How to Find Your Passion - Unapologetic Living Part 3
Since the beginning of my final year at university, questions and statements surrounding my adulthood and life choices have absolutely plagued me! I've talked about this topic before and funnily enough I'm no closer to finding any answers. If i'm honest, I change my mind about where my life is heading more often than I wash my hair. (No joke!)
But you know what I've decided? That's something I'm completely okay with. I don't have it figured out, I don't have an end goal in sight. I don't have a 5 year or a 10 year plan, listen I don't even have a 6 month plan. I refuse to limit myself at such an early stage in my adult development, to put myself in a neat little box just so I can answer the question "what are you passionate about?"
Whilst the idea of "following your passion" doesn't immediately equate to following a single path dogmatically, it definitely has the ability to lead you that way. There's something intrinsically limiting about the idea of following your passion. it's kind of like putting blinders on a horse, tunnel vision if you will - it creates the idea that there is only one path. Interestingly, multiple interviews with industry greats have taught me that the path is rarely straight but is instead a multi-faceted journey with twists and turns. Most importantly, most of those greats didn't have it figured out from the get-go, they followed the twists and turns to end up where they are.
Moreover, this idea of "following your passion" doesn't account for people who have multiple passions and actually ignores the fact that monetising your passion often takes the passion out of it. I'm passionate about lots of things, should I follow them all? Which should I follow first? Will they all be lucrative purely because I'm passionate about them? Furthermore, I don't necessarily want to dedicate my working life to all, if any, of them. I like that they are hobbies. I like that I can come home and work on my blog in the evening; I like that I can unwind by working on my fashion illustration and design skills. I consistently maintain that I would never want my blog to become my main source of income. Monetising these things would remove the "passion" I feel for them, constraining them to an economic endeavour that's measured by the number of zeros they can add to my bank balance.
So if we're not finding our passion, how do we give ourselves direction?
Well, Terri's TEDx talk gives some great pointers. I think Terri's talk highlights that often passion finds you, when you're least expecting it not when you're out there searching for it! I think she brings home the idea that we need to define professional success for ourselves and by ourselves.
Personally, purpose and progression are the two of my most important professional development metrics. Purpose in the sense that you gain meaning from your work, to see your purpose within your organisation and to help others with something that is truly important to them. That's really what helps you get up and drag your ass to work when it's dark outside at 7am; that's what keeps you pushing on past lunchtime. Progression within yourself and your organisation whether you measure that by hitting all your targets, by getting that promotion or simply by getting the opportunity to work with innovative thought leaders - the opportunity for growth is supremely important.
If you need a little inspiration I'd highly recommend watching the above video, save it and replay it any time you you need a pick me up.