how to be happy

10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Uncover Your Life Passion

There’s been some debate going on in various articles and blog posts about whether or not one needs a life passion — or even if seeking a life passion is a viable pursuit at all.

I think in order to answer this, you need to have a good idea of what life passion is in the first place. We’ve all observed passionate people. These people clearly have something going on in their lives. They appear happy, enthusiastic, and deeply engaged in life. You rarely hear them kvetching about how much they hate their jobs, how their lives are boring, or how they have no idea what to do with themselves.

We look at these passionate people and wish we could have just a sliver of what they have. They certainly provide anecdotal evidence that life passion is something worth pursuing.

But back to the question about life passion and what it is exactly. In the simplest terms, it is a formula that leads to a happy and fulfilled life. The formula is something like this:

strong interest  + practice + engagement  + purpose = life passion

Strong Interest

You begin with a strong interest in something. For some people, these strong interests begin in childhood or as teenagers. For others, they may not know their interests until they begin to explore and test as adults.

Practice

A key element in transforming an interest into a passion is practice. Passion requires a level of proficiency, and proficiency requires practice. Without practice, your interest will begin to wane and you’ll become frustrated.

Engagement

Here’s where engagement comes in. When you are deeply engaged in the practice of your passion, then practice is fun and fulfilling. In fact, the process of developing your passion is more engaging than reaching some desired goal or level of proficiency. The process of practice puts you in the moment, in that state of flow which is so richly rewarding and satisfying.

Purpose

What transforms a strong interest into a life passion is the element of purpose. When you pursue your strong interest in the context of a larger purpose, aligned with your core values and the vision your have for your life, then you are truly living your passion. This is when a hobby or casual pursuit becomes a calling.

So now that you have an idea what life passion is, ask yourself again, “Is it worth pursuing?” It is worthwhile if you desire to live the kind of life you’ve observed in passionate people — a life that is joyful, purposeful, and engaging.

The amazing side effect of having a life passion is the impact it has on all areas of your life. When you have a passion, you find that . . .

  • you feel happier in all areas of your life, not just the passion area;
  • you are more attractive to others because you exude happiness and enthusiasm;
  • you have more self-confidence because you are committed to something and becoming more proficient at it;
  • you need less in life because you are so fulfilled by your passion;
  • you are rarely bored;
  • life in general is easier because you aren’t resisting it.

So if you choose not to believe the myths surrounding life passion, and you are ready to take the first steps toward uncovering your own passion, here are ten things you can do right now to begin the process.

1. Define Your Interests

Write down all of your strong interests, even those you had when you were young. Include every possible interest you can think of, even if it seems impossible to achieve at the moment. If you need help, there are a variety of free and paid interest inventories online. Pick your top five to explore first.

2. Understand Your Personality

Even if you’ve done this in the past, go back and take a personality assessment. Again, there are several free and paid assessments online. Read as much as you can about your personality type and how this type perceives and interacts with the world. Review the natural careers and interests of your type. Write down everything that resonates with you.

3. Define Your Core Values

Consider what you value most in life, the concepts that are most important to you. These are the concepts you want to use for making decisions and taking actions around your life passion. For example, if one of your core values is flexibility, then having a highly-scheduled job or living a rigid lifestyle does not support your value. Narrow your core values to your top five.

4. Create a Vision

Begin to think about your ideal life in all areas — your work, relationships, lifestyle, finances, etc. Write a vision for your life as you would like to see it in the next few years. You can continue to refine this vision over time.

5. Simplify Your Life

Create room in your life to pursue a life passion by simplifying your schedule and your physical space. Let go of unnecessary tasks and time-fillers. Clear out the physical clutter in your life which drains emotional energy. As you make room for life passion, you will begin to gain more clarity around what you want to pursue.

6. Examine Emotional Baggage

Just as physical clutter and an over-scheduled life rob your time and energy, so too does emotional baggage. If you have unresolved feelings or unhealthy emotions, identify them and try to discern the root cause. Seek support and treatment if necessary so you are free to pursue your passion.

7. Read and research

Choose one of your strong interests, and begin to study and learn more about all that is involved in the pursuit of it. Pay attention to what excites and engages you as you are learning. Make notes about it. Do this with all five of the interest so you have a good comparison of the time, skills, and commitment involved in each.

8. Find a Role Model

Seek out someone who is actively pursuing one or more of your interests. Ask questions about how they followed this passion and what it took to make it part of their lives. Interview them thoroughly and make notes on what you learn.

9. Get Comfortable with Uncertainty

Recognize that it takes some time to uncover your passion. While you are searching, you will have times of uncertainty and self-doubt. If you begin the process accepting this fact, you can prevent uncertainty and doubt from hindering your search. Proceed in spite of uncertainty.

10. Give Yourself Time

Allow yourself an hour or two a week to work on uncovering your passion. Passion won’t fall into your lap. You must seek it out and uncover it. That requires time and momentum. Give yourself the gift of that time — time that can lead you to an exciting, rewarding new life. Make it a regular part of your week.

Seeking out your life passion is important and life-changing work. Even if the naysayers were correct about life passion, the self-discovery and personal evolution involved in the work of seeking is alone invaluable. Fortunately, your life passion is inside of you, waiting for you to explore, engage, and live with joy and purpose!

