Find Your Passion and Make An Impact In 6 Steps
Finding your passion is a common theme in our current society. It’s so normalized that 90% of MBA students listed “pursuing their passion” as an important goal for their future jobs. But, how does one find their passion? When asked, others will tell you these common phrases are the key to discovering your passion:
“Find your purpose.”
“Do what makes you happy.”
“Find what you love to do.”
While these are great starting points, is finding your passion really as simple as doing what makes you happy or finding what you love to do? This article explores the idea of what it means to find your passion. It discusses why finding your passion is so difficult and the steps you can take to make passion pursual easier. Our goal is for this article to help you find your passion and make an impact in the world around you.
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What Does Find Your Passion Mean?
Psychology Professor Robert J. Vallerand defines passion as a strong inclination toward a self-defining activity that people like (or even love). So essentially, finding your passion looks like a self-motivated interest combined with an intense emotion to act on something.
Most individuals try to find their passion through hobbies; and, while these are decent starting points, they aren’t the full scope of passion pursual. Passions often involve strategic exploration, development, and contribution. Therefore, finding your passion is more of a journey towards self-discovery than anything else.
How to Find Your Passion In 6 Steps
Developing your passion looks different for everyone. It might look like time spent honing your skills to make your passion unique in the market. It could also look like trying various new things, as these experiences can help you determine what you do and don’t like. Passion can also look like creating something entirely new where no demand currently exists. Here’s a process we put together that can help you find your passion.
1. Ask Yourself Passion-Defining Questions
Self-reflection is the first step to discover your passion. We discuss this more in our blog: How to Become A Thought Leader, where we list questions and brainstorm topics you can use to define your passion. Here are some additional questions you can ask yourself to define your passion:
- What do you spend your free time doing?
- What do you love to talk about
- If you could teach someone one thing, what would it be?
2. Assess Your Skillset
Assessing your skillset is a necessary component of passion discovery that most individuals neglect. It’s not easy to look at your skills with a critical eye. But, it is a necessary component in determining whether or not you can develop an impactful passion.
Skillset is a necessary part of your passion discovery because pursuing something you can’t accomplish will leave you feeling dissatisfied. If you don’t have the skills necessary to put your passion into action, you need to develop those skills or find a similar, but alternative interest.
passions are developed
Too many people are pursuing passions in fields that are ultra-competitive and for which they don’t have the skills. But this does not mean they failed to pursue their passion; it just means they need to realize passions are developed, not simply found.
3. Research The Topic You’re Interested In
We live in the information age. So, why not use it to your advantage? Research articles relative to the topic you’re interested in. You can even look for tv shows and social media accounts that relate to your favorite topic. Researching and following topic trends will help you understand just how curious you are about that subject. The more you feel excitement around something, the closer you are to finding your true passion.
If you’re unsure where to start in your research process, perhaps try a few podcasts or books about self-discovery. Here are a few of our favorite books about finding your passion:
4. Get Insight From Others
The age-old saying, “You know me better than I know myself,” exists for a reason. Sometimes, those closest to us are our biggest advocates. So, why not leverage them in your passion-defining journey? Ask your friends and family this question to help you gain valuable insight into your passion.
If you could take a class on one thing, and I was the person teaching it, what would you enjoy learning from me?
Asking this question provides you with two pieces of valuable information:
- First, it tells you what others admire and think is unique about you. Uniqueness is the first step in turning a passion into a career. But, more on that later.
- It also provides you with insight into what people think your skill set is as they are willing to learn from you about that particular topic.
Once you have asked your closest friends and family this question, the next thing you can do to gain insight from others is search for individuals you admire. Maybe there’s someone you follow on social media that you feel exemplifies your beliefs and skills. Perhaps you have a friend or colleague you look up to. Why not go to these individuals and see how they got where they are. Ask them how they discovered their passions.
5. Look For A Common Theme
Now that you’ve self-reflected, assessed your skillset, researched, and gathered valuable insight from others, it’s time to put that information to use. First, start looking for a common theme among the information you’ve assembled. Here’s an example:
Finding Your Passion Example
1. Ask Passion-Defining Questions:
Lily asks herself passion-driven questions and discovers she spends her free time journaling. Lily also loves to talk to others about her favorite podcasts.
