5 Best Ways to Discover Your Passion
The icons in tech world -Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, the most successful investor of the 20th century -Warren Buffett, the greatest basketball player of all time -Michael Jordan, etc.
All of these extraordinary people have one thing in common.
They live their passion.
If you have read some well-known self-improvement books, you will notice that many of these books emphasize a lot on passion. If you have a burning passion toward a certain topic, you wouldn’t mind spending extra hours thinking about it, to visualize it, and to retry multiple times failure after failure.
Passion is important because it drives you crazy, makes you lose track of time doing the same thing over again with improvement, and ultimately allows you to achieve success.
To me, passion is the greatest gift we can have for ourselves.
It is a mixture of enthusiasm and excitement, a source of energy, and of course, a form of power to turn inspiration into action.
Passion fuels our life. It’s not just something we do when we have free time, but it gives us the meaning, or sometimes, the purpose of our lives. Yes, it is very important indeed.
However, many people do not have any clue what their passion is.
They will often feel the lack of purpose in life and everything in life seems boring to them. And if you’re one of them, you seriously need to rediscover yourself, and to find out your passion today.
Over these years, I’ve learnt some great ways to discover passion.
If you’re completely clueless about your passion, then perhaps the following methods can help you to discover and to pinpoint your passion today.
5 Methods to Discover Your Core Passion
First, before we move on and find out what is your passion, I would like you to know that the word “passion” is defined as things that arouse great enthusiasm.
When you go through the steps to find out your passion, please detach yourself from your work, your friend’s influence, and of course your own inner counter-voice. This is to make sure that you’re able to find out what is your true passion, not your needs.
First Method: Find out which categories of books interest you the most
This first method, in my opinion, is the easiest method to discover your passion.
Go to the nearest book store and allow yourself to be drowned in the sea of books.
Forget about your work, forget about your assignment, and leave aside all your problems.
You’re there simply because you want to look around.
Just relax and allow your instinct to guide you. It will show you what interest you the most.
If you find yourself digging into the books under a particular section for long hours until you’ve lost track of time, then….
Voila! You’ve probably found the topics you’re passionate about.
Personally, I found that, each time when I look around in a bookstore, I will definitely get stuck in one of these three particular sections: self-improvement, personal finance, and business. And yes, these 3 are the topics which I’m really passionate about.
There are so many sections in the bookstore. For example, health and living, business, finance, history, hobbies, religion, relationship, cooking, pets, computing, etc. Go to a larger bookstore, so that there are more varieties of books can be found, and the chances for you to find out what your passion is will be higher.
You can also visit the magazine corner. At magazine corner, you can find topics related to photography, fashion, men’s health, traveling, automobile, fitness, etc. Some of these are specialized topic which does not have a particular section itself, and only can be found in the magazine corner.
Like I said, leave everything aside, just walk around in the bookstore and let your instinct show you what you’re passionate about. Don’t pick up a book because you think you need to read it to enhance your work, to complete the project you have currently.
Avoid picking up the book because of needs; instead, pick up books because you are truly interested in it.
This method is great to explore what would your passion be, but it is not enough to pinpoint what is your true passion. Thus, make a list of the top 5 sections or categories where you’ve spent most of your time while looking around in the book store, and then you can compare this list with another list you make with method 2 & 3 to pinpoint your passion.
Action: Make a list of the top 5 sections or categories where you’ve spent most of your time while looking around in the book store.
Note: You can compare this list with the list you make with method 2 & 3 to pinpoint your passion.
Second Method: Find out what kind of books you’ve bought all these while
Usually, we only have 2 reasons to buy a book, either we need it (e.g. for academic purposes) or just because we love to learn more about the topic.
So, this step is very simple.
Bring out all the books you have bought over the years and have a close look at them. I bet you will find it easy to categorize your books.
The larger the collection of books in the particular category, the higher the chance it is where your passion lies.
Of course, I’m not saying that if 80% of your books are related to travelling, then your passion must be travelling. Just that in this case, there’s a higher chance that your passion is probably related to travelling.
For myself, when I found a book which I’m really interested in, I would buy a copy of my own rather than borrow it from others for reading. I do not know what about the others, but I personally only buy books which interest me. I’m not the kind of person who will buy books to enhance my knowledge in other area which is out of my interest. That’s why I do not have books related to political science, photography, etc. Thus, it is quite easy for me to categorize all my books and see where my passion lies.
So, in this step, take out all your books and then list down the top 5 categories of books you have, for example self-help, stock investment, etc.
You can compare this list with other list to pinpoint your passion later.
Remember to put aside those books which you’ve bought not because of interest but because of needs. For example, you can put aside your college textbook and any other books which you did not buy out of interest.
Action: List down the top 5 categories of books you have
Note: You can compare this list with the list you make with method 1 & 3 to pinpoint your passion.
Third Method: Check your online activities
Online activities are very often different from offline activities.
This means that by looking at what you do online may help you to further explore your passion.
Simply open up the history tab and see what you have been doing online. The more frequent you visit a site, the chances for the site’s topic to be your passion is higher. Of course, the longer you visit a site also indicate the same thing.
Pay attention to the top blogs, forums and site which you have been following for the past 1 week. Also, check out what you’ve been constantly looking for with YouTube and Google.
Then, as usual, categorize them and make a list of the top 5 categories of the site which you visit most often.
It is interesting to see that I often read self-improvement and personal finance books offline, but when I’m surfing the net, I often look for other information, for example internet marketing, online business, and also blogging tips. This shows that what I’ve been looking offline and online can be very different.
You too, go ahead, open up the history tab and start to explore which blogs or forums you have been following all this time. See what kind of information you’ve been looking for online, and is it similar to what you’re looking for offline.
Action: Make a list of the top 5 categories of sites which you visit most often.
Note: you can compare this list with the list you make with method 1 & 2 to pinpoint your passion.
Fourth Method: Figure out your passion which lies behind your strength
Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
We are good at something only because we practice it repeatedly, and very often, we only practice something repeatedly because we are really passionate about it.
Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time said “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
What actually drives him to move forwards, failure after failure?
The only answer here is passion.
If you’ve read his background story, you would know that he is a very determined man, and he has intense passion for basketball. It is passion that drives him to practice long hours every day and lead him to his success and fame.
You too, are the same. Your strength is most probably comes from long hours of practice, and it is your passion that motivates you to do so.
So, gather with some of your closest friends.
Ask them what your strengths are.
You might be surprised that they will tell you they admire you for your talent or ability which you never thought it is part of your strength.
After finding out your strength, the next step is to figure out what is your passion which contributes to your strength. Sometimes, it is easy to link your strength and your passion together. For example if your strength is you can swim very well, then perhaps your passion is swimming too.
However, sometimes it is not easy to figure out your passion directly as the linkage between passions as strength is not obvious. For example, you can speak very good English and your friend considered it is part of your strength. However, speaking might not be your passion; just that you happened to listen to news very often and got influenced by how the news reporter speaks. In this case, your hidden passion might be learning the interesting or latest things that happen in the world every day. (Bear in mind, this is just an example to illustrate the linkage between passion and strength can be weak. Sometimes, it takes time to figure out what your passion really is)
Action: Ask your friend about your strength. Then find out the passion which contributes to your strength.
Fifth Method: Answer these 4 questions to find your true passion
Question 1: What do you like to talk about?
It’s human nature. We like to talk about things we love or interest us the most. If you realize you have been constantly talking about the same topic, then most probably that particular topic is related to your passion.
Question 2: What would you do for free?
When there are no benefits or return attach to it and you willing to do it for free over and over again, then most probably it is something you enjoy doing it. It could be your passion.
Question 3: What often makes you lose track of time?
If you do something you do not enjoy at all, you will keep looking at the clock and wondering when will it end and why the time pass so slow. On the other hand, you will often feel that time flies so fast when you’re having fun doing things you love. So, if you find yourself frequently lost track of time doing the same “thing”, then that “thing” could be your passion.
Question 4: If today were your last day of your life, how would you like to spend it?
This is probably the most important question to answer.
If you know you have only 1 day left, you will most probably choose to do the thing you enjoy the most in your life.
During the Stanford commencement speech, June 2005, Steve Jobs once said: ““Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
I believe what he said is very true indeed. If you can answer this question, you can almost certainly be able to identify what your passion is.
Action: Write down the answer for all 4 questions listed above. Look at your answer and you will be able to discover your passion.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
So, like Steve Jobs said, never ever settle until you find your true passion.
I found mine, and I sincerely hope you will be able to find out yours too.
Go through all the 5 methods above to explore and to discover your passion now.
Don’t wait or delay anymore.
Allow your passion to fuel your life and live to the fullest start from today!
PS:If you have found your passion, then let us know by leaving a comment below.
We would love to learn more about your passion and how much you love doing it =)