Finding Your Passion

For most of us, finding our dream job is a slow and uncertain process.  Recently I spoke to somebody who indicated that the reason he wasn’t working was that “I’m not sure yet what my passion is.”

It occurred to me that perhaps some folks may be confused about following their dreams and fulfilling their passions.

First of all, let’s get something out of the way.  It is the very rare person who has a deep driving passion to paint, sing, write, prepare exotic foods or dance.  When somebody does have such a drive, and that drive is matched with talent, we call him or her a genius.  Most of us are a mix of talents and abilities, some stronger and some weaker than others, as you might expect when there is a random combining of the dna from your father and mother in to the human being you are.  Some things you may wish you could do but aren’t very good at, like singing.  Other things you seem to have a nack for like woodworking but the nack must be developed through much discipline and at it’s best you can build a nice coffee table.

You may enjoy speaking and have a nack for keeping the attention of audiences but struggle with the creation of really top notch speeches.

Or, perhaps you have talent in managing people because they respect you, but find that the details of management simply aren’t your strong suit, so you spend hours forcing yourself to master the details of projects.

I describe each of these scenarios to you in order to help you understand that this is the human condition.  This is how most of us find ourselves.  Some mornings we wake up with little drive and little interest in changing the world and other days we’re certain that we can leap tall buildings with a single bound.  But, on both types of days, we trudge off to work because we have learned that life is about the valleys and the mountains and that both must be crossed in order to reap the reward of fulfilling accomplishment.

Finding one’s true passion may take a lifetime of trial and error.  You may discover that the thing you were certain was your passion simply proves boring and uninteresting.  And, you may discover that some mundane and not-so-glamorous task turns out to be richly rewarding to you.

The point is, you often won’t know any of this ahead of time.  Life is about “doing something, even if it’s wrong,” as the old saying goes.  The more you do, the more chance you have of finding things that match your talents, skills and aptitudes.

And, the final point I would make is that some of your daily work should be difficult.  It should be hard and frustrating for you.  It should stretch you.  It probably won’t be fun and it probably won’t be glamorous.  That’s the nature of life.  The reward for doing all of these boring activities is that along the way you will also find that some of them become the expression of your inner self and that, as you grow, you do truly find your passion and fulfill your dreams.

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