Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Many people die with their music still in them.” I think back on my life and ask myself, “Am I living my life in such a way that my heart sings with joy because I am living the passion that stirs my soul?”
What puts a smile on your face?
Is there a particular event, a particular topic that makes your whole face just lighten up? When there is something that makes you smile, and makes you happy whenever you encounter it, this is a sign of something you are passionate about. I truly believe that happiness and passion walk hand in hand. Both require each other. So following what makes you truly happy, is a wonderful way to figuring out what you were put on Earth to accomplish. Think about something that you do, or that perhaps you used to do that brings total peace to you when you do it. Peace is happiness, and happiness is passion.
What do you find easy?
Usually, what we find easy for us to do, will be related to what we are passionate about. It’s very hard to hate something that we do with ease! For example, let’s say you are naturally good at playing the piano, you will find the activity easy, and this ease makes it much more enjoyable. Fun leads to happiness and happiness is synonymous with passion.
Assess everything that you do, whatever it is that you find really easy and fun may very well be your passion. Don’t think that anything is off limits or silly. Some people have taken their passion for skateboarding, drawing, or collecting to full fledged careers. Remember this, you can make a career out of anything you are passionate about.
What sparks your creativity?
One of my passions is cooking I love making food that everyone enjoys. I think back to my childhood and I remember that I started cooking when I was young. I remember when I was 14, my mom said, “For every pie crust you make for Thanksgiving I will make the filling.” I made 20 pie shells and my mom lived up to her side of the bargain, and made 20 pie fillings. As a result of making all those pies, we needed to start eating pies before Thanksgiving. My mom said, “Let’s invite family over to help us eat these pies.” We also made some soup. That day was the start of a family tradition that has been going on for over 35 years. We now have many families bringing pies and soup. Every Wednesday before Thanksgiving, you will find me eating soup and pie with many family and friends.
Think about something in your life that seems to always expand your horizons. Whatever makes you creative, is probably something that you are very passionate about.
What would you do for free?
When I was in Junior High I was riding the bus to school one morning when I spotted a home made Christmas calendar hanging in a window of one of the homes I was passing. When I got home that evening, I wanted to create my own calendar. I spent hours making this calendar, loving every minute of this creative adventure. Over the years I have perfected this calendar, and I think it looks pretty cool. I have hung this fun calendar on a wall every year, for more than 30 years. When you love something to the point of losing track of time when you do it, then you know you have found your passion.
Another thing I love to do is sing solo’s and duet’s. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to record a few songs on a music album. I have also recorded some songs that I made into an album of my own.
I have read a countless number of stories about stock brokers and doctors for example, leaving their high paying positions to follow what they really love. There is a reason for that. I truly believe that if you follow what you are passionate about without thinking about whether or not it will make you rich, you will end up being successful.
I have a friend who made a confession about his career. He had just graduated with a pharmacy degree when he made this comment. “Now that I have graduated from college, I wish I was still a custodian cleaning the school, just as I have been doing for the past four years.”
Doing what you have a passion for brings out your best, and this leads to greatness. Greatness turns into success. Do you think that the most successful people in the world got to where they are because they wanted to get rich? Absolutely not! They did what they were so passionate about, and their immense success was just a by-product of their dedication.
What do you like to talk about?
A few years ago I was asked to speak in church about a topic I am very passionate about. I was asked to give a talk on how being positive can help you spiritually. I was in a zone when I was writing my talk. Everything seemed to just flow as I was typing the words on the page. Everything was coming together flawlessly. This reminded me that the topics of the conversations we have can definitely tell what we are interested in. This is a good way to find out what we really enjoy most in life. Most of the time, we aren’t totally aware of this.
A very good way to find your passion, is to ask your friends what they believe you like to talk about the most. Ask them what topic makes your eyes brighten up, and changes your entire behavior.
I can guarantee you that some of their answers will be surprising to you. Some of these things weren’t that clear to you, but your friends can see the reaction on your face that you can’t see yourself. Try it out, it’s a very insightful exercise, and one that can direct you closer to figuring out your passion.
What makes you unafraid of failure?
Twenty five years ago I was a new home owner. Repairing something that is broken can be very costly, so I learned how to fix things around the house with my Dad as my coach. When I needed to repair something, I knew that if I got stumped, my dad would help me. This knowledge, and knowing my dad was there for me, gave me the confidence I needed to fix almost anything. Passion gives one the courage and drive to go forward without someone to fall back on. When we do what we are passionate about, we have total confidence in our abilities. This makes us not worry about failing, because in our mind, how can we fail when we do what we love? Doing what you love is a success in, and of itself, so failure is like an impossibility.
Think of something that you do just for the fun of it, without having second thoughts about it. This may very well be your true passion.
What would you regret not having tried?
When I look at my wife and children I am so grateful for the opportunity of being a husband and father. Had I not had this opportunity, one of my greatest regrets would have been not being and doing what husbands and fathers should do, by leading and guiding their families.
My greatest joys have come into my life because of the opportunities of being a husband and father. Not experiencing these moments, would have been a huge regret.
We all have dreams. Somehow life pushes us in another direction, and the next thing we know, we are far from the dreams of the past. If you were at the end of your life, what would you regret not having pursued or accomplished? What would you have liked to have done, that you didn’t get a chance to do? Think about what that might be. Whatever it is that may cause you to experience regret, now or later on, this may be your true passion.
There is nothing worse than arriving at the end of the journey and having regrets. This is why finding your passion, and following it, is so important. Live your life, so that you do not have regrets.
“Nothing great in the world has been
accomplished without passion”
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelFind