5 Simple Ways to Find Your Passion

By Henri Junttila on 11 February 2010 (Updated 17 February 2011) 14 comments

Passion, passion, passion. That's all we hear nowadays. Everyone's telling you to follow your passion. But do you have a clue what yours is or what to do about it? I know I didn't just some time ago.

Passion is a concept that seems impossible to grasp, until you grasp it. What I noticed in my own life was that you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You have to be willing to make mistakes. You have to be willing to try.

If you don't try, nothing will happen. When I was looking for my passion, I was motivated by the negative. I thought about dying old and regretting my whole life. If I would at least try and fail, I would be happy.

I am not talking about trying for a few weeks; I am talking about persevering for your whole life, until you die. If that's what it takes, then that's what I was going to do. Having that determination in your life can really open doors.

With all that said, let's look at 5 simple ways you can find your passion. Remember, this isn't meant to be a path filled with roses. If it was, more people would be doing it.

The journey can be tough, but the rewards are more than worth it. Imagine doing what you want, from where you want and when you want. If you're instantly thinking of excuses, then this article is probably not for you.

1. Brainstorm

Get a pen and a piece of paper, or better yet, grab a microphone and start recording on your computer. Talking is the best way to be spontaneous, and brainstorming is all about letting your brain get it all out.

If you censor yourself, brainstorming will not work. So grab your microphone, and start saying everything that comes to mind when you think about the things you like to do. Don't worry if you go "off-topic" — just let it flow. Do this for at least 15-30 minutes. When you start running out of ideas, keep pushing, because that's where the magic happens.

2. Engage

It's all well and good to analyze and dream about what your passion is, but nothing measures up to taking action. It doesn't matter if you're not sure about something. Do it anyway, because that's the best way to learn.

Think you like gardening, but aren't sure? Start reading, take a course, and engage with the online gardening community. The people that are living the life they want take action. They are as afraid as anyone else, but they do it anyway.

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3. Failing

Something that helped me a lot was asking myself "what would I do if I couldn't fail?", which helped me gain the courage necessary to start my blog. Asking yourself the right questions can often get you into the right mindset, which helps you take action.

I'm a big believer in doing stuff, even if you don't know exactly what you're doing. I've learned through personal experience that the sooner you take action, the sooner you can re-calibrate (if necessary).

4. Observe

What have you always liked doing in your life? I realized that I've always enjoyed writing. I want to become an excellent writer. But I've also always enjoyed natural health and working out.

I believe we all have many different passions, so don't worry if you can't decide, it might just be the fact that you have many things that you like to do.

Something I want to emphasize though is that you have to pick one and focus all of your energy on it if you want to make something happen. You can always come back to your other passions later.

5. Accept Fear

Everyone deals with fear. If you're having trouble finding your passion, you're most likely afraid of something. Accept the fear. Easier said than done, right? But it truly is that easy.

When you make the decision to do things even if you're afraid, you'll see a dramatic shift happen in your life. You have to make living the life you want THE priority and not let any fears or obstacles stand in your way.

It's okay to do something crazy now and then. I am following my passion and I'm feeling better than ever, but I'm still afraid now and then. The way I get through the fear is to think of what I really want to accomplish.

If you want to live a life that you actually care about, then you have to put in some work. You have to bust a few fears and take action.

This is a guest post by Henri Junttila, a freelance blogger who also writes about self improvement ideas for conscious people. If you want to keep up with his life-changing updates, subscribe to his feed. Read more articles by Henri:

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Guest's picture

Man I have to take a massive exception to your belief that it's 'easy' for people to accept fear. I read this over and over again on blogs, and you know what, it's NEVER from people that coach or counsel others for a living.

Letting go of and even accepting fear is probably THE most difficult thing a human being has to do and that's why 99.99% of people never master it.

Guest's picture

I actually do agree with you disagreeing with me. I've just started coaching myself and have started to realize that it's tough to accept fear.

I have nowhere near the experience you have, so I might be totally off, but that's fine with me.

Those that don't want to accept and overcome fear, I don't know if I am the right person to get them to the point where they want that.

I want to work with the people that have experienced who have experienced that "I'm so sick of the alternative" as Richard Bandler puts it. The straw that broke the camel's back.

In summary though, I do agree with you Tim, but I also agree with myself ;)

Guest's picture
Jen

Hey Henri
I really like how you have broken down some steps to finding your passion here. Spot on. You have to try, keep trying, be persistent and be willing to fail.

Guest's picture
Eric J

Great post! You've outlined some integral keys to success Henri. I agree with you, completely, on what you've stated about taking action. More often than not, most people might sit on a great idea for literally years before being forced to take action by an unfortunate experience.

In my personal experience, I always try to push myself to get started and take the proverbial "leap of faith" that is necessary to become a mover and shaker in this world. I feel that the only thing that separates a successful person from a person not doing so well, is the successful person's ability to step out on pure self-motivation. Thoughts anyone?

Guest's picture

I spend so much time daydreaming. I think of ways I can improve my quality of life every day! I'm working towards living my dreams, and I tell you; nothing better than that!

Guest's picture

I like what you've put together here Henri. When it comes to fear it is key to use it as the motivator that it can be when we don't allow ourselves to be paralyzed. We also should use it to analize ourselves. Why are we reacting with fear? Are there logical reasons (I could get killed) or are they really attributed to irrational beliefs? Quick example; 6 years ago, like many other people, I was petrified of public speaking. However, there was a voice, an urge inside me telling me that this was my destiny. I've since become an accomplished public speaker and find it one of my greatest passions. Many times, in order to realize our greatness, we need to break through our fears. No, it's not easy but oh so worth it. The key is that we need to make our desire, our passion, bigger than our fear. Thanks again.

Guest's picture

wow... this is really something, it touched the inner me especially the last part. I'd like to know my passion which I think I knew but I'm still in doubt. Your post is really helpful, I may have to try this. Thanks.

Guest's picture

I have been coming to these same conclusions in my own life for quite some time now and your post is just one more verification to me that my own discoveries are right on track. I loved this article so much that I passed it along to a bunch of my friends.

Guest's picture

big question is, will someone pay you for your passion? And will it be enough to pay the bills?

That is the tricky part. :)

Guest's picture
Guest

I agree that fear is the greatest barrier to success. I can sometimes trick myself into thinking I am excited rather than scared.

Guest's picture
Guest

It seems like if you are really PASSIONATE about something, you wouldn't have to look too hard for it.

Guest's picture
Ayme

This is tangiential, but I am intrigued by how many of us grow up without ever being enough in touch with our own authenticity that we arrive at adulthood and don't even know our passion/s, and knowing what that-thing-we-were-born-to-do is. You shouldn't have to look for your passion, it should be something you can't NOT do.

I can't help but wonder if this is the result of our one-size-fits-all education system that doesn't nurture this soul-seeking in early childhood, where your passion and talents stand out more clearly. Your childhood is part of your life, too, and I think it's important to begin discovering yourself early and not waiting until you need to find out what it is so you can pick the "right" major in college.

OT, I know. Just a thought I had when I read this.

Guest's picture
Greg

I like your point about "doing stuff"! If you don't take action nothing will happen. Even if the results aren't the best, it is better than doing nothing.

Thanks for your post!

Guest's picture

When I was trying to figure out what my true passion was I used reflection. Henri used the term observe. I looked back at all the skills, jobs, interest I had and what kept me motivated the most. I always dreamed of being an entrpreneur just didn't know what I'd be 'preneuing.

If you're unsure what your passion is sit back and reflect. It may do some good.

Charles W. for WEALTHfaire