Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Finding Your Passion: Dream the impossible dream

Recognizing the need for change

You are not born with passion. It is cultivated by your interests, what stimulates you, and excites you. It's the thing that makes you want to get up early, jump out of bed and start working; the thing that sustains you through hours of focussed concentration; the thing that creates that "flow".

But what if there is no passion? What if nothing particularly turns you on, so to speak. Maybe you'ld like to make a change. You hate your job, or have a lot of energy and time on your hands to devote to something fun and exciting, or maybe you're totally unmotivated and just don't know which direction will take you towards something more fulfilling in life. And you're asking yourself "What will make me happy?" What will make me jump out of bed in the morning, excited to go to work? What will get my juices going? What will make me lose track of the world and time, and bury myself in my work? In other words, how can I find my "passion?"

Looking for possibilities

If you’ve got a job you dislike, or even hate, this will sound like an impossible dream. And if you never put in the effort to find what you’re passionate about, you’re probably right; such a thing will never be possible. What you need to do is dare to imagine the possibilities. Dare to actually search for what you love. You just may find that it is not only a possibility, it's a probability. So, how do I go about finding this illusive thing called passion?

Well, first of all, you need to take a moment to reflect. Ask youself: Is there something I love doing; something that keeps grabbing my attention? something I love to readabout all the time?? What do I enjoy doing so much that I'd do it for free? Now, start brainstorming Make lists, research the job markets, look on the internet. Ask around. What are others doing? Get tested. Take a career survey or see a career counselor. Find your passion. It's there

Loving what you do

You really can make a career out of what you love to do. I have always loved to write, and yet the closest I ever got to it was majoring in English, taking writing classes, and teaching writing skills to high school students. I did play around with writing poetry and even tried writing short stories. But I never got serious about it. I taught school for 25 years, got a couple of degrees, wrote master and doctoral theses, even helped colleagues write theirs. And all this time, it never dawned on me that this was my passion. Possibly because there were so many other things I liked to do: taking photos, traveling, teaching, reading, cooking, drawing, painting & graphic arts. So many areas to consider for a life's career!

But I was brought up during a time when women either went to nursing school or studied to become teachers. It never dawned on me to try writing seriously, until I became an Innkeeper. I have owned a bed and breakfast (not a passion, by the way) for fifteen years. At this point, I have everything in place, including housekeepers, gardeners and maintenance men. So, I have the time to explore writing as a possible third career.

Turning Point
I spent Christmas this year with my daughter in Austin, Texas. Her boyfriend is a marketing director. While I was there, he was building a blog; I didn't even know what a blog was. Since it involved writing, I became interested in what he was doing. Seeing this interest, he suggested that I try it myself. Well, that did it! I now have three blogs, am writing for an on-line magazine, and for Am I getting paid for this? Not much; I'd do it for nothing. In fact, all I want to do is write! I write all day long, along with constructing a new website. I found my passion! And the irony? It was there all the time.

* first in a series on finding your passion

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  1. Congratulations on finally seizing the opportunity to practice your passion. Just doing it is the answer, I guess. I've always been very impulsive and whenever I ran up against something that excited me I dove in head first.

  2. Thanks for checking out my blocg and commenting on my post. Diving into compelling projects headlong is the thing I do best.