually, with enough soul searching, enough introspection, you’ll be able to remember your passions yet again.
And don’t get too caught up on looking only for the passions that you held long ago. Life changes us, which means that our passions also change. For instance, maybe you declared a major in college but took a class in an off subject and found that you were extremely interested in the topic, even though you continued on your original course. That could be something you’re passionate about now, even though you weren’t before.
Additionally, if you’ve done some thinking, some contemplating about what makes you smile on days you’re feeling down, and you still can’t come up with anything, there is a little exercise you can do that often helps us begin the process of rediscovering our passion. It begins with making a list of 10 things that you think you could be passionate about. Leave the judgment aside as you’re making the list as the whole goal is simply to brainstorm some things that you think you might like to do.
Now, once you’ve done that, start doing the things on the list. One by one, see if they are something you enjoy, something you want to do over and over again. If not, then simply move onto the next item on the list.
But if they do wind up being something that gets your blood pumping, then keep doing them because you’ve finally found what you’re looking for! You’ve found your passion.