Barrie Davenport is a life passion coach and founder of BarrieDavenport.com, a site dedicated to helping people uncover and live their passions. Download her free guide, The Passion Myths: 6 Lies Keeping You from Uncovering Your Life Passion.

Editor’s Note:

My friend, fellow blogger, and life passion coach Barrie Davenport has created a thorough and beautiful 42-page guide that is absolutely free called The Passion Myths: 6 Lies Keeping You from Uncovering Your Passion. If you want to uncover your own life passion, you must first break through these myths and lies that might be standing in your way of doing this important work. I hope you will check it out and download it right now. It is completely free!

Here’s the link: http://www.barriedavenport.com/freeguide/

Photo credit: ‘Stairs to Success‘ by Big Stock

  • http://twitter.com/UpbeatBrain UpbeatBrain

    Barrie, I decided years ago that I wanted a career in which I couldn’t tell the difference between work and play. To get there, I first decided on the big-picture things that I wanted from my life. From those desires and my available skill set, I picked a career, which is freelance writing and editing. This profession brings me new adventures every day, and nothing is more passionate for me than that.

    • Barrie/BarrieDavenport.com

       That is fantastic! You went about it in the best way too — thinking about what you want from life in general, and then filling in the specifics. Good for you!!

  • http://www.awesomeminds.com/ Robert

    Hi Barrie,

    A great post with the steps to get people started, if more people took the time to discover their life passion, then there would be a lot more happy faces in this world.

    • Barrie/BarrieDavenport.com

       You are so right Robert. Too many people just settle. If only they knew what they were missing and how their passion might impact the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558517116 Arnold Hugo Stolting

    Even though there have been thousands of articles, books and courses on this topic available for years via the self help industry, most consumers of this material will never physically make that switch from living a hum drum life and working at a boring job, to finding their true passion and spending their day doing what makes them feel happy and fulfilled. Many find it impossible to even have the time to sit down and contemplate their true purpose and passion since their life consists of slamming the alarm clock each and every morning and rushing through breakfast and traffic (sometimes both at the same time) in order to not be late for the exciting daily event of spending 8 to 12 hours fulfilling their employer’s purpose and passion. Many people accept this as a part of life, and others, even though they may wish to escape their daily routine, they simply do not have the entrepreneurial mindset or the business skills to turn their passion or strong interest (once they finally found it) into a profitable venture. In the end, finding a passion and living it (full time) needs to go hand in hand with being able to earn an income from it, otherwise all you will be doing is spending your time on a  “hobby”.  Learning how to feed yourself and your family and keep a roof over your head while living your passion after you have uncovered it is a whole other book.

    • Barrie/BarrieDavenport.com

       Hi Arnold,
      I agree (sadly) that most people won’t make that switch. They are too afraid or confused to take the first steps. However, I don’t believe you absolutely must find your passion through your work. Many people work on their passions on the side. Often the enthusiasm they have for the passion leads them to a career in their passion. But other times, they can be quite fulfilled pursuing their passion on the side. As long as you are able to have some level of fulfillment and engagement in life, it will positively impact all of your life. Would it be best to have work you love? Of course. But barring that, having passion somewhere in your life can offer the break from the hum drum that people are seeking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.braithwaite Keith Braithwaite

    Very thought-provoking. So many people have no idea why they are here – I am in the midst of discovering my passion so an article like this is very useful – and a welcome distraction from all the, er, distractions that always try to divert you. ‘Simplify your life’ – I like that.

    • Barrie/BarrieDavenport.com

       Hi Keith,
      I hope you will continue your pursuit and keep experimenting and seeking until you find it. And once you find it, make it part of your life! It is such a worthwhile pursuit.

  • Irabor Mark

    Nice post. It is not because things are bad that you are sad; you are sad that is why things are bad.  Some people would say, “Oh sure, when everything is working fine, I will be happy”. You cannot afford to wait until then, because things may not become better at all. Take control of your feelings and emotions.

    If your joy withers, everything else around your life dries up. Everything follows your emotions. “The joy of the Lord is your strength”. The more joyful you are, the stronger you are. The less joyful you are, the weaker you are. It affects every area of life.
    http://madeforsuccess.blogspot.com
     

    • Barrie/BarrieDavenport.com

       Hi Irabor,
      Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Joy tends to accompany passion. When you are deeply engaged and “in the flow”, you can’t help but feel joyful. This is particularly true when your passion has a higher purpose.

  • http://www.financialfixers.net/the-real-costs-of-running-a-blog-business/ Christine@FinancialFixers

    The first steps toward uncovering your own passion were very
    helpful. Especially #3 -Define Your Core Values.  I learned quite a bit. It is very true because
    you need to make sure that your values are put into play otherwise you will be
    miserable.

    • Barrie/BarrieDavenport.com

       Yes, your core values must be honored when you pursue your passion. Quite often your passion inherently supports your values, but sometimes they can be at cross purposes (ie: your passion involves long work hours but one of your values is time with family). You need to find a way to make them complimentary.

  • Mariehardnett

    you rich basterd this is just a stupid scheem to buy your book but i will find my passion on my own this is just like eharmony trying to make perfection out of then air if your lucky enough to find your passion thats great but this guy and his book cant help you. 

  • Stephanie

    Wow! this was an awesome article.
    This article sure does take the mysticism out of what passion is and what it looks like.
    Thank you for posting this!