Thursday, February 19, 2015

Reflecting on Self to Discover Your Passion

In last week’s post, I covered what it takes to discover your passion and, hopefully, you completed the self-reflection/self-inventory exercise included within the post.

It is not enough to complete the exercise. The real work comes from reflecting on your answers. Reflecting allows you to carefully consider the significance of each question as it relates to your life. The most important thing to take from your inventory, is a better understanding of yourself—your morals, values and passions. As you read through and reflect on each of your answers, you will begin to see similarities and a common theme among them. Write down all of your common themes.

I'll use myself as an example. In question eight, you listed all careers that you have aspired for since you were a child.

My List Includes:
  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Event Planner
  • Counselor
  • Wedding Planner 
I know. At first glance, the above list may seem random, however all eight of the above professions can be grouped into two common themes—helping and creating with a bit of crossover.

The craziness above makes perfect sense for me. I love being creative. Creativity is one of my passions, but I also love helping others. Notice that within each category or theme, there may be differences among the careers that you chose.

To take it a step further, look at number 10: 

What are others always coming to you to receive advice or help with? Do you dread helping, or are you motivated to help? 

Again, using myself as an example, I have always been asked for help and advice on academic questions, career/resume help, and design/fashion advice. Out of my friends, everyone knows to come to me if they want help in their job search or need career related advice, academic help or simply need advice on what to wear to an event.

Each of my answers for number 10 corresponds in some way to my number eight themes. Though I tend to receive questions around similar themes, the types of questions asked determine whether I am motivated to help, or not. For example, if I am asked for help with a math equation, I will want  to help because I am a problem solver and I love helping others overcome obstacles. However, I will not be motivated  to help because I hate math. Yes, helping others is one of my passions, but math is not.

It’s extremely important for you to recognize those things in your life that you are motivated to do and those you dread participating in. Continue working through and reflecting on your list. Make notes on whatever jumps out at you. Remember, you don’t have to have only one passion. Multiple passions can combine to create something great! While you work through your list, think about your skills and how they relate to the things you enjoy doing. There may be activities on your list that you enjoy, but may not be great at performing. Think about those things. Are you willing to put in the time and constant effort to improve your skill? If so, make note of it. If not, then that skill or activity may work as a hobby for you.

Stay tuned for next weeks post! I'll be sharing my experience on finding a passion and landing a position in a career that I love. I will also give you insight on how to do the same for yourself!

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