Finding passion in life is easier said than done. “Follow your passion” is the advice we often get from successful people.
The question is, “How?”
There’s no magic formula or technique to find your passion in life. You have to put yourself out there to find it.
My favorite advice on this topic is by Casey Neistat. He says that if you want to find what you are passionate about, get the worst job possible.
Get A Job You Hate
This might sound a little weird. How will “getting a job that you hate” allow you to find your passion in life?
So far I’ve worked two jobs in my life. I started off well in both these jobs. I got to learn a lot of new things. My skills improved a lot while I was working these jobs. But after working a certain amount of time, I didn’t like my job anymore. I had to do the same thing every day. I felt like my employers did not recognize my full potential. Also, I had a lot more skills in other areas besides my work. I began to work on my skills. I enjoyed doing my own work. When I understood that my job wasn’t going to take me anywhere, I quit and started doing the work I loved.
The same thing happened in both of my jobs. “Hate” is an inappropriate word to use here. I didn’t hate my jobs. In fact, I feel grateful to have learned so much from them. But I understood that I could be using my skills and do something else—something that I loved.
Here’s what Casey says: When you are at a job you hate, doing the things that you hate doing, your mind starts thinking about other things you would rather be doing.
What Are You Good At?
We are all good at doing something. We enjoy doing it but we don’t do it often because of doubt and fear.
- I can’t make money from it.
- It is not a career choice.
- There’s no future in it.
- People won’t understand it.
These doubts and fears cause us to forget what we love and work for something/someone we do not like.
Here’s how Jay Shetty explains skills and passion:
Most of the people belong to the first quadrant—skill but no passion. People have the skill to do the work at their jobs but they are not passionate about it. If you are one of those people, you need to move from the first quadrant to the second quadrant—skill and passion.
What are you good at? What skills do you have? Do you have a passion for that?
Asking yourself these questions is the first step to find your passion in life.
What If Money Was No Object?
People usually give up on their passion because they think that it can not make money. So instead of working on their passion, they get a crappy job that they hate.
What if money was no object? What would you be doing? How would you spend your time?
Some obvious answers to this question are traveling, spending time with family, eating, sleeping, dancing, etc.
These things might give you temporary satisfaction but what would you be doing for yourself—say, on a daily basis? What are your hobbies—the things you like to do even if you did not get paid for doing them?
For me, it is writing and playing the guitar. I write every day. I do it because I love it. Nobody pays me to write every day on my blog. Yes, my blog is monetized with ads but I do not do it for the ad revenue. Besides, there is very little you can make with ads (unless you have thousands of unique visitors every day). My point is that I love writing and I would do it even if nobody paid me. My goal is to inspire people, not to make money.
What is something that you would do even if nobody paid you? Is it painting, dancing, cooking, singing, designing, photography, videography, or acting?
You need to start doing the things that you love. Money should not be your ultimate goal. It is only a tool. Your goal should be something else. It should be to make an impact on people’s lives. How can you use your skill to help others? Once you start thinking it like this, the money will come. Money is the outcome of hard work and consistency. But you have to have faith in yourself and the work you do.
Do the work first.
In the words of Gary Vaynerchuck:
“If you love it, and you have passion, and you can create good content around it, you can monetize it.”
Work To Learn
People work to make a living. You get a job so that you can make money. Yes, we need money to survive but it should not be the only purpose. You should work to learn—to build your skills.
“Look for the job that you would take if you didn’t need a job.” —Warren Buffett
I usually tell people who are looking for their passion to work in different sectors. This will give them more options. People are scared of change so they are stuck doing the same thing every day. They need to explore more options. This will also help them build new skills.
I have experience working in multiple sectors like technology, finance, and marketing. Working in different sectors has helped me build my skills. Doing so can help you identify what you love. If you are working in the same sector, you will never know what else is out there for you.
You have to put yourself out there to find your passion.
If you want to find your passion, start by asking questions. Become self-aware first.
- What do I enjoy doing the most? (Make a list of things. E.g. writing, reading, eating, cooking, singing, dancing, photography, etc.)
- What are my skills? (Make another list of your skills. E.g. designing, writing, financial analysis, photography, giving advice, etc.)
- Do I like the work I am doing now? (If the answer is “no”, that is clearly not your passion.)
- What if money was no object, would I be doing what I am doing now? If no, what would I be doing?
- How can I make an impact on others by doing the things I love?
Asking these questions will give you clarity about what you like to do. Go back to the quadrants of potential. Remember, your goal is to find something that you are skillful and passionate about.
“Either do the work you love or learn to love the work you do.” —Sandeep Chettri, Nepali Actor, Comedian, TV personality