It's painful, isn't it?
Not knowing what you really want to do with your life?
I mean, you know you're not where you're supposed to be. You sense that there's something more to this whole thing we call life. There's something tugging at you telling you you're meant for something more. You're here to make a difference somehow. You want more freedom. You want to stop fitting into someone else's box.
Believe me, I know this feeling.
In a recent survey, I asked you:
What's your biggest pain point right now?
You told me...
"I don't feel in control. I'm always being told what to do. I want to create/shape my own life."
"I don't like performing annoying, repetitive, meaningless tasks with no interest or passion."
"I find 9-5 soul-sucking and exhausting."
"I feel like I am trapped, wasting the one life I have to live."
"My biggest fear is kind of what I am doing now - missing out on life."
"If I stay on this path, I will regret it when I'm older."
I also asked you:
What's your number one obstacle right now to creating a life you love?
"I have no idea what I really want. It's so frustrating when you feel that you want to change and make a move but a) you're scared to fail and b) you have no idea of where to go and what to do."
"Not knowing exactly what I want and not having any specific knowledge to start a business."
"I struggle trying to figure out what I want to do."
"I don't know what I'm good at."
"My fear is I will not find that professional "thing" that will bring me personal fulfilment and a living at the same time."
Unhappy in your current work, the 'how do I find my passion?' question can become all consuming and the desperation of trying to figure it out can often feel like it's weighing you down.
At least, that's how it was for me. Is it that way for you, too?
Today I've got something for you that I hope will begin to help you find your answer to that big question of what you want to do with your life.
Over the past few weeks I've been reaching out to some of my favourite experts to ask them what advice they would give to help someone find their passion.
And that's what I'm sharing with you today: the personal top tips of 19 awesome experts to help you in your journey towards consciously creating a life you love. These people are all doing work they love whilst making a difference in the world. And if it's possible for them, then it's possible for you, too.
Ready? Great! Without further ado, here's what 19 experts had to say on the subject of 'how to find your passion'...
Al Humphreys - Adventurer, Author & Motivational Speaker
On finding your passion, Al says:
"Write down the things you currently do in your life. Not what you pretend to people you do (going to galleries, doing pull ups), but what you actually do. Do any of these make you happy? Are they essential? If not, stop doing them.
Write down the things you'd love to do more of. Why aren't you doing them? If your excuses are lame, start doing them. If the reasons are valid, work out ways to overcome them. Have a think as to whether any of these things could pay your bills / taxes. If so, start doing it a lot!"
About Al: Al has beautiful golden curly hair. He's also cycled around the world, walked across India, rowed the Atlantic, published 6 books, and was a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012. He loves to encourage people to shake up their 9-5 routine by heading out on a microadventure. All round awesome.
Arvind Devalia - Make It Happen
On finding your passion, Arvind says:
"Nowadays, I really do believe that we all give too much weight to this idea of finding one’s passion! We can choose to be happy and passionate about anything we do as long as it’s ethical, moral and in line with our values.
So getting clearer about one’s key values is the pre-requisite step to finding one’s “passion”.
A key question to ask yourself is this: How do I want to have the rest of my life to be used?
Spend some time reflecting on just what’s important to you in your life e.g. working with children, working outdoors, making a difference to animals and so on.
Then bring 100% of yourself to everything you do – be present and give it your all. The elusive “passion” will surely come as a result of doing your best and giving it all."
About Arvind: Arvind Devalia is a coach, author and speaker, on a mission to transform the world one person at a time. Author of Amazon bestsellers "Get the Life you Love" and "Love is all that Matters", Arvind is committed to supporting people to be the best version of themselves - and at the same time having a lot of fun whilst doing so.
Chris Guillebeau - The Art of Non-Conformity
On finding your passion, Chris says:
"Ask a lot of questions, both of others and of yourself. Don't just think on "what you're passionate about" -- if you knew, you wouldn't be trying to find your passion. So instead, ask what bothers you. Ask what scares you. Ask what you wanted to do when you were ten years old. Perhaps an answer, or at least the beginnings of an answer, will be found in one of those inquiries."
