I wandered for years wondering if I would “find my passion.” I often worried that I had found it & then let it slip away.
In college, I drifted through different parts of ministry & academia. After college, I research & compared graduate degree programs of all stripes. Even after I decided to strike out on my own, I kept looking for my one true love.
Finally, an idea that filled a need propelled me to action.
Action was the solution.
The danger of looking for your one true love, your one true passion is that there’s an assumption that there is a single purpose to your life and that that single purpose can be be fulfilled by a single interest.
Your passion is not “an interest.”
You have interests – maybe military history, orchids, or gluten-free vegan cookies – and some of those interests may stick with you your whole life. Others come & go. Sometimes your interests cultivate new skills and sometimes they are new skills.
Your interests may be hobbies or you may have incorporated them into your work or career. They may be solitary or things you enjoy with family or friends. You might be categorized or labelled by your interests.
But in the end, your interests do not define you. They are a channel through which you express yourself. Your interests provide focus and context for what drives you.
Your passion is also not “an opportunity.”
No one is coming to knock at your door with your passion packaged in the form of an opportunity, tied with a bow. It’s not a one-night stand that turns into a long-term relationship. In the end, passion creates opportunities; it isn’t defined by them.
So what needs to be discovered when passion feels lost?
Passion is movement. Action. Momentum.
Passion is life force. It’s drive. Ambition.
When you ask how to find your passion you are asking because you’ve either lost – or never had – the drive, action, and momentum that creates the big things you desire.
I know this feeling. It felt equally like settling down and giving up.
It feels comfortable.
But work & action in the midst of passion feels reckless. It feels dangerous. It hurts so good.
When was the last night you stayed up all night because you were so excited by what you were working on? When was the last time your friends had to tell you they wanted to talk about something other than your next big thing? When was the last time you practically vibrated with the anticipation of your “work?”
That’s passion. The tingling in your fingertips, the fizzling in your brain.
Your passion may spring up out of a multitude of interests. Or there may be one source of this drive. But, don’t confuse passion with the interest itself.
When it comes to harnessing passion in a venture, it’s not your interest that is most important. It’s the drive. Don’t worry so much about discovering what drives you as the drive itself.
Get swept up. Follow the current where it wants to take you.
And stop looking for your one true love.