Start living a more fulfilling life by bringing more passion to the things that you do as an adult.
If you’re like me, you checked all the boxes that everyone tells you to do growing up. You went to college, picked a sensible major, found a 9-5 with good benefits and you’ve been slowly working your way up the corporate ladder.
But something is missing.
You find yourself unfocused at work and unmotivated to get out of bed. When you’re at work, you either sit there waiting for 5 o’clock to hit or you feel like you work way too hard for how your life is turning out. It’s just the same boring thing every single day.
Craving the weekends that fly by way too fast.
If you feel this way, believe me, I’ve been in that exact same spot. I’ve chalked it up as a rut but if I’m being honest, the rut has been going on for years. Even after getting promoted, I still dread the 9-5.
In fact, accounting to this statistic from Zippia.com, only 20% of workers feel passionate about their job. Twenty percent! So if you know someone who truly feels passionate about their job, they’re in the minority, my friend.
You know these people. They knew they wanted to be a teacher their whole life and they love it. I’ve never felt that drawn to something. Picking a major in college was hard and picking a career was even harder.
I decided that I didn’t have a passion and I should just find something with a good income trajectory so I could travel and enjoy my weekends.
But this is not how you live your best life.
We’re all meant to do something amazing. It just takes a little extra digging for some of us. Your passion is within you, you just have to find it. Did that sound cheesy? Maybe a little but it’s true.
If you feel like you are stuck in a rut and living a passionless life, here are 7 ways to discover your passion as an adult.
1. Try to break away from society’s standards and the idea of perfection
If you’re just checking all the boxes that society has told us is important, then it is going to be hard to dream big. On top of that, if you’re trying to be perfect, you aren’t going to take any risks.
We all probably have had the thought before that we’re ‘behind in life’. Which is honestly so silly. That’s why people rush into careers they don’t love or marriages that end up in divorce. And when it comes down to it, who cares when you get married or finally find your dream job? Isn’t the important thing that you truly love the life you’re living?
In reality, I don’t think many people find their calling right out of college. It takes time. How are you supposed to have it figured out by 22? I know I didn’t. Especially at 18 when you’re picking a major and you have to graduate in 4 years or you’re behind.
I get it, college is expensive so you don’t want to spend too much extra time there but it’s so hard to know at 18. You’ve barely lived your life at that point.
If all you’re doing is checking these boxes that society has told us is normal, it’s going to be hard to find out what you’re truly passionate about. After all, finding your passion involves taking risks and failing.
Failing or realizing something is not for you is part of the process. It leads you to find out what you actually like doing so it’s one step closer to finding out what you’re meant to do.
If the idea of perfectionism is really holding you back, it may be time to work on your love for yourself. Self-love is very important if we want to live our best lives.
2. Ask yourself questions
Once you’re ready to break away from society’s standards and go against the status quo to find your true calling, it’s time to dig deep. Now, asking yourself questions isn’t going to magically find your passion but it’ll give you a starting point.
Once you have a starting point, then you can give these things a go and start researching. It can also help you discover some interests and some non-negotiables.
Some questions include:
- What did you enjoy as a child?
- Why did you enjoy this?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- When does time fly by?
- What is most essential to your happiness?
- Does this make you happy or does it make others around you happy?
- If you could do anything, what would you do?
- What makes you smile?
- Any apps you gravitate to on your phone?
- Why do you enjoy using that app? How often do you use it?
- What do you like about your current job?
- What is something you’ve always wanted to do?
Continue to ask why until you find exactly what you enjoy about that activity. Ask why until you can’t come up with another answer or a follow-up question. You know that annoying kid, that keeps asking “but why,” be that kid in this exercise.
Try to avoid thinking “I don’t know” since this will just limit the possibilities. Push past that feeling and truly find out why. This is basically a brainstorming session so nothing is off-limits.
If you’re like me who has people-pleasing tendencies, at first it can be hard to decide what you actually want since you’ve been too concerned about making others happy. But this is the first step to living a more fulfilling life. You know the answers to these questions, you just have to let yourself say them out loud.
3. What are the ‘passion themes’ in your interests
On paper, your interest may seem all over the place and that’s completely normal. However, are there common themes within these interests? Maybe there is a creative theme within your interests or a researching theme.
Another way you can find these themes is to broaden your horizons by listening to new podcasts, reading new books, or striking up a conversation with a stranger. Knowledge is power after all and the more you know, the better when it comes to identifying your passions.
4. Try out new things based on these answers
After you’ve asked yourself these questions and brainstormed some things you like to do, now it’s time to find activities that put these things into practice.
Remember, we aren’t looking for perfectionism here. You’re going to try some activities and realize you don’t like them and that’s okay! You’re one step closer to finding out what your passion is.
You can use these experiences to ask more questions and dig even deeper. Why did you think you would like this activity and why didn’t you like it? What would need to change for you to like it? Is there something that is more aligned with that change?
It’s important to break out of your routine when you are searching for your passion, especially as an adult. Life can get mundane simply because we’re doing the same things week after week.
Trust your gut instincts. If something sounds even slightly interesting, then go for it! You never know, it could lead you to your passion after all.
5. Practice Mindfulness
To truly find your passion, you have to be connected with your body and soul. I know that definitely sounds cheesy but it’s hard to find your passion if you don’t know who you are to your core.
If you’re pessimistic and have these negative beliefs that you’re never going to find a job you love then how do you expect to live a fulfilling life? A job you are passionate about isn’t going to just fall into your lap.
You’re going to have to try new things and have a positive outlook on life. Live in the moment, say yes to whatever feels right to you. I’m not saying be like Jim Carrey in “Yes Man” and say yes to everything but say yes to things that scare you.
Being more connected to our emotions will help lead us to the right path. A path to a more fulfilling life.
6. Search for a new job
Now, I’m not saying to necessarily quit the job you have today but taking a peek to see what is out there can open your mind to career paths you didn’t know existed.
Take note of what kind of jobs spark your interest. What about that job sounds interesting? Are there any similarities with your current job? Maybe you could even pivot to be more aligned with those interests.
Or you could do a 180 and start a new career path. You shouldn’t be afraid to switch to a completely different career path if that is what is calling you. After all, if we break away from society’s standards, it’s never too late to start over.
7. Decide if your passion will be a career, side hustle, or hobby.
And last but certainly not least, once you narrow in on your passion, decide to what capacity you are going to do your passion.
For example, some people love podcasting in their free time but they don’t want to make it a career. People with creative hobbies like painting or designing sometimes feel that making a business out of it sucks the fun out of it because they have to produce products even when inspiration isn’t there.
For some people, their passion is only supposed to be a hobby and that’s okay! It makes them feel fulfilled and that’s what matters!
Or you only want to do it to the capacity of a side hustle so you don’t have to constantly work on it. You can pick it up when life isn’t as hectic and take a break during the holiday season for example.
If you do want to make your hobby into a career someday, like blogging, starting it as a side hustle is a good starting point because you can decide if it’s actually for you while still maintaining a steady income.
When it all comes down to it, you’re going to have to leave your comfort zone to find your passion. And remember, the journey can be just as fun as the destination. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t find your passion right away. Believe me, you’ll get there.
and if you feel like you found your passion but you’re lacking the energy and motivation, I’ve got you covered in this post.
Let me know in the comments below, what you are passionate about? If you could do anything, what would you do?
Until next time,
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