How to Find Your Passion and Purpose
Passion and purpose are essential ingredients for a fulfilling life. Unfortunately, identifying how to find your passion and purpose in a meaningful way can be a lifelong journey for many. It’s not something that comes easily or naturally for everyone. Thankfully, figuring out what truly fulfills us doesn’t need to take years. What it takes is a willingness to grow. It might not be easy, but it is entirely worth the challenge.
Since you’re reading this, it’s likely because you want to create a life where sharing your passion is why you get out of bed every day. And how you get paid. That’s how we turn work into play and fill ourselves with a great sense of purpose. It is the dream! I understand the seeking and frustration behind not having found that. I was there once too. It wasn’t until I turned forty that I got clarity around my passions. From there, I began understanding the benefit of sharing what I love and value with others in a meaningful way. It then took me some time to learn how to turn that deep sense of purpose into reliable income—spending my work-life doing what I love provided a deep sense of fulfillment, dramatically improving my quality of life.
You don’t have to wait until later in your life to know and understand the value of your passions, nor do you have to make a living sharing them to feel a sense of purpose, but it sure is nice when you can. It is essential to remember that you will have many passions in your life, and you will feel a sense of purpose in many things you don’t necessarily love doing. There are things I do every day that I am not excited about. Many are the tasks and action steps that set me up to have more time to do what I most want. They create a sense of purpose too.
To help you in your quest to uncover your passions and find creative ways to share them with others, I have included some practical steps below.
Things to keep in mind
As you pursue your passions and purpose, it’s essential to stay mindful of the present moment. Become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions in each moment, without judgment. It can be helpful to practice meditation or mindfulness exercises to support this process.
When you are in pursuit of your passions and purpose, it is essential to be patient with yourself. This process takes time, and it is important to remember that you may not have all the answers right away. Trust that the answers will come in due time.
So how do you find your passion and purpose?
Self-awareness is key. I have included some foundational steps to set you up for success below.
Know how to regulate
Our failure to find our passion or purpose often connects to our inability to understand and manage our thoughts, emotions, and boundaries to help us regulate our nervous system. If we can’t do these things, it’s hard to know what we want or how to get there. So take some time to work on these areas of your life. Once you have a better handle on it, you will be better positioned to start exploring.
Keep what you love and eliminate the rest
To make time to explore, you may need to eliminate some of what isn’t working in your life. Warning this is not an easy step. Elimination requires us to be fiercely honest with ourselves. Ask yourself – am I using my time, energy, and resources for or against me? Once you identify the vampires in your life, it’s time to take action and eliminate them. It is the only way to create the personal time you will need to pursue your passions.
Identify what’s holding you back
It is essential to understand what is holding you back from moving forward. For some people, it might be a lack of self-esteem or not feeling worthy enough. Others might have too many obligations and get stuck in perfectionism or tend to create unreasonable expectations. Whatever the case, identifying the obstacle is an important step in overcoming it.
Know Your Why
Many things we do fulfill a sense of contribution, but none so great as understanding the reason for your being. According to Simon Sinek, author of the book Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Finding Purpose for You and Your Team, it is only when you understand your “why” (or your purpose) that you’ll be more capable of pursuing the things that give you fulfillment. Your “why” should serve as your point of reference for all your actions and decisions from this moment on, allowing you to measure your progress and know when you have met your goals.
Clarify what you want
Part of finding clarity about your passions and purpose is knowing what you want. It is being willing to question who you are at your core, what you value most and your rules for life. You do this to understand what you want, won’t, and are willing to do. This is how you create healthy expectations and avoid being disappointed or resentful.
To get clear on what you want. It is essential to keep in mind that we often have competing – and sometimes conflicting – desires. And we tend not to take the time to sort through them all. Begin by asking yourself three critical daily questions for the next three months. Be sure to journal and take notes.
1) Notice: What are the activities that make you lose track of time? What are the topics that you can’t stop talking about? What drives your fears? These are clues to your passions.
2) Follow your curiosity. When we’re curious about something, it is because we are often genuinely interested in it. Allow yourself to explore the things that pique your interest and see where they lead you.
3) Consider what you love doing for free. What would you do even if you weren’t paid for it? This is a clue to finding work that feels like play – and that’s when you know you’ve found one of things you are most passionate about.
4) Listen to your heart. Your heart knows what will make you fulfilled. Trust your gut instinct and go with your heart, even if it means taking a leap of faith.
5) Get clear on your values. Your values are the things that are most important to you in life. When you’re clear on your values, it becomes easier to identify the work that will align with them.
6) Be patient. Finding your passion and purpose can take time. It might not happen overnight, but if you keep exploring and expanding your horizons, eventually, you’ll find your way.
Experience your passions
Experiment and take risks. Trying something out is the only way to know if something is a good fit for you. So go ahead and experiment – sign up for that class, apply for that job, start that business. We often find our true passion and purpose through taking risks and experimenting.
Finding your passions and purpose
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to finding your passion and purpose. Finding what feels right for you might take time, experimentation, and risk-taking. It will likely take time and won’t happen overnight, but trust that the answers will come if you keep moving forward. Have faith in yourself – you can do this! I am here to help if you get overwhelmed or lost along the way.