Four Simple Tricks to Find Your Passion That Work Every Time

by Alli Polin on July 11, 2017

For years, I didn’t have a hobby. I thought that hobbies were always something like art or playing an instrument. I hadn’t found anything that made me excited enough to declare it my hobby of choice. I told myself that I just hadn’t found my passion… and that kind of freaked me out. 

You’re supposed to have a single burning passion, right? To feel this incredible drive to do this thing that you love. 

Live with passion. 

Find your passion. 

Follow your passion. 

Great advice if you know what that all too elusive passion is. Some people do. If you do, find someone else who does too and give each other a high five. I’ll wait here. Oh, be prepared, it might take you a while. 

I’d felt passion at work before. Every day jumping out of bed excited to get into the car and go to work. Seriously. But it had been a long time…

I’d felt passion in my love life before. I married a man who brought out the best in me (and still does.)

Some amazing books that changed my life also made me a passionate reader and learner. 

Was that what people meant when they said, “Find your passion?” Read a book while you hang out with your spouse?

Despite the fact that there were lots of things I could do, there was little I wanted to do more than anything else. Maybe the problem was that I knew what passion felt like. A smoldering inside filled with anticipation, excitement, and possibility. I wanted that in a big way. Not some of the time, but all the time. 

Part of the challenge is there’s a lot of confusion about passion. 

Does finding your passion mean feeling passionate about something or discovering the one thing that you’re undeniably meant to do? You can feel passionate about a lot of things while the concept of finding your one great passion can feel like more than a little pressure, not to mention incredibly confining. 

When I became a coach, I discovered that many of my clients, like me, also knew the feeling of being passionate, but at some point along the way, their passion pilot light got set on low.  Nothing much was striking their fancy, and they went from a multi-passion life to one where, while things were good, was more about going through the motions. We worked together to turn up the flame. 

It’s gotten to the point that if we don’t feel intense passion, we feel like there’s something wrong with us. After all, that’s what self-help books and blogs tell us we should aspire to – passion. 

What makes it worse is the feeling that we’re not keeping up with the Jones’. If you believe Facebook, everyone has amazing work, fabulous home and incredible, well, passion for life. I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s not true. 

Let’s Reframe the Idea of One Great Passion

Life is not meant to be one dimensional.

There are people who have a laser focus on one thing, and it brings them fulfillment. Most people, however, are happier when they create a full life. One of the cornerstones? It’s a multi-passionate life. Lots of loves, lots of likes. There is not only one way forward. 

Passion shouldn’t create blinders. 

Your passion (ok, passions) may lead you to your next. Instead of declaring that you’ve found your passion, what if you found your passion-way? My client loved hiking – it was his passion. Once he hiked through the Shenandoah, he discovered a new passion-way… the history of the Shenandoah. 

You change and grow, so do your passions. 

That thing that lit you up when you were fifteen? Don’t be surprised if it’s barely a blip on your passion radar today. You evolve, learn, experience, challenge, and struggle. All of those events have led you to today. It’s okay to change who you are and to change what you’re passionate about. 

If you’re still searching for your passion and are ready, here are some rocks you can turn over to find it. The answer is right in front of you even if you can’t see it yet. PS. Close Facebook, it’s not on there. 

Four Tricks to Tap Into Your Passion Without Pressure

Ask the people who know you: “What are my strengths? What do you know about me that I don’t know about myself?”

You’ll be surprised what friends and colleagues old and new notice about who you are and what lights you up. 

What do you do in your free time?

In your time off, what do you consistently do? In the evenings do you watch TV or read books? Go to restaurants with friends or go alone to the cinema? Workout? Write? 

What do you Google?

The average American has over 10 hours of screen time a day. Where are your go-to sites? What are you always searching? Travel? Shopping? Trains? Cooking?

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Let’s yourself step into the fantasy of hitting it big this Saturday night. Where would you go? What would you change? What would you do? With who?

The key is to ask yourself the following question: “How can I turn this up in my life now? What am I waiting for? What’s holding me back?”

You deserve a robust, multi-passionate life. Don’t wait for the perfect moment or one big sign pointing to the needle in a massive haystack. Create it and follow your passion-path. 

If you want a partner on your journey, let’s talk. 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Klass July 11, 2017 at 7:06 am

Love this post, Alli! It totally resonates with me because I have had so many interests throughout the years. The thing that I noticed along my search was that a theme started to emerge. I began to see that I was at my happiest and did my best when I was with people. Simple. Not exactly. But a start and a place to remind myself that whatever I tackle people need to be part of it.

Also, we all have to work really hard to turn our interests into a real passion and success.

Thanks Alli and will share!

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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ July 11, 2017 at 7:06 am

Spot on Alli .. to use the word passion. I’ve read people decry its value in business yet I continue to see in myself and others the everlasting truth that passion keeps our minds and hearts pulsing. Nothing stops it. What else is more powerful?

Great post and great advice (as always) !
Kate

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Gary Gruber July 11, 2017 at 7:16 am

Alli,
Once again, you have rung the bell. That’s the image that comes to my mind, maybe because I’ve seen that silly ad of the woman with the big hammer and enough energy and power to send the sliding mechanism all the way to the top and DING or DONG whatever works. You know what I mean. You have captured the essence of what passion is all about.
That said, here are a few thoughts. I can attest to the changing and growing part and passions changing along with time and circumstances. I would add here that there are times when the fire goes out and needs to be rekindled or restarted. So be it. I was passionate about my work and cared deeply for both the work and the people who worked with me. Now, I don’t work so much and making that transition to retirement has been and continues to be a blissful experience. Joseph Campbell’s “follow your bliss” has been and continues to be one of my mantras. Now with lots of “free” time I have choices that weren’t as available to me previously and I luxuriate in these days of reading, writing, walking, traveling, visiting, engaging, and continuing to work part time, on my schedule, thank you very much.
Passion for me is a deep connection to being present whether right now writing this or looking forward to a conversation with a client at 6 AM. It’s now 5 AM here.
I am blessed to live gratefully, fully, and with more than enough to do that I care about. It doesn’t have to be intensely passionate to be genuine, authentic and extremely enjoyable. You’ll enjoy the ride more if you sit loose in the saddle and go with the flow rather than whip the horse into such a frenzy that you both end up exhausted, or worse, out of commission.
I have already won the lottery and have more of everything, including time, than I would have expected 20 years ago. How good is that!

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Brian Smith July 11, 2017 at 7:55 am

Great read Alli – As a College Professor I always challenged my business students to identify what they love to do – and then try and build a career around it. Always play to your strengths – it’s what you do well.

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John Bennett July 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Having one “greatest passion” to me destroys any joy that having passionS provides. Why stress yourself to find one??? You demonstrated a number of passionS you have; why try to rank them, or even worse, worry about why one has to be anointed ‘greatest’?

Everyone almost certainly has some thing(s) they are passionate about… How could that not be the case? The real question is whether one or more of those passions have the potential to support your lifestyle? Or maybe it’s not… Maybe the question is whether you’re willing to work hard enough to get rewards enough to support your lifestyle.

Great, thought-provoking post as usual!!!

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Chery Gegelman July 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

I can’t tell you how much I love this! Perfectly describes my life right now!

“Your passion (ok, passions) may lead you to your next. Instead of declaring that you’ve found your passion, what if you found your passion-way? My client loved hiking – it was his passion. Once he hiked through the Shenandoah, he discovered a new passion-way… the history of the Shenandoah. “

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