Do you have a “thing?” Do you know what your “thing” is? Do you feel lost without a “thing?”
Your “thing” is your passion, your talent, that “thing” you do that makes you, you and for some people, it can be really hard to figure out what that “thing” is.
Some people know their passion from the very beginning but for some people, it’s a little more difficult. It might take them years of trial and error before they find their passion. It took me several years to find my “thing” and who knows, maybe my “thing” will change in the next five years but I’ve figured out some ways to help you figure out a “thing” of your very own.
This is a good mindset to have even if you aren’t trying to find your passion but it’s especially helpful when you’re looking for that thing that sets your soul on fire.
If you’re open to new experiences then you might find you love something completely unexpected.
Being open goes hand-in-hand with having a positive outlook. You can’t approach something different with a negative attitude because then the results are going to be negative. A few years ago, I had friends trying to convince me to watch The Vampire Diaries. I didn’t know much about it but I started watching with an open mind and now it’s one of my favorite shows. Had I started watching with a closed mind, and a negative attitude, I probably would have hated it and missed out on a whole bunch of vampire shenanigans.
Examine Your Life
I don’t mean that in a “take a good hard look at your life” way. I mean it in a “look at your life and ask yourself questions” way.
What do you do now or what have you done to make yourself happy?
What do you want to do today? Tomorrow? Next week? Next year?
What did you like to do as a child?
What have you always wanted to do but been afraid to try?
How do you want to spend your time when you’re working? Not working?
Questions like these can help guide you towards finding that thing you love. Sometimes it helps to physically write the answers down so that you have them right there in front of you.
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Once you’ve figured out some answers to the questions above, then comes time to experiment. (Picture mad scientist, lab coat, bubbling test tubes. Ok, not really.)
Look at the answers to your questions and find something to try out. It can be something new or something old. Maybe you’ve never thought about trying something before or maybe you used to do something and just haven’t done it in a while.
Whatever it is, try it out for a few weeks or months and if you’re not feeling it, move on.
A great way to to do this is to take classes. You don’t have to make a huge commitment and go to a four-year university just to try something new (unless you want to, that’s your choice) but start small. If you want to try a new creative skill like painting or ceramics, ask your local art museum if they offer classes. Check your nearest community college or even a craft store like Michaels. Depending on where you go the only cost for a class might be for supplies which makes it a low-risk commitment to trying something new.
If you really like what you learn then you can ask about taking the next level class. If you didn’t like it then you can move on once the class is over.
Hobby or Career
When finding your passion there are two different paths you can take with it.
You can keep it kind of casual and keep your passion be a hobby or you can take it further and turn your passion into a career.
There is no wrong choice. You can choose whatever path is right for you. Plus, you can always switch paths if you discover your current path isn’t right for you.
Deciding which direction to go can be difficult one but there are a few things that can help you decide.
First, which is kind of important, is can you make enough money from your passion to pay your bills? Not can you get rich from your passion, just can it pay your bills? If the answer is no, then you’re best keeping it a hobby but if the answer is yes then it’s very possible to pursue it as a career.
Another thing to consider is how much time you want to dedicate to your passion. If you’re comfortable dedicating 30+ hours a week, and it can make enough money to pay your bills then BOOM. You got yourself a career. If it’s something you only want to dedicate a couple hours a week, then you got yourself a lovely hobby.
If you have a passion that you’re just dying to turn into a career but it’s not going anywhere, then try combining it another one of your passions. Two of my passions are creativity and teaching. Creativity by itself makes a great hobby, and teaching makes a great career, but when I combine them together it sets my soul on fire. I love teaching people about creativity and encouraging them to find their passion so I took my hobby and I’m turning it into my career.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
It’s so easy to see people following their passion and being happy and successful, then look at our own lives and feeling bad. Why aren’t I that successful? Why aren’t I that happy? What am I doing wrong?
I’m guilty of it. You’re guilty of it. And I promise you, those people that look like they’re super happy and super successful are probably guilty of it too. It’s a natural human reaction and it’s a sucky one.
So stop it.
Stop worrying about what other people are doing and do your own thang. (Sorry for saying “thang.”)
When you stop comparing yourself to others, you open yourself up to more possibilities. You don’t have that nasty little voice in your head telling you “well, this person is doing this so you shouldn’t do it because you’re not as good” or “this person does this so you should do it exactly like that so you can have the same success.”
When you stop comparing your journey to others’ journeys, you are free to make your own mistakes, to go down your own path, and to find your version of life filled with passion.
Don’t Rush It
You can’t rush your passion.
This goes back to comparing yourself with others so if you haven’t found your passion yet but it seems like all of your friends have, then don’t worry. They are on a different journey than you. One of my favorite quotes, that I don’t know who said and that I’m probably going to butcher is “Don’t compare your middle to someone else’s ending.” (If you know what quote I’m talking about and know who said it drop a comment down below!)
I simply love that quote because it’s a great reminder that everyone’s journey, everyone’s story is different. There is no rush in finding your passion. Whether you’re 15 or 50, you have time.
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives, The West Wing) didn’t start acting until she was 42 and then she went on to win 2 Emmys with a total of 4 nominations. So as you can see, it’s never too late.
I want to hear about your passions. Have you found yours or are you still struggling to figure out what your “thing” is? Tell me what you’ve been struggling with and I’ll help you out!