Things I Wish I Would Have Known for Discovering My Passion

By Amanda Hill
Blog Content Contributor

As a senior in college, the most significant thing I gained was realizing my passion. Since that revelation, I wake up every morning with a new perspective about life. Every day is exciting because it allows me to encounter new knowledge and inspiration. I have the opportunity to sit in lecture everyday absorbing my professor’s words as they speak about what inspires me. If you dread class everyday, you’re in the wrong field of study.

Many of us go through life expecting the job, the family and happily ever after; we don’t go after what truly motivates our existence. Passion is what adds color to a black and white world. Don’t conform to society’s expectations’, go out and discover what sparks interest in your soul, because it will truly change your life.   

Passion produces ultimate satisfaction

“True happiness is a state of fulfillment” – Ashish Sophat.

What you pursue as a career should not be based on job benefits or salary. This will ultimately leave you discouraged as you head to your job every morning and will hurt the productivity of your work. As Steve Errey from forbes.com states, “fulfillment will never come from the extrinsic qualities of a job, only from the intrinsic qualities of a job.” Believing in what you do is the ultimate motivator and will result in producing notable work.  

Photo by Conor Yarbrough.
Photo by Conor Yarbrough.

Fulfillment of stepping out of your comfort zone

Following your curiosity is one of the first steps in identifying your passion. Take classes, read books, join clubs of anything that strikes you as interesting. This will initiate interaction with like minded people, and can lead you to potentially discover something you have a natural talent for. Being exposed to different experiences will add exclusive insight to the work you yearn to pursue.  

How to practice personal development

The process of discovering your passion should include personal development; you need to think about what you want to accomplish with your life. Make a list of everything you think would be neat to achieve (no matter how out of reach it may seem), and use that as a guide for your journey through life. Don’t set limitations on yourself, and inhibit the experience of remarkable opportunities that will change your life. Practice self-actualization to “become everything that you are capable of becoming,” to grow and become the best version of yourself.  

Don’t let struggle discourage you

It can be difficult to pin point what inspires and motivates you, but you can begin by asking yourself what you find yourself doing the most. This question is the most natural way to discover your passion. You want to define a clear vision of what you can see yourself doing, while maintaining a feeling of purpose.  

Although pursuing a passion may be challenging, don’t settle. Continue to search what will instill excitement in your life. You don’t want to be stuck in career or position where you don’t find fulfillment in the work you do, and constantly catch yourself ‘living for the weekend.’ We should all have the opportunity to experience doing what we love, whether it’s continuing on the path we are on, or changing direction to pursue something else.  We all deserve to make our ambition our reality.

Explicit practices to discover your passion

Experimentation is one of the leading ways to discover your passion. There’s a multitude of opportunities to go out and discover/pursue a passion: pursuit of temporary assignments in an area of interest, attending workshops of interest, job shadowing, etc. Ibarra states “to launch ourselves anew, we need to get out of our heads, we need to act.” College is the perfect opportunity to go out and explore what enlivens you. Take advantage of the numerous clubs and organizations in areas you find intriguing. Meeting people and acquiring mentors will help you grow to your full potential.  

Studies have been done by psychotherapist Eric Maisel about how the impact of our interests as a child stay with us forever. Maisel recommends making a list of the things you were fond of as a child and detect what still resonates with you as an adult.

Another tip is to ask yourself what would you do if you had all the money in the world. This will allow you to disregard limitations, to determine what empowers you as an individual.

Regardless of how you approach discovering your passion, remember to “do it with passion or not at all.” Life is too short to not appreciate what you accomplish on a daily basis. Be an inspiration to others with the work you do, because what you do consumes you.

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