MYTH ABOUT FINDING YOUR PASSION
WHY I DISAGREE WITH FINDING YOUR PASSION AT ANY COST
What I am about to write will either shake a belief of yours or bring immense relief. I hope for the latter.
Let me tell you a story.
When I started working with people who felt stuck in their jobs yet didn’t know what to go for instead, I noticed a certain tension in them whenever we started talking about finding their passion.
I asked what that tension was about and many told me that the idea of needing to find that one passion feels super scary for them. It was like taking one candy out of the box not knowing if it was the right one.
Plus, when they add the feeling of being pressured by the society to know what their passion is and follow it no matter what ... Now, that completely blocked them.
Statements of people around us like “What do you want to do with your life? You should know what you want by now, don’t you think?” don’t help either. Can you relate?
Here are 2 myths that I want to shatter:
That you should know by now what you want.
That you need to find that 1 passion that will feed you for the rest of your life.
Let’s go one by one.
MYTH #1: YOU SHOULD KNOW BY NOW WHAT YOU WANT.
When people around you say such things, what they are probably trying to say is that they care about you and that they are worried. Worried that you will not be happy and end up stuck in a job you don’t like.
Yes, I know, coming out of their mouth it sounds like a judgment, a demand, a reproach. Yet behind every harsh word normally lays a wish for better.
Plus, an additional thought: If you already knew everything about yourself, what would you be doing then ;)
Here is what you can do about it right now: Think about how do you want to respond to people when they say “You should know by now’. Think of a response that will make you feel you are in charge of your own life. You don’t need to answer to anyone for respecting your own timing.
Write the statement down and try it out with a friend.
MYTH #2: THAT YOU NEED TO FIND THAT 1 PASSION THAT WILL FEED YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
Or else you will live an unfulfilled life and forever wander around the job market. Lost. Unhappy.
Blablabla! There is no such thing as 1 single passion! There is a multitude of passions that fill your heart with joy depending on the day, project or period in your life. The passion that will be your muse in that particular time depends on the things you learn, on the people that inspire you, on the opportunities, your life lays out for you.
Let me share my story as an example.
First, what you need to know is that I was always a veeeery curious being. There was even a time when my family called me Why instead of Neža. True story. To a large degree, I am no different today. Difference? I learned to own it.
When I had to decide what to study I made a list of things I was interested in. The list was scarily diverse:
theatre and dance
marketing (stories and how to communicate them to a larger audience)
creating learning programs
facilitation and process design
I was puzzled. What study can handle so many different wishes? None. (imagine the tightening feeling in my heart when I had to decide and write that in my University application.)
Back then I didn’t know what I do now, so I picked a study that felt ok-ish. And you know what happened? Till this day I have put in practice all of these interests! Not knowingly, I was drawn to projects and assignments, that would satisfy a portion of my list. The Universe read my list and together, we made it happen :)
[for the curious ones, this is a portion of what I did in the past 10 years:
immersed myself in scouting > and created numerous programs for kids from 3-18 years
Taught Spanish in language schools in Slovenia and English in Spain
worked as a part-time journalist > learned about copywriting
Did improvisation theatre with kids in Portugal > and learned Portuguese on the way
set up 2 companies > and learned what NOT to do in marketing
trained people in facilitating effective meetings > and found out I don’t want a corporate job
joined a crazy alternative business school in Amsterdam I absolutely love > and facilitated over 1500 people in different workshops in entrepreneurship and personal development > now I am their go-to trainer for facilitation and developing learning programs]
When I realized that, I had to laugh. The only thing I wish I knew back then was this:
“Trust that it will happen. Make sure you walk this Earth with eyes and heart open to opportunities. When they come, go for them 1 by 1. If you are patient, all will come true.”
Here is what you can do about it right now:
Make a list of all the activities that give you energy when you are doing them. List your hobbies, work you love to do, most enjoyed habits, topics you like to read about …
Here is a sample of my list at a certain point in time to give you an idea:
working with groups
My habits I enjoy:
organising the house
creating dream boards
going to the market every Saturday
Now look at your list and put on your laser vision (I know you have on).
For each item find what you really like about it. What is the element that makes you happy? Let’s take a look at the sample list again
scouting > being with lots of people, spending time in nature
dancing > expressing with my body, expanding the boundaries of my comfort zone
cooking > figuring out how can I use what I have in the fridge in a different way
organizing events > having a vision for the flow of the program, thinking of ways to communicate to people so there is no confusion (yup, I love that one - Clarity is queen
working with groups / facilitating workshops > observing people’s behavior and seeing if I assumed right what is happening with them
My habits I enjoy:
organizing the house > making sure I feel at home, feel cozy and relaxed
creating dream boards > challenging myself to dream big and see what I can pull off in a year
going to the market every Saturday > knowing that I am doing something good for my diet
Full disclosure: this is a portion of my passions list. As you can see, the ‘passions’ are only a portal to get you thinking what are the elements you are going for.
If you put on your list Project Management, I bet there are things about it that give you energy and others that drain you.
Get clear on what are they.
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Big hug, Neža, and GluGlu