When I’m doing intuitive counseling sessions, one of the areas that often gets people stuck is in the area of passion. Do you know what you’re passionate about? As it turns out, many people don’t. At first I thought that was sort of odd. After all, passion is excitement, and shouldn’t most people know what excites them? And then I started to see that in many cases people have squelched their passions because they couldn’t figure out how to earn a living with them. Instead, they took jobs in areas where they had skill or talent, you know… something secure that would pay the bills. These people usually get their excitement on their off hours. This is a shame. It doesn’t have to be this way.
During my sessions with clients, I am often able to tune in to their passions. There’s this big aha moment when I dig up something they long thought buried, and then outline the steps they can take to leave their old passionless job and step into a career that excites them.
Recently I did a reading for a woman who was at the top of her game career-wise, making a mid-six-figure income, success all around her. But she wasn’t fulfilled, so she was about to quit her job and go into consulting in the same industry she’d been working for for years in an attempt to at least have some freedom. She wanted advice on her new chosen career path.
But her guides wouldn’t go there with her because she was not on the path with passion. Instead her guides showed me a scenario where she started a foundation to help impoverished women and children in third world countries, which was not even close to what she was doing today.
I reminded her that before she went to college this is what she wanted to do. She agreed that was accurate; that that had been her dream long ago but she didn’t think she could accomplish it so she went the corporate/law route, and rose through the ranks in a very large, well known company. Her hope was that she could convince this company to be more charitable, but it never happened as she got lost in the corporate shuffle of earning profits or else.
When I tapped her back in to her compassion and outlined the steps she would take to make this foundation a reality she was really quiet for a moment and then got really emotional and said, “I would love to do that more than anything on the planet. Thank you for reminding me who I really am. It makes so much sense now.” On the bright side, her power, contacts, and connections in the corporate world are now going to assist her with manifesting her dream.
So what are you passionate about? Do you remember? If you’re not sure, here are some steps you can take to tap into the passion you buried long ago or are putting to the side until “later.” Get some paper or open a Word document. You’ll want to keep this handy for “later.”
What makes you giddy with excitement?
Think about all the things in your life you love to do. Whether it’s skiing, reading, hiking, socializing, going to parties, making videos to upload to YouTube, playing poker, or just meditating quietly for hours. Just make a list of all the things you would feel eager to do if someone told you to take the day off from work and just do what you wanted to do. “Hey so-and-so, why don’t we blow off work today and go ________?” Fill that blank in with a list of things you’d rather do than work.
It doesn’t matter if it seems wasteful on the surface. One of my friends goes nuts over video and computer games. He’s a gamer, pure and simple. There’s nothing he’d rather do. He went to college to learn computer science because it seemed like a likely choice for himself career-wise, but he really wasn’t into it. Now he works as a game tester and gets to play games all day. He rose through the ranks quickly and is well-liked because he is excellent at providing constructive feedback that will make the games better. If he keeps at it, he could potentially create his own game one day or be on the design team.
Another friend of mine loves movies and television. He spends a lot of time watching both and getting excited about upcoming new shows and movies. He’d be excellent at creating a new television series, which is something he is now looking into. But before I suggested it he thought it impossible. His day job is at an accounting firm where he daydreams and imagines new characters, stories and shows in his head. The talent and passion are there, he just has to take action on them.
Once you’ve got your list of the things that excite you, really consider how you might segue into a career that allows you to do that all the time! Think hard and be creative. You don’t have to quit your job today, just start thinking about ways that other people are earning money doing what you love, and see if you can find your way into that same arena.
What breaks your heart?
When you look around the world today do you see people suffering? Do you see things that are wrong with the world that you’d love to see fixed? What breaks your heart? Starving children? Abused children? World politics? The homeless? War and conflict? What breaks your heart is often a clue to passion. If you were ignited and believed yourself capable of making a difference in the world, where would you turn your attention? What problem would you tackle? No one is saying you have to end world hunger overnight. Just tap into your heart break and see what’s there.
Make a list right now of all the things that really break your heart. I’m talking about the things that really tug at your heart strings or ignite you with passion and zeal. Once you’ve got your list, see if you can figure out a way to take action on your heart break. This doesn’t have to be something you do for a living, but maybe it’s something you start doing on the side, which will eventually lead to expertise, progress, and job offers. There are people out there who earn a living tackling world problems, such as politicians, movie producers, and bloggers.
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
What I hear most often from those who know their passion but aren’t taking action on it is, “But I don’t know how.” No one knows how when they’re first starting out. Not knowing how to do something is not a good enough reason not to do it. You learn how. You either find someone who is successful doing it and learn how they did it, or you go through your own trial and error until you figure it out.
On your sheet of paper, write down the phrase, “If I knew I couldn’t fail I would …” and then make a list of what you would do. Think big, really big. The sky’s the limit. Here is my own list: If I knew I couldn’t fail I would want to help people remember that we are all connected, that we are all One, and that hurting others only hurts ourselves. I would teach people about compassion and kindness towards their fellow man. I would empower others to awaken and take action in the area of their passion. I would teach acceptance and love.
Now think about it, there are so many ways to accomplish the items on my list. I could be a motivational speaker, a diplomat, a politician, a counselor, a writer, a coach, a screenwriter, etc. As long as I stay tapped into my message, the medium is my choice. What could you do with your list? Make a list of all the careers or jobs you could have where you could make progress on your “If I knew I couldn’t fail” goal. See what emerges.
What makes you feel like you’ve contributed?
Another way to determine your passion is to ask yourself to finish this phrase, “At the end of the day, I feel best when I’ve _________” and fill in the blank. Do you feel best when you’ve solved a problem, helped someone who was suffering, had an impact, made a change in your life, challenged yourself, organized an area, gotten all the kids to after-school activities on time, made a nice dinner for your spouse, taken time out for yourself, meditated, communed with nature, etc? What gives you that nice sigh of contentment and the feeling of a job well done? Could you earn money doing that for a living? You bet you could. Even if you feel most content sitting in a hot bubble bath or getting a massage, why not open a spa and sell that contentment to others? What if you’re a stay-at-home-parent who is super organized and you feel great at the end of the day if everything is in its proper place and all the children are well fed and clean? Write a book to help others who aren’t as good at it as you, or start a blog, or do workshops on it. Don’t discount contentment and contribution. If you love it, chances are other people would love it too. Help them find it if they don’t have it and you’ve got a new career.
Your passion is in you somewhere. Remember it or find it. Then turn your passion into action. Find the road that leads to success with your passion. You can do it! When you combine passion with skill and contribution, success is not far behind. Don’t spend another day doing something you hate. Find and ignite your passion today!