I spend a lot of time asking myself the question, what am I passionate about? But it rarely leads to the answer I'm looking for.
When I ask it, I'm attempting to get an answer that will push me over the edge and give me the impetus I need to start working tirelessly around this passion, so that ultimately, I can have a life set around me - loving what I do at all times, money coming in from all directions, traveling to cool places, and meeting awesome people.
But the thing is, I never get the answer I'm looking for. What's more, I think this question puts a lot of pressure on younger generations who still feel like they have to "figure it out."
I recently wrote a post about another question, What do I do with my life? which I've learned is a poor question to ask ourselves.
Both of these questions are so grandiose, so high-level, that they'll never give us the answer we're really looking for. They create so much contrast between now and a future, idealistic state, that most of us don't know how to act on them. The result is a feeling of hopelessness, laziness, and self-doubt.
We want to know what to do now, not what life will look like in ten years.
So, in thinking about this, something that helped me recently was to ask two slightly different questions:
1. What am I really interested that I could, or am already, spending time with every day? Think about what you enjoy learning about, what videos you tend to watch, which articles you gravitate towards. Even which posts you engage with on social media. Think about this!
2. What's something small I could do every day around this thing I enjoy?
Then, just do it. Just start doing it with only one expectation - that you'll do it for a week and see what happens. Don't beat yourself up for not making progress. Progress is showing up to do it.
Don't even think about the outcomes, or what you wish you were doing in 5 years. You're not trying to reach your end goal now. Your goal should just be to put together one week of any type of action related to your interest.
I've learned that our vision isn't going anywhere, so don't feel like you have to cling to it every minute of every waking hour.
Personally, I've found that when I do this - when I project my grand vision onto what I'm currently doing before I've gained any momentum - the contrast is too stark and leaves me feeling defeated and unmotivated.
Instead, I just take small actions and trust that my vision will subconsciously guide me. This is the strategy that I've deployed for this blog, and for the times I've gotten into tremendous physical shape.
So let's look at you for example.
Let's say you're thinking of starting a YouTube channel, but fear gets in the way. But eventually, you pull the trigger, and film the first video. You push through the editing and muster the courage to hit publish. You even manage to create and publish a second video. And a third!
But by the fourth, you're already starting to burn out. In fact, you let life get in the way, and you excuse yourself from not doing another. You realize it's taking more time out of your days than you thought. You realize you're not always in the mood to do it. The initial high wears off.
Has this ever happened to you? It happens to me all the time. So much so that I've recognized the pattern, and now I can do something about it.
What you ought to realize is that you're always going to have an initial high around something exciting.
I've said it in another post, and I'll say it again because I think it's so true:
Don't let the disappearance of the initial high take away your chances of developing a passion.
I know that when I start something that I really enjoy at first, soon the initial high will wear off. And in that lull, I will experience much less enjoyment. In fact, the bounce from the high tends to bounce back in the other direction.
The key to developing a passion, or pushing through anything really, is to know that this bounce is inevitable, and to not let it get in the way.
That's the secret! The bounce is inevitable, so just ride it like you would any other wave.
Eventually, the graph will even out, and you'll steadily move up the curve as you develop knowledge and skills in your new domain.
As you continue to do this - to take small actions consistently over time guided by your higher vision - something out of our control steps in, and that's called luck / timing / grace / God. All we can do here is put ourselves in a position to receive it.
This strategy has worked for me in developing passions. But I'm curious, what has worked for you? Leave a comment below since I'm sure you have something valuable to share!
Live with substance!