If not, why not? Everyone else is doing it, right?
With so many resources available, there’s no excuse not to be loving the work you’re doing and relishing every moment of effort you put in. I’m sure you skip into work every day and can’t wait to get started on every task you set your mind to. You’re probably adequately compensated and immediately see the direct benefit of each action you take in your day-to-day role.
No? How bizarre.
Turns out, you’re exactly like me. Most days I come into work and before I hit the seat in my cubicle I’m hit with a wall of sheer panic. Why am I not loving this? I’m not getting any younger, why am I wasting a moment of my time doing something I don’t adore? Surely I must have a passion, something I can’t go a day without thinking about. And something that if I just apply myself to, will reward me with an income sizable enough that I never have to worry about money ever again.
With every day that passes, this need becomes more and more urgent. I’m wasting more and more seconds of my precious life because I don’t do what I love and love what I do. Sometimes, work does feel like work. I can almost hear the ticking of the clock letting me know that with each moment, I’m missing out on this world of fun. If I only focused and spent some time identifying this passion, I could be basking in all of the glory that comes from pursuing it.
But trust me, I have tried. I feel like I have read every article out there on how to find and nurture this elusive ‘passion’. And yet I still feel like I have made zero progress.
I still feel resentment at people whose purpose lies in clear cut fields such as investment banking or delivering mail or general obvious things you can make money from. What if I’m just not one of those people? What if my passion is something nobody else is interested in? What if I don’t even have a passion?
I’m hoping that at least one other person feels this way, so here are the things I have tried thus far and that, obviously, are not working.
Remembering what I used to enjoy as a child.
Trouble is, I liked quite a lot. And the reality of adulthood has made certain things inaccessible. I used to want to be a doctor but the thought of sticking a needle in someone or deciding on a life-changing course of treatment makes this a path I chose not to follow. I used to like exploring and playing around in the woods, but there aren’t too many vacancies for that. I used to like writing stories, the list goes on. How do I tell which is my true passion, and how do I turn it into a viable career?
Listing the elements of my job that I enjoy.
There are parts of my job that I really do look forward to. But this varies depending on my mood. After a hectic week of meetings, I love nothing more than to lock myself away for a couple of hours and do some stats and reporting. But if I have to do that for more than a couple of days, I long for a group brainstorm and to flex my creative muscle. I couldn’t tell you one thing I consistently love doing. I guess I just get bored easily.
Thinking about what I do in my spare time.
There are many occasions where I love to try out a new craft or go hiking or hit the gym. But then there are also days that I lay on the sofa and watch Christmas films in the middle of July. It’s called balance, guys. Unfortunately, when it comes to my spare time, I have trouble identifying a standout task that I just can’t wait to get started on when I get home from work, day-in, day-out.
Listing what I’m good at.
Here is where a somewhat troubling paradox occurs. This may not be the same for everyone, but there are many things I enjoy doing that I am simply not very good at. Equally there are things I know I excel in, but I don’t necessarily enjoy them. Should I try to find the joy in these mundane things, or work at improving the things I enjoy? Neither? Or both?
All of these concerns add to my sense of going round in circles without a clear sense of direction. But I’m not beaten yet.
So here are somethings I’m about to try.
As demonstrated above, I’m struggling to find a consistent theme in things I enjoy doing. Donald O. Clifton devised this test to identify your set of unifying strengths as he believed in the merits of playing to these strengths rather than working on your weaknesses. I’ve been putting it off as it’s an added cost, but I’m trying to accept that I need to invest in myself if I want to see a return.
Putting some test projects on Fiverr
What better way to find out what I like and what I’m good at than just giving it a try. I’m going to put some ‘gigs’ on popular freelance site Fiverr in a variety of different fields to see if making money from each one is a viable option.
Continuing to blog about stuff
It may be difficult to believe, but rambling on and on across this site really helps to organize my thoughts. It’s kind of the main reason I started doing this. So I’m gunna keep blindly powering on with no strategy or logic, and pray to God that one day soon it all becomes clear!
Asking other people what they think you should do.
Sometimes your friends and family can look more objectively at your strengths or what makes you happy. I’m hoping by asking for my friends input, I can add fresh perspective to my own muddy theories.
Quitting reading articles on finding my passion.
As far as I have researched, nobody ever found their passion from reading about finding their passion.
Have you found your elusive ‘passion’? Tried something that actually worked? Living the dream? Please share your wisdom below. I’ll be eternally grateful.