I’m fascinated with passionate people. Some of them have such fire and drive in them that they completely captivate me even if what they do isn’t something I find all that interesting.
I realize that not everyone is as lucky in discovering their passions. I’ve heard some people say that you either have it or you don’t. However, I don’t think that is true. Finding your passion can be tricky sometimes, but there are ways to open yourself up to discovering them.
1. Learn a new skill
Most passions start with new skills. Musicians, artists and marathon runners all started their skills at one point and changed their life. The best part about learning new skills is that you can try one for a few days to get a feel for it. Take a few classes and figure out if it’s right for you.
2. Explore and discover
Sometimes finding your passion in life means getting a fresh look at the world you’re in. Travel can open you up to how other people live which could inspire you to something amazing.
However, traveling isn’t the only way to do this. Take a walk in a nearby park or meditate. Anything that will get you in a reflective state of mind will work. This will get you focused on the things that are important to you.
3. Stop doing things you’re not passionate about
If you spend most of your day watching television or playing video games, you’re not going to find your passion. Get rid of the distractions in your life and you’ll make plenty of time to fill it with things that matter. When you eliminate things you don’t care about, you’ll create a vacuum of time in your life that you need to fill. Hopefully, you’ll fill it with passionate pursuits.
4. Figure out who you are
If you know what kind of person you are, you’ll find it easier to figure out new passions. Some people work better with their hands and some are more artistic. That should give you some indication where to start in figuring out your passions. If you’re unsure about this, I would try everything. Eventually you’ll figure out what you like.
5. Surround yourself with passionate people
Passionate people are filled with energy and enthusiasm. Those qualities are infectious so if you surround yourself with passionate people, you’ll get a fire inside for life too. The things they do may provide inspiration and ideas for things you want to try. Plus, they can provide insight into how they discovered their passions and open you up to how you might discover one too.
6. Revisit old interests
Many times, the best place to start finding new passions is by looking into your past. This is how I re-discovered a passion I had. When I was in college, I lifted weights on a regular basis. It was something I liked, but stopped shortly after I graduated. Several years later, I started doing it again and it became a big part of my life.
7. Indulge in your imagination
One of the side effects of growing up is the loss of imagination. I can remember a time when I used imagination to create a variety of crazy ideas and stories in my head. I would take these ideas and draw pictures or write fantastic stories. I had so much going on that I needed an outlet.
Imagination is a powerful way to super-charge your creativity. It gets you to look at the world in new ways and that’s important for many passionate pursuits. Creativity comes from innovation and innovation comes from imagination. Let your mind wander for awhile and you might be surprised at the crazy, creative things you come up with.
8. Pay attention to your thoughts
Where do your thoughts drift to when you let your mind wander? If you end up daydreaming about doing something, your mind might be telling you that you’re interested in doing it. Years ago, when my thoughts drifted towards things I wanted to do before I die, I would imagine rock climbing. Finally I got the nerve to try it out. It’s something I’ve loved ever since.
9. Expand your comfort zone
Finding things you’re passionate about means trying new things you might not be good at or are afraid to try. Even if it doesn’t turn into a passion, the experience will still be worth trying. For example, I tried landscape painting after a few years of wanting to do it. Painting didn’t turn out to be a passion of mine, but I’m glad I did it. Now I know that my passions are elsewhere.
10. Get out of your rut
If you’re like most people, you have a routine to your day. Routines are good for making sure your day runs smoothly, but they’re bad for introducing you to new things. Anything you can do to change your routine will help in your new discoveries. Sometimes the simplest changes can make the biggest difference.
The danger of routines is when you go on “auto-pilot”. Ever drive down the road and forget the last few minutes of driving, but you still made all the turns? That’s what a routine can do to your life.
11. Meet new people
New people bring new personalities into your world. They have their own likes and dislikes and ways of seeing the world you might not have thought about before. Eventually, someone is going to introduce you to a new passion.
Plus, if you’re constantly meeting new people. They’ll ask you to tell them about yourself. If you draw a blank one too many times, you’ll feel more pressure to find that passion in your life.
What kind of passions do you have? Do you know of any other ways to discover more?
photo credit: Toni Blay