Finding your Passion: Facing Evasion

There are countless quotes about passion out there. Anita Roddick said, “To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” Bishop T.D. Jakes said, “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For passion will lead you right into your purpose.” Galileo Galilei said, “Passion is the genesis of genius.” Each of these quotes is supposed to inspire you to embrace your passion and run full speed ahead after it.

But what happens when you aren’t sure where your passion lies?

My first year of college I was incredibly passionate about the environment and the negative effects of food waste. At the same time, I was really excited at the thought of opening my own business. I also really wanted to explore foreign policy and global studies. I was convinced that I had a huge passion for each of these areas and that I wouldn’t be reaching my full potential if I didn’t pursue all of them together.

This past year as a senior, I have had the opposite issue. I still care about these issues but nothing seems to get me as excited as it used to. I’ve been offered positions in most of these industries. I find myself still looking and not feeling content with my options because I can’t describe my feelings about the job opportunities as passionate.

So, what is passion?

Passion is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling of conviction. This is something that you feel so deeply for that you can’t shake your feelings for them.

So what do we do with this definition? Below are a few tips on finding and testing your passions:

  • Write a list of everything that you care about

Pull out a sheet of paper and a pencil and write down everything that comes to mind. Limit yourself to 60 seconds. This insures that what you write down is really at the forefront of your mind, and you don’t really have to think about it.

  • Look for connections between the items that you wrote

Try to find links between some of the items in your list to find an overlying passion. For example, do they all show that you care about working with people? Do they all have something to do with education?

  • What can you turn into a job?

It’s important to distinguish between what can be turned into a hobby and what you can actually spend the rest of your life doing. For example, you might really enjoy running, but unless you are a professional athlete, you likely won’t be able to make money running. While it’s important to be realistic, you should still think outside the box; you could turn your love for running into a coaching job or owning a sporting goods store.

  • What would you do even you didn’t get paid?

Once you have decided which of the items you could turn into a job, analyze which of them you would do every single day even if you never got paid. If you really have a passion for something then you will want to do it no matter what compensation looks like.

  • Research it, look up the negative parts. Do you still want to do it?

Ask people in the industry what working looks like. Ask them for their best and worst experiences. Look up horror stories online (But take them with a grain of salt). If you are still interested in nursing after hearing about some of the scary patients, or if you still want to work in Human Resources after finding out that you are often seen as the “enemy”, you might have found your passion!

Written by: Career Peer Nicky

Tell us what you think: What are some of the items you wrote down on your list?

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