Thursday, February 12, 2015

Finding my Passion: Where Do I Start?

In last weeks post, I walked you through understanding the definition of passion and provided a life-like example in Tasha's story. Now that you have an idea of what a passion is, it's time to take the steps to finding your own.

Think of your passion as the final stepping-stone leading to a career that you love. To get to that final stepping stone, there are other, much smaller, stepping stones (self-reflection and self-inventory) that you must take before realizing your passion.


Self-reflection is a practice used to identify your character, actions and motives. Self-reflection helps you learn more about yourself by carefully thinking about your behavior and beliefs. It is also known as self-examination. Imagine yourself taking an exam on all things you. Think about the kinds of questions asked and the answers to those questions.


A self-inventory is a means to help you identify your interests, strengths, abilities and life experiences. The practice reveals who you are at the core. As I said in last week’s post, you have to take into account your various skills and desires to see how you can make them work for you. How can you do that if you do not know what your skills and true desires are?

Self-reflection and self-inventory are two important factors in finding your passion. In fact, they are both essential to discovering the passion inside of you. The process of self-discovery is difficult. It causes you take an unfiltered look at yourself (the good, the bad and the ugly), BUT the greater benefit is knowing and accepting yourself to live out your passion.

So, get your thinking cap on and grab a notebook or journal and a pen and let’s get started!

Self Reflection/ Self-Inventory Exercise:

  1. Clear your mind and do not limit the process by clouding your mind with expectations.
  2. Write down all activities or subjects that you enjoy. Whether you enjoy discussing them, actually enjoy doing them, or whether you’re good at these things, or not— write it all down. It may be good to make a note to distinguish those that you like to perform, those you like to discuss or both.
  3. Think about anything that you do that causes you to lose track of time. Write it down.
  4. What are your hobbies?
  5. If you could do (or become) anything in this world and knew that you would not fail, what would it be? Describe it in detail. 
  6. If you had a choice to do anything, but you knew you wouldn’t be paid for it, what would that be?
  7. Think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. What activities where you naturally drawn to?
  8. List all careers that you have wanted to do since you were a child. What sticks out at you?  Are there any similarities, or similar themes? ( i.e. creativity, problem solving, working with hands, working with numbers, helping others)
  9. If you were to die today, what would you want your legacy to be?
  10. What are others always coming to you to receive advice or help with? Do you dread helping, or are you motivated to help?
  11. Write your mission statement.
    1.  A mission statement is a short formal statement that describes who you are and how you will live. It defines your core values, provides clarity and purpose for your life.
  12. Last, but not least…Brainstorm! Keep a journal and continue to be self-aware. Write down anything that you notice about your activities and skills.
Remember, passion can be created. Look within yourself to find and create one! You may even have more than one passion. If so, combine your skills into something that is of value to you and others. Do not limit what you can do. Think of habits that you have developed naturally. What kind of games did you enjoy playing as a child? What kind of books have you enjoyed reading in the past?

Each of the questions above are stepping stones toward finding your passion. The more questions you answer, the more you reveal about yourself. Don’t rush! There is no time-limit to completing this activity. In fact, you may want to go over the questions more than once to achieve the most out of your results. In my next post, I will show you how to use your self-reflection/self-inventory to determine you passion and key skills!

“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman

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