2. Assess Your Skillset
Lily thinks about the writing courses she has taken, as well as the speech competition she placed 1st in a few years ago.
3. Research the Topic You’re Interested In
Lily gets online and finds a few podcasts about self-discovery that she loves. She also realizes there aren’t any good podcasts for journaling.
4. Get Insight From Others
Lily’s friends and family say they would love to hear her talk about how she carves out time for herself, as this is an area they struggle with.
5. Look for a Common Theme
Lily’s common theme might combine her journaling hobby, love for podcasts, and ability to carve out time for herself. Lily can become a podcast host where she shares her favorite self-fulfillment podcasts with her listeners. She can also use her podcast to discuss topics she is an expert in, such as making time for yourself, picking up journaling, etc. Now, Lily has a passion and a niche.
6. Make A Change
Once you’ve asked yourselves these questions, find a way to pursue your passion. Go against the odds. Push past the critics, and follow your gut. Maybe your passion is something you get on the side of your full-time job, or maybe it’s time to ask yourself how to combine your passion with your career. If you are passionate about public speaking, then you might also be interested in learning how to land a Tedx talk.
How Do You Know If You’re Passionate About Something?
Take the Find Your Passion Quiz
How to Find Your Career Passion
According to a study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 583 million entrepreneurs in the world. That’s a significant number of individuals working to turn their passions into careers. But what about you? How do you find a job you love? Do you feel stuck in passion-career limbo?
A recent Deloitte survey found only 20% of U.S. workers say they are truly passionate about their work. If you’re not sure how to find your career passion, consider how your passion can turn a profit. That’s right. It’s time to get technical with your passion and skillset. The job market operates based on supply and demand. If there is no demand for your passion, you can create demand. An alternative idea is to use your current interests to develop a more marketable passion.
Think about how we took Lily’s passion for journaling and podcasts and turned it into a marketable niche. You, too, can create the work you love by turning your passions into a career. If you don’t like what you do for a living, consider trying something on your passion list. But, remember it’s essential to think about how your skillset and passion form a marketable niche. Keep brainstorming and looking for a common theme until your skillset and your passions align.
Why Is It Hard To Find Your Passion?
While chasing your passion is often a societal standard, the process isn’t always easy. This difficult journey could be because humans are indecisive. Like fashion trends, our interests come and go, making it difficult to find an area of interest and stick to it. Even the top Google searches around passion indicate a struggle with indecisiveness:
- Why Can’t I Find My Passion?
- How Do I Know What I’m Passionate About?
- How Do I Find What I Love To Do?
- How Do I Discover Myself?
The questions above indicate that most of us struggle to define our passions and then pursue them. So, how do we fix this scenario? First, consider layering these three tips by Columbia Research Strategist Jon Michael Jachimowicz to your passion pursual:
- Understand that passion is not something you find. It’s something you develop.
- Realize it’s challenging to pursue your passion as it changes and becomes less evident over time.
- Passion can, at times, lead us astray, and it’s essential to recognize its limits.
How Thought-Leader Can Help You Use Your Passion To Make An Impact In The World
Thought-Leader uses a personalized approach to help you live a fulfilling life. Our TED coaching mission is to help you use your passion to land a TEDx talk and make a difference. While every client’s journey is different, our simplified process can help. Here’s what your typical Thought-Leader TEDx journey might look like:
- A welcome call with our Success Manager where you receive tips and access to modules that help you on your path to success
- A call with one of our strategists where you discuss your passion, story, and ideas
- Strategists transcribe call notes into an application template you can use as a starting point for drafting your TEDx talk proposal.
- You write formal responses to TEDx application questions, while strategists help you frame your idea to fit the narrative a particular TEDx organizer is searching for.
- Once you feel like your application is ready, you send it back to our strategists to edit it for punctuation, grammar, context, and placement.
- Once the written materials are finalized, we offer written prompts that help you generate ideas for a video script.
- We provide feedback for your TEDx video pitch.
At Thought-Leader, our goal is to provide you with a radically transparent process that leads to actionable results. Click here to learn more about how we can help you use your passion to land a TEDx talk and make an impact in the world.