About Chris: What Chris has created over at The Art of Non-Conformity is remarkable. Author, traveller and non-conformist, Chris shows us that we don't have to live life the way others expect and that when we combine our personal dreams with service to others we can create something magical. I love Chris for his commitment to service, his down-to-earth nature and his exceptionally speedy email replies.
Corbett Barr - Fizzle
On finding your passion, Corbett says:
""Passion" is a funny thing. I don't believe in there being One True Passion for everybody. Some people care about a lot of things. Some people have one thing they care about for their whole life. Some people have a hard time figuring out what they care about.
I also don't believe everyone needs to turn their "passion" into a career. Having to earn a living from the thing you care about most can take all the fun out of it.
If you're trying to figure out what to do with your life, don't put so much pressure on answering your passion question. Passions take time to develop. Don't look for lust, look for love. Try out lots of new things and give each a while to see if you really care.
Look at your life as a book with lots of chapters. Some chapters will be longer than others. Some will be about career, others about family, others about trying to change the world your your life. Sometimes you'll be very passionate, other times you'll be wandering a bit. That's perfectly normal, and in the end, you'll realise the wandering was one of the most important parts."
About Corbett: When it comes to creating a life of freedom, fun and passion, entrepreneur Corbett Barr and the rest of the team at Fizzle are where it's at. After starting a blog whilst on a 6-month road trip to Mexico in 2008, Corbett later started Think Traffic, a blog that grew to over 60,000 visits a month. That later became Fizzle: Honest Online Biz Training and the Community of Entrepreneurs Who Won't Let You Quit. If you're thinking about starting a blog, check out their Start a Blog That Matters course.
Corrina Gordon-Barnes - You Inspire Me
On finding your passion, Corrina says:
"Believe that it's okay to do work you love. So many people discount their interests and short-circuit their explorations: "oh, it can't be this, it's too easy" or "this feels more like play than work". Surround yourself with others who are living proof of this belief; embed yourself in a culture where it's normal to feel joy in your working hours. If it's possible for them, it's possible for you too. Notice what you keep getting drawn to and let yourself go in that direction, not having to know yet where it's all going to end up, but trust that by following the thread of joy, all will be revealed."
About Corrina: Founder of You Inspire Me, professional coach and author of Turn Your Passion to Profit, Corrina wants to live in a world where marketing is fun, clients turn up easily, and money flows to those who do work that helps and heals. Corrina has been featured on MindBodyGreen, LifeByMe and MarketingForHippies and published in The Ecologist, OM Yoga, Diva, and The London Paper.
Dave Cornthwaite - Author, Filmmaker, Yes Man
On finding your passion, Dave says:
"Passions go hand in hand with purpose. Work on saying yes endlessly, do enough new things and find connections between your actions and the things you enjoy and care about. Allow curiosity to lead you and sooner or later a path will open up for you. Until it does, enjoy the journey!"
About Dave: Fact: Dave Cornthwaite is a very nice human being. After leaving his job as a Graphic Designer in 2005, he skateboarded across Australia. That went pretty well, so he decided to undertake 25 journeys of 1000 miles or more using non-motorised transport. I thoroughly encourage you to stalk Dave and follow his adventures.
Jeff Goins - Writer
On finding your passion, Jeff says:
"I think finding your passion is just one step in the process. You need a community of people and focused effort (i.e. try lots of different things, but chase the things that start to give you results and double down)."
About Jeff: Professional Writer Jeff Goins built an audience of over 100,000 in 18 months. But for me that's not the real reason he's such an inspiration. Before finding the path that works for him, Jeff worked really hard for a really long time and never gave up. He's proof that staying in the game is half the battle. Check out his latest awesome ebook on building a blog audience here.
