As I was writing Discovering My Passion For Writing in my personal blog Love Beauty Peace, it occurred to me that there is so much chatter and possibly confusion about finding your passion. The conversations run the gamut from how to uncover your passion to whether everyone must have a passion or can have a passion to judgments about if you are passionate or not. So today I thought I would explore passion.
What Is A Passion?
Intense enthusiasm is one simple definition I found in the dictionary that appeals to me. When you have a passion, typically you feel strong emotion towards it whether that comes out in the form of craving or obsession or more mixed emotions including tears of fear and joy. The object of your zeal can be anything at all.
Don’t Judge A Passion
Maybe you love anything and everything there is to know and taste about wine; perhaps like me you are passionate about writing. Or maybe you are passionate about a cause. One is no better than the other in abstract. What is better is finding what your own passion is and owning it regardless of some external valuation of it. If you are into algae, go for it. Fascinated with creating dress patterns, sew on.
It May Be There From Birth
There are some people who have a burning desire to do something or a need to create something from a very early age. Although that is wonderful, it is just as wonderful if you find your passion at any age in your life. Many people feel that you are born with some particular innate talent that you must bring to the world. Whether you subscribe to that belief or not, you still may not have found how that translates to a passion. If you are a talented and intuitive listener, for instance, your passion could take the form of being a therapist, or a radio show host, or even a palm reader.
Clues From Childhood
But you can follow clues from childhood as a possible route to discover your passion. What did you love to do as a child? Perhaps there were some things that were passions of yours but they were somehow pushed down or not allowed or encouraged when you were growing up. Maybe your childhood passions are simply forgotten.
It May Not Be There From Birth
But then again, it may be the case that passion for you comes at a later point in life. It might not have any connection that you can see whatsoever with earlier phases in your life. There are many people who discover new infatuations in mid life or later because they weren’t exposed to certain activities earlier in their life. For instance, I know many people who discovered their passion for meditation in their 50s and 60s. Some of them were never exposed to it when they were younger and some where but it didn’t spark a passion in them when they were younger.
Passion Can Happen At Any Age
So don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you are somehow not good enough if you have no passion. Perhaps you will still find one, if that matters to you. And if it doesn’t matter to you, then it isn’t important. But as you go about your life, you will get inklings that there are areas to explore for passion. Because life dishes up many different experiences, you never know when you might be exposed to something that sparks your curiosity. And that is key…
Follow Your Curiosity
Because one tip that really helps to flush out passion is to follow your curiosity. What do you find yourself drawn to reading about? Who fascinates you? Where are you curious to learn more? It might take some nurturing and exploration, but if you follow what you are already drawn to, invariably it will take you on a path to unearthing your passion.
Passion May Take Training
It is not uncommon that when you begin your curiosity journey that you are drawn to take classes and training in that area. When you get hungry to understand more, you know you are going in the right direction. The more you learn, the greater your immersion and the more your passion gets stoked. One of the reasons I am a fan of life-long learning is that you uncover passions that are new or were buried.
You Don’t Have To Be Paid To Do Your Passion
Many people are very hung up with the notion that they must have their work in the world be their passion. They want and need to receive financial compensation for their passion. Although your work will be much more enjoyable if at least part of what you are doing is using your strengths and talents, those talents need not be your passion. I know plenty of fulfilled professionals who enjoy what they are doing well enough at work, but their true passions reside outside of work. There is nothing wrong with that. But if you are unfulfilled with your work, then follow your curiosity to work that might ignite some passion.
You Can Have More Than One Passion
It is more common for people to focus on one passion, yet there is no reason why you can’t have more than one passion. Sure it is not unusual to get sucked in deeply into one passion so that other activities or endeavors seem less important. However, there are many people who have multiple passions that are in different arenas. I tend towards the multi-passion type. I am almost obsessed with writing and communicating and I am passionate about flowers and gardening. I adore baking. And I can get into mini passions for a few years that then morph into something else, like my love of labyrinths that engrossed me for some years and then grew into a passion for ceremony. For me, there are some consistent connecting strings among some of my passions. But I also know people who have seemingly unlikely passions like acting and computer science (as with my wonderful and dear brother). It’s all great if it brings meaning and joy and complexity to your life.
You Are Not “Less Than” If You Don’t Have A Passion
And if you don’t feel passionate about anything, and you are happy and fulfilled with your way of life, honestly there is no reason that you must have a passion. Though I suspect there is something lurking that you haven’t yet found. I encourage you to explore your interests and enjoy searching for a passion. Perhaps the search itself will be your passion!