“I have no idea what my passion is.
How am I supposed to know what to do
when I don’t know what I’m passionate about?”
I felt for her. I really did.
But she was eighteen, trying to decide what she should do in college, what major she should seek, what path her life would journey down over the next few years. My daughter was struggling. And I understood what she was saying.
In today’s world, we’re facing these questions at an earlier age than ever before.
“Passion” wasn’t there when I graduated high school. A college degree was my goal. A job that made money was my first task. Life happened.
And only many, many years down the road did the concept of “passion” bother to raise its head.
Still, how do you know what “it” is? Whether you’re eighteen or fifty, how do you know “it” is your thing?
Maybe we’re looking at it in the wrong way.
Passion is fleeting.
Passion is short-lived.
Passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion.
How many times have you had that throughout your life?
If you live 100 years, I’m willing to bet you could place at least 500 things you’ve been passionate about on your list.
Because you were probably pretty passionate about learning to drive when you were 15. Freedom baby!
And you were probably pretty passionate about weddings a few weeks before your marriage. Those dresses. Those flowers. That honeymoon!
And you were probably pretty passionate about finding a cure for cancer when you (or your mom, or your sister, or your friend) were first diagnosed. Life took on an entirely new meaning.
500 things may seem like a lot. But it really isn’t. Because passion gives you a purpose. And your purpose changes every day of your life.
Once you accomplish something, your purpose changes. You become bored with the old, and strive for something new. It changes. It morphs. It grows.
With this many passions in your life, your goal isn’t to find “the one.” Instead, it’s about finding one that gives you pleasure, one that fulfills you for the moment, one you can run with at this moment in time.
Because in most people’s lives, a handful of things work. The rest don’t. So you move forward with some and let the rest go.
When you become passionate about something, you make an assumption about how it will fit into your life.
You may have been passionate about another person in your life, only to discover a few months down the road their flaws far outweighed their positives. So you let them go. You looked for another to fulfill the void. You learned. You grew. You were smarter the next time you made a choice.
And so it goes, over and over again.
Passion is nothing more than an internal assumption based on who you are at a certain moment in time. And with that assumption in place, you jump in, give it a try, take it for a ride, see how well it fits. You experiment. You play. You test. You tweak.
If it works, it sticks. You keep playing. You keep enjoying. You keep learning. You keep growing.
If it doesn’t, you move on.
Next passion, please.
It might be a new relationship.
It might be a new job.
It might be a new business.
It might be a new hobby.
It might be a new geographical location.
It might be a new health challenge.
It will motivate you. It will captivate you. It will consume you.
It might take two weeks to test. It might take twenty years.
This is why you should be testing all the time.
This is why we have so many passions in our lives.
Just because a relationship isn’t working, doesn’t mean the move across the country wasn’t just what you needed.
Just because the job you hate has a lot of benefits, doesn’t mean you can’t be planning for a new business on the side.
Test. Push some forward. Drop some out of your life.
Learn. Grow. Until you’re 100 years old.
That’s the only way.