Jennifer Gresham - Career Change Expert
On finding your passion, Jennifer says:
"First, lower the bar on what you consider a "passion." I define a passion simply as something you like to read about, talk about, learn about, and DO. Second, realise passion isn't the only criteria for finding a career you love. You also need to define success for yourself, and look at the intersection of your passions, personalities, and strengths. A structured framework is essential. You can't do this all in your head!"
About Jennifer: Career change expert Jennifer Gresham is founder of the online course, No Regrets Career Academy and author of the popular career blog, Everyday Bright. Jennifer helps people escape unfulfilling careers and discover the work that makes them come alive.
Joel Runyon - Impossible Ventures
On finding your passion, Joel says:
"I don’t buy the “follow your passion” mantra. In the “follow your passion” mantra, “passion” is singular – we’re talking about one passion. One. All you have to do is find that one passion and then everything else will take care of itself. Here’s the problem: I have more than one passion. I have a million passions. And so do you. You don’t need the pressure of “finding your passion” because your “passion” will change as you grow and do new things."
About Joel: Creator of Impossible and Impossible Ventures, Joel's a guy who's out in the world pushing the boundaries of what's possible. After graduating from university in 2009, and being unemployed for a year (where he couldn’t even get Starbucks to call him back), Joel got tired of waiting for life to happen, and decided to make life happen himself. Want to push your own limits? Check out Joel's awesome work here.
John P. Morgan - Coach for Leaders
On finding your passion, John says:
"People seeking passion are searching for a feeling. It's like looking for love at first sight. Slow down. Stop seeking and start creating instead. Focus on your interests. Clear space by saying NO to anything that doesn't excite you. Say YES to everything that does excite you. Not just in totality of a thing, but also within the aspects of a thing. Allow the excitement to accumulate and the passion to build over time. One day it will look like you 'found' your passion, but really you created it. What you DID find is your inner compass and an ability to trust it."
About John: Loving, powerful, and with a deep commitment to service, John P. Morgan is one of the best people I know. He coaches resourceful creators on missions to make a difference in the world. To find out more about John, check out his website and his really cool YouTube channel.
Jonathan Mead - Paid to Exist
On finding your passion, Jonathan says:
"Look at what you can't stop doing. What are you absolutely obsessed with? What do you easily get lost in? If you've lost a sense of joy and passion in your life, then look back to when you can remember having it. What were some of your funnest memories, or proudest moments? What did you obsess over when you were younger?"
About Jonathan: Jonathan is the man behind the hugely successful site Paid to Exist, a community dedicated to helping you create a life of freedom and purpose in which work and play merge to become one and the same. Like many people in this post, Jonathan used to work a 9-5 job and is just one more shining example of what's possible when you commit to living life on your own terms.
Julian Hayes - 206 Fitness
On finding your passion, Julian says:
"Take a trip back in time to when you were a child. As a child, there wasn’t such a thing as impossible. You weren’t told to “be realistic” or “go get a real job”. As children, we were encouraged to use our imaginations and explore our creative skills.
Somewhere along the way of becoming adults, the grind of everyday life and societal expectations disconnected us from our dreams. The good news being—your passion, hobbies, and enjoyments didn’t go anywhere. You just need an awakening.
It’s time for you to connect with the little kid inside of you.
Use a whiteboard and make a list of all the activities you enjoyed as a child. Would they still provide enjoyment in the present day? Nothing is off limits. Include foods, activities, video games, various creative endeavors, and any other ‘weird activity’.
Blend your past enjoyments and interests into your current life. Brainstorm ideas until you hit the sweet spot, which allows you to live a life on your terms doing what you love."
About Julian: Julian Hayes is one of a kind. Writer and Fitness and Lifestyle Consultant over at 206 Fitness, Julian has a no-nonsense approach to fitness which I totally love. After dropping out of medical school $42,000 in debt, Julian chose to follow his true passions over a more traditional path and set about creating 206 Fitness.
