A lot of young people come to me with the same problem: I haven’t found my passion yet.
Some know what their passion is. These people come to me with different questions: How do I make a living out of my passion?
Ours may well be called The Age of Passion. More and more people are buying into the idea that long-term happiness depends on the discovery of this elusive but precious quantity called passion. Passion has evolved over the years from being something that is good to do on the side to something that one must do. Because apparently – like many internet memes say – one was not put on this earth merely to pay bills, follow rules, and die. One must have passion, and one must work for it.
This is not incorrect. But the tone and the urgency with which people talk about passion is what is creating the sense of desolation in young people. Passion is being spoken about like it is an esoteric destination towards which one must make a long, difficult trek. Actually, it is not. One can stand right where one is and be more passionate about work and the environment and in this way, stumble into one’s ‘passion’.
In other words, when it comes to passion, acting is better than waiting.
Let’s explore two situations.
Finding passion | Situation #1: You like what you do
People think that passion must be a mysterious pursuit, gilded by complex efforts and vague longings. Not really. I found so many passions while I was in the middle of a perfectly good job. I was in Sales and Marketing. I loved my job. It was challenging at times, but I looked forward to it. Along the way, I started travelling on work and fell in love with the process of visiting new places. I discovered I wanted some way to document my journeys. So I bought a camera and started clicking pictures. Then I discovered that I needed to upgrade my skills. So I joined a photography workshop. Now I needed an opportunity to combine my love of travel with my new and improved photography skills. So I went on my first trek to the Himalayas. I loved the experience so much I hiked several times after that. I realized I had many more things to express than what the medium of photography allowed. So I created a travel blog. This was before Facebook and Instagram became a trend. Then, I went one step further; I started sharing hotel reviews on Trip Advisor.
So, one thing led to another and I stumbled into many passions. All through this, I did not hate my job. I was fortunate to have liked what I did. I also knew if I didn’t have my day job, I wouldn’t have been able to do the things I enjoyed. So it is possible to find and flex your passions while still in a day job. It’s not about time. It’s about drive.
Finding passion | Situation #2: You hate what you do
But some of us are stuck in boring, dead-end jobs and cannot get out because we have no idea what our passion is. Again, we must stop looking at passion like it was a message that will be delivered to us magically from the hands of an angel one night. We must demystify it. We must roll up our sleeves, hit the road, and test and learn several possible passions. Try different things that you are interested in: writing, photography, music, dancing, voluntary work, cooking, or training for a marathon. Acting is better than waiting. Acting uncovers curiosities which in turn lead you to your passion. Then find a line of work that can let you use your passion and get paid for it. That is your purpose.
So to all the young people out there burdened with the grave and urgent task of finding your passion before it is too late, all I have to say is this: Don’t wait. Act. Try different things. Work your way through it. Something will emerge. It may just be your passion.
Passion does not come to you from angels. It comes from trying different things to see if they work.
About the Author:
Sandhya Reddy is a Life coach and Leadership coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.
Sandhya, a life coach in Bangalore, who runs a life coaching academy, can help individuals with a desire for change to examine their beliefs – or their ‘stories’ – and change them for the better, so they can achieve their goals.
Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, personality development, leadership coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals, get that elusive promotion through a blend of knowledge, action and image-building, enhance influence among the leadership team, be more productive, get more out of one’s team, and be known in the company as an indispensable performer and future leader.