There is a sign up over my fireplace which says, “live with passion”. To me, that means that whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Live each day with a passion that makes living worthwhile. But I also believe there is something, one thing above all, in each one of us that is our true passion. There is something that feeds the fires of our soul, that drives us, that inspires us. What is it? That is a question that is easily answered for some but many people struggle to find that inspiration. How does one go about finding their passion? If it’s our passion, shouldn’t we know it? Not always, often our passions are buried in the clutter of our lives. Here are some tips for discovering your passion.
I have four mandates that I use to help people discover their passion.
The Monday Question.
Let’s say it’s Monday morning and you have one year to do whatever it is that you want to do. There are no holds barred here, no restrictions of money, no responsibilities of children, no deadlines. You don’t have to consult your spouse or your mother or arrange a babysitter. This is YOU and ONLY YOU. Life is an open book, you write the chapter of one year. What do you do? Usually people answer by saying, “well, first I’d sleep for two weeks, then I’d take a vacation and then I’d do those scrapbooks I’ve been meaning to do.” That is NOT what I’m talking about. This is not about what you have put off, this is about what gives you gut wrenching joy. Give it to me in one word. What would you do for one year? Maybe it’s Travel, or Give Back, or Skydive. What drives excitement into your soul?
The Passage of Time without Notice
Is there something you do that when you do it you simply do not notice the passage of time? Again, I don’t mean that you get wrapped up in paying bills and 5:00pm goes by and you forgot to defrost dinner. I’m talking about something you go out and do and the entire day you never once look at your watch or worry about your schedule. If I were to put recipes and ingredients in front of you at 8:00am and at 9:00pm you are still singing away to the radio lost in cooking 25 pies and have no clue that the day passed, would you think you were passionate about baking? I would.
The Passage of Time without Regret
This is quite different than the passage of time without notice. What if your passion was mountain biking and you left for six months of riding the back country roads of the west. After six months go by you have not a single regret that perhaps you should of been in school or at a job or visiting your mother (sorry mom). In fact, you feel that there was NOTHING you’d rather be doing than cycling and each and every day you get up not knowing or caring what day or month or year it is. You live to cycle. That’s passion.
Not Wishing You were Doing Anything Else
I alluded to this in the previous paragraph but #3 is really about not regretting the passing of precious time in the endeavor of your pursuit. This is about not doing the “should have” or “could have” done something else. For example, what if every day you went to your job and every hour you thought, “I like my job here at the car wash but I do wish I was teaching kindergarten”. What if you had a passion for teaching kindergarten? Then each and every day you would not wish you were doing anything else.
So if you can answer these four mandates with a resounding “yes”, you have truly found your passion.
My passion is scuba diving. If I had one year with nothing to do and no restraints on my cash flow, I would dive every day and film in the most extraordinary places in the world. When I have the occasion to travel and dive, which I do often, weeks go by and I have no idea what day it is, nor do I care. I get to the end of each and every day completely satisfied with the way I spent my day and I don’t wish I was doing anything else. I know I have found my true passion and calling in life.
What’s your passion? And once you have found it, what you will do with it in the short time you have on this earth? Will you squander your time or “live with passion” in the pursuit of it?
To Your Adventures!