“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”Bishop T.D. Jakes
After I graduated from high school, I took a year off to figure out what to do with my life.
I’d always loved writing and dreamed of publishing books, but I didn’t think I could make enough money to support myself with it.
I enjoyed teaching, but I didn’t want to work in the public school system, where I knew I’d have to spend more time filling in pointless paperwork than making a real difference in my students’ life.
I had a passion for all things beauty, but becoming a hairdresser or makeup artist didn’t excite me.
I couldn’t figure out which passion to pick, so I picked none. I just did the sensible thing and started looking for a normal job to pay the bills.
That’s when things started to go wrong…
You tell yourself you’ll figure out this whole passion thing once you have a stable income. But when you do, the stress of the job and the unhappiness it brings drain all the passion out of your life.
You neglect your hobbies to the point you don’t even remember what you were passionate about. You have no passions anymore.
Truth bomb: your passion are still buried within you. You just need the courage to dig deep and bring them to the surface again.
Why Can’t You Find Your Passions?
When people tell me, “I have no passions,” I don’t believe them. Everyone has a passion, something they like to do so much, they could spend hours doing it every day – without getting paid a single dime.
So why do you think you have none?
- You’ve given up: Maybe you believe you can’t make money from the things you like and so have stopped doing them altogether to focus on a “proper” job.
- You’ve “grown up”: Maybe you feel like being an adult is all about being serious. You see hobbies and passions as a waste of time and have abandoned them.
- You don’t see hobbies as passions: Maybe you’re so caught up in trying to figure out what you’re passionate about, you don’t realise the things you like to do in your free time are the passions that have been there all along.
- You have too many passions: Maybe you believe you should have a passion that’s stronger than all others, but you’re equally passionate about multiple things.
- You’re depressed: Maybe you’re going through a tough time in your life and the stress and anxiety you feel have robbed you of your passions. You just want to stay in bed all day and do nothing.
Can you relate to any of these?
The good news is that these passions aren’t lost forever. They’re still within you. You just have to find them again.
How To Find Your Passions
How do you find your passions again? It’s easier than you think. Grab pen and paper (or your laptop), go to a quite place and answer the questions below:
- What did you love doing as a child?
- What were you good at in school?
- What subject could you read 500 books about without getting bored?
- What activities make you lose track of time?
- If you had all the money in the world, what would you do?
P.S. That thing your parents/teachers told you it was a waste of time? Write it down. That’s a clue it’s one of your biggest passions.
Need more help finding your passions? Click on the image below to download the Passion Finder Worksheet to find your passions and start living them now.
You’ve Found Your Passions. Now What?
Now you’ve found your passions, what do you do with them? Can you monetize them and turn them into your career or should you just cultivate them as hobbies?
Both are valid options. It all depends on how you feel about your passions and how they fit into your life purpose.
When You Should Turn Your Passion Into Your Career
I’m multipassionate. I’m obsessed about writing and teaching, love all things makeup and fashion and could read 500 history books on The Tudors without getting bored.
While there’s a part of me that’d like to monetize all these passions, only writing and teaching are my part of my life purpose. Why?
They fulfill me the most. As much as I like to put together fashionable outfits and debating about who really sent Anne Boleyn to the block, they don’t give me the same sense of fulfillment I feel when someone tells me that one of my articles have inspired them to quit their crappy job and start the business they were always dreaming about.
Writing and teaching are the passions that allow me to make the biggest impact on the world and improve people’s lives.
And… it’s profitable. I know, it kinda makes me sound like a sellout. But if I couldn’t make any money off these passions, then I’d have to get a 9-5 job that’d leave me with way less time to write articles that inspire people.
There’s no way around it. If you want to make your passion into your career, you need to make money from it.
If you’re thinking about monetizing a passion, ask yourself these questions:
- Which passion allows me to make the biggest difference in people’s lives?
- Which passion fulfills me the most?
- If I were to monetize my passion, would there be enough people willing to pay for my services?
When you have a passion that allows you to help people, feel fulfilled and pay the bills, it makes sense to turn it into your career.
When You Should Keep Your Passion As A Hobby
There’s a lot of pressure out there to make money from all passions and hobbies. But not everything should be monetized. Some passions can just be creative outlets for you.
I’ve thought about starting a fashion blog, become a fashion consultant or even apply for a job at Vogue. But nothing ever came out of it. Why?
If I were to turn fashion into my career, I wouldn’t enjoy it anymore. While I love to see how women’s confidence blooms after a style makeover, it doesn’t fulfill me as much as writing about your life purpose does.
Besides, the fashion industry can be nasty and superficial (The Devil Wears Prada, anyone?). You have to put years of free work in exchange for a Gucci bag – doesn’t seem like a bad deal until you realise you can’t pay your rent with it.
That’s the shit sandwich, the unpleasant, gruelling and boring parts of the job you have to put up with to make it in this industry. If your passion isn’t strong enough, your dream will turn into a nightmare.
I don’t love fashion that much to eat the shit sandwich that comes with it. But I still love playing around with clothes and create outfits that make me look like and feel like a princess. It’s my creative outlet.
If you think you could eat your shit sandwich and do whatever kind of sacrifice for your passion, the next thing you have to consider is money. Yes, that word again.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with owls. But it’s highly unlikely anyone is gonna pay me to spend any time with them.
If you’re wondering whether you should keep your passion as a creative outlet, ask yourself these questions:
- If I were to monetize my passion, will it start to feel like a chore?
- Am I passionate enough about this to make any kind of sacrifice to make it happen?
- Can I make enough money to support myself with this?
There’s nothing wrong in keeping your passions as creative outlets and pursuing them in your free time. The only bad choice you can make is to don’t pursue them at all.
What If You’re Multi-passionate?
As a multi-passionate person myself, I feel your pain. It took me a long time to decide what passions to turn into my career and which ones I should keep as a creative outlet, so I don’t drain all the magic out of them.
But just because you have to choose one passion to monetize, it doesn’t mean you have to forsake all others.
Try to think of creative ways of meshing together different passions, even if they seem to be completely unrelated.
For example, this blog allows me to write content that teaches people how to find their life purpose and put it into action. When it was time to work on the design, I chose elements and photos inspired by my love for fashion and beauty. I also get to explore my love for food – I often work in different restaurants and cafes and try different cuisines all the time.
Another example? Marie Forleo, the woman who coined the word “multi-passionate entrepreneur” in the first place. After starting her career as a life coach and fitness instructor, Marie created B-School, an online programme that teaches marketing to small business owners. She also created Marie TV, a Youtube show that mixes her passions for self-help, dancing, hip-hop music and writing. Oh, and she writes books, too!
Sometimes, two passions – like writing and teaching – merge together effortlessly. Other times you have to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to inject your passion into your personal brand and career. And if something doesn’t really fit in, don’t force it. Just enjoy it in your free time.
Over to you, now. What are your passions and how did you find them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.