Madeleine (Mado) Lamou - You Gotta Be You
On finding your passion, Mado says:
"Pay attention. Ideally, I think, it'd be great to start with learning how to pay attention - I mean doing some kind of mindfulness/meditation practice. And then apply that skill to all sorts of observing and deep digging inside yourself: remember your childhood and try to find clues there as to what your being is about, notice what inspires you, what makes you tick, think about what mark you want to leave (allow yourself to dream wild!), find out what frustrates you in how the world functions and what you can do about it, etc.
There are tons of great techniques and strategies that can help find your passion, but the quality of your attention, your presence is what can make all the difference between something meaningful that will change your life and just another forgotten New Year's resolution."
About Mado: Mado is a digital brand designer and founder of You Gotta Be You. She's passionate about helping creative, bold and purpose-driven entrepreneurs to bring their dreams to reality, to share their vision and genius with the world, and to attract their ideal tribe and clients. Oooh, she's my kind of girl! Check out her beautiful work here.
Matt Cheuvront - Proof Branding
On finding your passion, Matt says:
"The best piece of advice I can give for those in pursuit of passion is to not apply the "passion" filter too early. We're inundated with sage wisdom and advice from around us that tells us to blindly "follow your passion" and "do what you love". What isn't talked about is the work it takes to get there. My advice is to find something you can do really well - even if you don't "love" it. Get really good at that and build momentum and a client base. Once you've created something sustainable (and potentially scalable) - start finding ways to introduce your "passions" and work them into the day to day. Pursuing your passion is just that, a pursuit. It's not the dramatic "take a flying leap" step you hear so much about. It's hard work, trying, iterating, failing, and succeeding until you get it right."
About Matt: Founder and CEO of Proof Branding, Matt believes that entrepreneurship is about working smarter and living better. Matt is an expert story teller and his writing has been featured in Forbes, Inc Magazine, Mashable, Monster.com, Fast Company, The Young Entrepreneur Council, DIY Themes, Copyblogger, Fox Business, Yahoo. Connect with Matt on Twitter.
Rose Aldean - Mello Drinks
On finding your passion, Rose says:
"I’m a big believer in fate and the fact that everything happens for a reason. It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to do; at 18, I applied to study Medicine at University, then I changed my mind to study Law, but when I got my Law degree I realised that wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I did a masters in Marketing to branch into business, and then ended up working for the government as an international business manager, before coming up with the concept for Mello while sipping on home-made melon juice in the garden with my husband! In short, each of my experiences has led me to do what I’m doing today and I’ve learnt something invaluable and met someone that has influenced my decisions at each step of the way. So my advice would be not to panic and think that you’re too old to start something new - things will fit into place and one day you’ll look back and realise why each journey happened. I remember watching Steve Jobs Stanford commencement speech where he famously said; 'you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.' Which is entirely true of my experience. Each experience and each step will lead you to your true passion if you’re open to it and let it."
About Rose and Business Partner Sophie: When Rose set out to create Mello Drinks, everyone told her it wasn't possible. But Rose, together now with business partner Sophie, committed to her dream and worked to make it a reality. Mello, the ultimate in fresh melon juice, has been featured everywhere from Vogue to Glamour and is sold in some of the UK's most exclusive supermarkets including Harvey Nichols.
Patrick Drake - The 60 Second Chef
On finding your passion, Patrick says:
"You have to make sure 'your' passion really is your passion. Not your parents', not your friends', not what society or anybody else tells you to feel passionate about. The more authentic your passion is to who you are as a person, the happier you will be pursuing it and ultimately achieving your dream. It sounds obvious and yet so many people chase after the money, the fame, the car, the promotion and yet when they get there they realise they were chasing somebody else's dream. Do what truly makes you happy even when people around you think you have gone totally mad. To be honest, if they think that, you should take it as a good sign - it means you are breaking the mould and doing something truly incredible with your life."
