Have you ever noticed that some people seem to wander through life? They might attend a club, participate on a sports team, or play an instrument in band. They go through the motions: show up, participate, go home.
Then there are a people who seem to have a deeper drive. They have energy and motivation. They work hard and enjoy it. They get better at what they do everyday. They make an impact.
What’s the difference? This second set of people have found their passion.
You can too. Let’s show you how to get started.
FINDING YOUR PASSION IS POWERFUL
When you find your passion, it’s powerful. Whether your passion is a skill, a cause, an event, or a club, you are driven to success despite obstacles and even failures along the way. Your mindset shifts from being a participant to a person who makes an impact in society.
Finding your passion can make all the difference for you. When it comes to university admissions, it can be even more important than whether you get top test scores or the highest GPA. It doesn’t end there though. Finding your passion can position you for success in all aspects of your life.
Britt Harris, a recognized business leader puts it this way:
“If you are extremely smart but you’re only partially engaged, you will be outperformed, and you should be, by people who are sufficiently smart but fully engaged.”
Finding your passion allows you to be fully engaged in your pursuits so that you can perform at your best. It’s a critical step in your personal path to success.
When you truly find your passion, it becomes so meaningful in your life, that you feel incomplete without it.
HOW TO FIND YOUR PASSION
That all sounds great, but let’s face it: as a student, it can be difficult to find your passion. Many times you do participate in things only because you have to. You don’t get to choose everything. You may have a variety of interests, and it’s hard to pinpoint just what it is you love.
Recently, we conducted a workshop about the importance of passion projects for students. The very first question asked from a high school student was, “How do I find my passion?” We thought it was so important, that we’ve decided to find some ways to help students answer it.
It may sound hard or vague to find your passion, but there are some easy things you can do to get started right away. As a first step, we’ve put together a series of 5 questions that can help you out. If you take some time to ask and answer these questions, you will be well on your way to finding your passion.
Explore Your Passion with these 5 Questions
You probably have interests that you think about regularly. What websites do you look at? What are you searching for on Google? Who do you follow on Twitter or other social media sites? When you have a few minutes, you may find yourself looking up topics of interest, such as business, science, health, or education. Your desire to learn more about these areas are a good indicator of your passions.
There may be things that you don’t know much about yet, but when you hear about them, you really want to learn more. Perhaps you get excited when you hear about new advancements in medicine. Or maybe you find yourself wanting to better understand issues facing cities. It could be that you are intrigued by changes happening with transportation, such as electric cars. These seeds of interest can grow into a stronger passion.
Many people are the “go to” expert on a specific topic among their friends. Do your friends come to you when they have a question on a topic, such as computers, photography, fitness, politics, science, or a different culture? Sometimes it can also be helpful to ask your friends directly, “What do you think I’m interested in?” It’s strange but sometimes friends know you better than you know yourself!
Often our parents, guardians, or other adults see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves. They recognize our natural strengths, tendencies, and interests. They observe what we do and say, and may be able to spot patterns that show what our deep interests are. It might take some courage, but ask your parents, guardians, and/or other adults in your life what they think you are passionate about.
There are lots of amazing people in the world. What are some things that they have accomplished that you admire? Can you follow in some of their footsteps? There are many opportunities to learn about people, from reading an article or biography, looking them up on LinkedIn, or reaching out directly to them by email or phone. Of course, the people we admire do not need to be famous. There are probably people you know very well that have accomplishments, skills, and traits that you can learn from right now. Identify those people and write down why you admire them.
Take some time to ask and answer that list of five questions. To help you out, we’ve also put together a simple template that you can use to track and write down your answers.
This process will help you find some insights into your personal passions. Finding that passion is an important part of distinguishing yourself so you are well positioned for continued success.
Our next post will cover Step 2: Finding Opportunity for your Passions
Have you found your passion? Please leave a comment below and share what you are passionate about.