I’ve mentioned before how your purpose lies at the intersection between what you’re good at, what you love and what others need. But how do you find your passion when you have no idea what you want?
(Note: I originally wrote this article as an answer to a question on Quora. I answer a new question there almost every morning. Click here to follow me.)
Let me start off by acknowledging the discomfort, frustration and confusion that’s present for anyone asking this question. I know how crippling it can feel in that situation, as I’ve been there myself (more than I’d like to admit).
As recent as early-2016, there were days and nights I’d find myself lying curled up on my bedroom floor (which back then also doubled as my office), some days even crying a little (okay, maybe more than a little). I felt broken, without a clue what to do next.
That’s when I decided to take a position teaching English in South Korea. It was perfect. Good money, travel, and an opportunity to change my environment.
Or so I thought.
After getting certified, selling all my stuff, getting all my documents ready and receiving a contract from a school in my ideal city, I suddenly realized I’d just be taking another 9-5 (or 9-7 in this case) in a foreign country, which is exactly what I’d been working against since quitting my engineering job.
Long story short: I turned down the job (again with no plan B), started dating my girlfriend, came across an opportunity to temporarily teach English online via my friend Joseph Kennedy and subsequently landed a dream gig helping my mentor (and now friend) grow his business.
The moral of the story here is there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.
So back to the question: How do you find your passion when you have no idea what you want?
First of all, I’ve asked this question to a lot of my guests on the podcast. And what I’ve learned and now share with others is that you can’t really find your passion.
What I mean by this is that your passion isn’t out there, it’s in you.
(Hat tip to Tom Asacker for that gold.)
Now I realize that might immediately annoy the hell outta you, but let me explain.
Too many of us think we can sit and try to figure out what we’re passionate about. But your true passion won’t come from your head; it comes from your body. It’s something you feel inside you.
So if you don’t know what you want in life, that needs to be your first step. You need to create a vision of you want your ideal life to look like. Where do you live? Who do you spend time with? What do your relationships, work and health look like?
Don’t worry about getting this perfect (there’s no such thing), but you need to have some sort of guiding vision to move towards. If you could wave a magic wand, what would your life look like?
The problem we face nowadays is that we have so many choices.
But try to feel what makes you excited in your body. Once you have a vision, you need to start experimenting with possible options.
Note: I still haven’t asked you to find your purpose. One of the reasons for doing so is I believe we all share one common purpose, which is to achieve personal mastery.
In order to do that, we each have different missions we take on at various stages of our lives.
The way that we find these missions is to find the intersection between the following questions:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What am I good at?
- What does the world need?
If you can find where these three areas meet, you’ll arrive at your sweet spot. And, there’s probably a few options which satisfy those criteria.
Again, you can’t find your passion by thinking. You need to experiment and explore with different options that lie at the intersection of those three questions, and then slowly discover what you’re passionate about.
Don’t wait until you “find your passion” before taking action. Get out there and gather some data points.
The passion doesn’t lead to action. The action leads to the passion.
OVER TO YOU…
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