Ask most young children and the answers come thick & fast: “A circus clown, an astronaut, a doctor, a ballerina, a famous singer.”
People would ask my children: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and I’d laughingly answer: “I still don’t really know!”
I wasn’t REALLY kidding…
As we get older, people stop asking and we stop wondering. There’s an expectation that by your mid-late twenties you’re either already climbing your career ladder of choice or at least have clarity on your intended destiny and are working to make it happen.
As we get older, the options no longer seem limitless. We put caveats on everything: “Yes, but circus clowns get paid crap & have no fixed address. Ballerinas all have bad backs and to become a famous singer, you have to sleep with the right people.”
The most common & sad excuse is: “I’m just too old for that now.”
If it takes 10 years to change careers to something you love & you’re 45 when you get there – so what? You’ll be 45 even if you DON’T get there!
If you’re an adult, who still knows the answer to this question, you’re lucky. Your dream still has a strong pulse. Be bold & chase it.
In the quiet moments, I’d often ask this question of myself. I’d search the depths of my soul, trying to find my passion. What frightened me is, there didn’t seem to be an answer!
At workshops they’d ask: “What are your passions, your dreams, your deepest desires? Spend ten minutes scribbling it all down. Find your passion!” Ten minutes later, I’d have an empty page staring back at me.
I started getting more & more desperate, feeling the urgency to know my destiny, build a legacy, leave the planet better than I found it.
I’d spent so long doing ‘what was expected & sensible, I had no idea if there even was a dream inside of me, let alone what it might be!
I studied engineering because I couldn’t think of anything else. I took a job as a petroleum engineer because it was the first one I was offered. I moved into corporate development because they asked me to. Never once did I push for something I wanted that took me out of my comfort zone.
When I started to felt utterly miserable & unfulfilled, I had no idea what I wanted to be doing instead.
You feel pretty stupid saying: ”My job just doesn’t do it for me, but I have no idea what will.” So you just keep going.
The passion inside can go dormant from neglect until we no longer know it’s there.
We’re usually busy living up to other people’s expectations – doing what’s ‘right’, ‘sensible’ & ‘expected’. We go to school, learn a trade, get a degree, a job, have some babies, change nappies, throw dinner parties, clean the windows, plan the next vacation.
Dreams? Passions? Pah! They’re for young people or airy fairy artsy folk who don’t have a steady job and couch surf. We’re busy living the urban dream here!
- First up: be honest – are you lacking passion in your life? If so, read on.
- Ask yourself often: ”What’s my passion?” Once you’re actually open to discovering it, you’ll eventually figure it out. Trust me on this – just hang in there.
- If it’s been on your mind for several years, that could be a clue.
- If it makes you smile from ear to ear, energizes you like the latest overpriced energy drink & makes hours seem like minutes, you might be onto something.
- Your passion could be something you’ve never even tried – be willing to experiment.
- If you try something & get bored with it, stop. You’re not doing this to impress anyone. It’s JUST FOR YOU.
You’ll definitely know it when you find it – and it’s very much worth persevering for!
If you find yourself disheartened & thinking: “I must be the only one on earth without a passion,” just remember: you’re not THAT special. 🙂
Hope you have lots of fun!
If you have story about finding your passion or just some thoughts, please scroll on down & SHARE!