Seven things you can start doing today to discover your passion

Want to get paid to do something you love? Or find a hobby or interest you enjoy? Here are seven things you can start doing today to discover your passion.

Passion is a wonderful thing. It’s a great driving force and motivator. Indeed, whenever you talk to people who have achieved amazing things, they always mention passion.

But what if you haven’t found your ‘thing’ yet?

As wonderful as passion is for those who have found theirs, it’s equally frustrating for the people who are still stumbling around in the dark. Not really loving what they’re doing, but not knowing how to change this.

Seven things you can start doing today to discover your passion

The good news is that there are some very simple activities and strategies you can use to discover your passion. Here are seven things you can start doing today.

1) Keep a diary of your day

Start keeping a journal of your day, then analyse what you do. Can you spot patterns of behaviour, or notice any emotional responses when reading back your activities?

For example, does your morning jog always put you in a good mood? Do you enjoy meeting up with clients? Or do you often choose activities that get you out in the fresh air at weekends?

Identifying the type of activities you are naturally drawn towards, and how you feel about the tasks that fill your day, can begin to give you clues about your passion.

2) Try new things

The most obvious way of finding what you love and don’t love doing, is to try things. To do, see, read, hear, experience or feel, and test activities out.

You might be passionate about languages, for example, but you can’t really know until you’ve enrolled on a course or practised speaking.

Trying new things might seem like an expensive way to find your passion – all those yoga classes and books are not free, after all. But there are ways to explore new activities without paying a fortune.

You can look for free introductory classes, visit your local library, explore free events and even volunteer. And if you do need to buy things, be savvy and use sites like HotUKSavings to find vouchers for bookstores and travel, etc.

3) Discover your why

Whenever you are about to do something, take a moment to consider the why. Every action has a reason behind it – some more meaningful, some difficult to discover and some straightforward and mundane.

The key is to pay attention to your why and use it to discover your passion. What are the things you do out of pure love, excitement or interests? What common whys do you have?

This approach is just as useful for eliminating activities that you don’t enjoy, so don’t worry if you don’t find a positive why straight away. As long as you’re trying new things you’ll find something that fires you up.

4) Draw inspiration from others

Sometimes you might get that light-bulb moment by finding our about other peoples’ passions. This doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily follow their exact career or hobby, but reading about people’s passion can give you clarity.

Let’s say someone discovered a passion for dancing and teaching. Reading their story can make you realise that you too love helping others – and you may be able to tie up an expertise or interest you have with helping others.

So where can you find inspiration? There are so many sources! Here’s a few:

5) Start clearing negative thoughts

All too often we’re plagued by negative inner thoughts that have become so common we don’t even know we’re having them! Thoughts like: “If only I had more of …”, “I could never…” and “I am so bad at….

You can’t find your passion if your focus is on these negative thoughts and feelings. Because rather than being open to possibility and exploring new avenues, you’re closing off possibilities before you even try them.

As soon as you notice a negative thought or you say a negative sentence, reconstruct it into something more positive. Don’t think in terms of what you want, but what you already have. Counter a critique of yourself by complementing yourself with a good quality.

6) Simplify your life

In today’s world we have so many opportunities to choose from. Too many in fact. As Barry Scwartz brilliantly explains in his TED Talk The Paradox of Choice, we’re almost crippled by the options open to us.

So to find out what you really love to do, you need to simplify your life. Take your life back to the bare essentials – the things you need to function – and then build it up from there.

Take nothing for granted. Just because you’ve always taken a yoga class on a Monday night doesn’t mean you need to continue. Question everything. Why are you doing this? Only start adding things back to your life that make you feel happier or more passionate.

7) List your ideas – all of them

Make a note of any ideas that come to you during the day. Even fleeting notions and feelings and crazy thoughts about anything. Edit nothing.

Then at the end of every day, look at your list. Ask yourself what led to this idea, and what you could do with it (keep all options open at this point, don’t worry about reality yet).

Hold onto all these ideas, and at the end of every week, revisit them all. Are there any themes that recur or have been built on? Which ideas fill you with joy and excitement? And is there any real-world possibility of acting on or trying any ideas that appeal to you?

Start finding your passion now

Life is short. Far too short to waste it on activities and jobs we don’t love. So if you’re not fired up by the things you do right now, please do follow these steps and start exploring your passions.

And who knows? This time next year you could be working in your dream role or running your perfect business – even if you don’t know what that is right now!