Let's talk about passion. Passions are things we're curious about. They're items that bring us excitement and joy. They can be things that challenge us and can be things that frustrate us. The one universal thing about passions is that we all have them. Today, I'm going to talk about finding passions in your every day life and ideas for leveraging them for a better you.
For the purpose of the conversation, you can be passionate about your significant other – your spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend – but the passions I'm looking for are your interests that aren't romantic.
The Passion Categories
Passions can take on a variety of forms including:
- Career Endeavors
- Gadgets and Gizmos
To illustrate, I'm passionate about technology (especially apps and gadgets), magic (as in illusion), travel, and reading. I'm also passionate about sports and play softball in different leagues. So those are five things that I'm passionate about and could probably speak at length about each one.
All of these passions were developed and cultivated through the years and I've grown to appreciate them more as I've gotten older. For instance, I've been interested in magic since I was in grade school and as I've gotten older I have gone out of my way to learn the craft and to see other magicians perform. Seeing a new trick still excites me and I'm always curious about how they're done. I've also invested a considerable sum over the years into my own trunk of tricks.
I have a friend who is passionate about rescuing dogs and providing them shelter until they can get healthy and be adopted. I have another friend who loves photography and takes amazing photos. I have yet another friend who is into Cross-Fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
As you can see, passions take many different forms and may vary from person to person.
Passion and You
In college I had a professor who would tell us that he would “wake up each morning excited that he got to go to work today.” He was passionate about his career and sharing his knowledge with a lecture hall full of eager students was incredibly exciting to him.
So now some questions for you to help you identify your passions:
- What are things you can speak at length about and never get bored?
- What are you interested in?
- What hobbies do you enjoy?
- What excites you?
- If money were no object, what are things you would pay for to buy or do?
- Are you excited about your profession? You may or may not be overly excited about your job, but you can still find aspects of it that you can be passionate about. Maybe you work in sales and are passionate about technology. Maybe there's an app or some other software you could use to make your sales process better or more efficient. Wouldn't that be exciting to find something to help you be better at your job?
Let's say you have found the things that are exciting to you. How do you use those to make yourself better? Below are some ideas:
- Never stop learning. Learn more about your interests by seeking out forums, websites, books, etc. that will help cultivate and grow your passion.
- Monetize. Yes, you can turn your passions into money. Maybe you're a graphic designer by trade and are passionate about good design. You could write articles for blogs or do freelance work for small businesses. Like the professor example above, if you can get paid doing something you love it's a win!
- Find and talk to other people who share your passions. Look for 'em on Craigslist, Meetup.com, on Facebook, or on dedicated websites pertaining to the interest. I really enjoy the camaraderie of playing softball. All the people on my teams are equally interested in the sport and we can always talk shop about the latest bats, rules, etc.
Passions come in a variety of forms. They give you a sense of belonging and help you be more rounded as an individual. More importantly, they bring you joy. Be sure to share you passions in the comments below.