About Patrick: Some of the first words I spoke to Patrick were, "I thought you'd have a much bigger ego". How wrong I was. Patrick, a former Clifford Chance Lawyer, left his job to pursue his passion of all things food. Since then, he's been busy cooking up a storm all over the world. Check out his latest project at The 60 Second Chef.
Stephenie Zamora - Live Your Passion. Love Your Life.
On finding your passion, Stephenie says:
"My advice is to start by simply following your whims. Really lean into whatever calls to your soul in the moment, and let it lead you where you need to go. We often think we have to figure out our passion, and then start taking action. Really, it's the opposite for most people. Whether it's a whim to go out dancing when you've never been or to pick up a paintbrush after years away, just lean into it. Oftentimes it's not about the actual thing we're feeling called to do or try, it's about the experience or where it will lead us next. Sometimes there's something we have to learn, experience, or someone we have to meet in order to uncover what truly lights us up. So lean in, see where you're taken, and trust that you already know what truly lights you up, you just need to allow it to surface."
About Stephenie: Stephenie is the founder of Stephenie Zamora Media, a full-service, life-purpose development, branding, and online marketing boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development, branding, and online marketing to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses. Stephenie created her business with a simple philosophy: Individuals who take personal responsibility for creating the lives (and jobs) they desire are happier and healthier, and have a greater impact, than those who don’t. She is the author of Awesome Life Tips™ and creator of My Awesome Life Mastery™. Her articles have been published in The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Positively Positive, and Brian Tracy International.
Steve Hardison - The Ultimate Coach
On finding your passion, Steve says:
"Find, realise, or create something that you do that when you do it time stands still. What do you love to do? What are you gifted at? Do not be in a hurry to find it, work daily to create these gifts. (I love to listen, to serve, to create, to imagine, to learn. I love the pursuit of understanding the mind, behavior, love, relationship. I can BE with anyone. I love BEING with people. I am an ordinary man with an extraordinary commitment to LOVE.)"
About Steve: Ultimate Coach Steve Hardison is a man who has gotten so far out of his own way that spending time with or around him feels like you just got plugged in to your soul. A man with a deep commitment to love and service, Steve has an extraordinary ability to show others their own power. It's easy to look at Steve's life now and the $150,000+ fees he receives for his coaching services and think that it's all been easy. Far from it, Steve has worked hard to be where he is today and he's yet another example of what's possible when we make a strong commitment to our dreams and use our lives to serve others.
Therese Schwenkler - The Unlost
On finding your passion, Therese says:
"As Jenny Blake would say, "delight in the slow unfolding of your life." Scrambling to find your way toward anything -- including your passion -- is like rushing to the end of a rafting trip instead of enjoying every moment along the way, splashes and bumps and all. There is no rush to the end; this moment right now is your life. Experiment like crazy, and enjoy it! The answers will come when the time is right, and every "wrong" turn is an essential step toward the place you're meant to be."
About Therese: Writer and creator of The Unlost, Therese created her site because "most of the popular advice for today’s generation sucks (and also, is boring), and I wanted to change that. I offer what I believe to be better and truer answers to the questions we’re all asking about life and love and work." Therese's work has been featured in in The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Brazen Careerist, Marc and Angel Hack Life, The Daily Love, Think Traffic, The Boise State University Arbiter, Tiny Buddha, Life After College, Revolution.is, Advanced Riskology, and more.
Every single one of the people in this article has consciously and purposely created the life they're living today. But they're not special or different. What they do have though is one very important thing. Something you need too if you're going to create the life you want for yourself.
They each made and continue to make a powerful commitment to creating what they want in their lives and in the world. With commitment, anything is possible.
Over to you...
Blog posts without comment are like crunchy nut cornflakes without the crunch - not so cool. So add your voice to the comments below and share:
- Which was your favourite tip shared for finding your passion?