7 Ways to Find Your Passion and Purpose in Life
Want to know a secret? I used to be terrified I would never figure out my true calling in life. For years I felt lost, bouncing around from job to job, hobby to hobby, searching for that one thing that would make me light up inside. Sound familiar?
I’ve since learned that finding your passion is a journey of paying attention, digging deep into yourself, and listening to your inner wisdom.
It takes time and effort, but discovering what you’re truly meant to do is so worth it.
Living your passion feels amazing. You finally understand your unique purpose. You can’t wait to jump out of bed each morning. You’re driven, energized, and confident. I want that for you too!
The journey begins with curiosity and self-discovery. Based on my experience, here are 7 awesome ways to uncover your own true passion:
1. Pay Attention to What Excites You
The first step is getting really tuned into what lights you up. Pay attention to what makes you feel genuinely jazzed, animated, and enthusiastic.
For example, when you’re having an awesome conversation that flows effortlessly, do you get hit with excitement? As you master a new yoga pose, do you feel a rush of energy? While reading the latest update from your favorite blogger, are you fully engaged?
Start writing down your excitement sparks as they happen. At the end of each day, reflect on moments that brought you joy and enthusiasm. What themes do you notice? For me, my sparks involved creating videos, designing graphics, and helping friends solve problems.
Your excitement provides major clues about your passion!
Here are some wise words on this from life coach Eve Hogan: “Keep exploring the things that give you sparks of excitement, energy and joy. Follow those sparks, write them down, and start to connect the dots. This will lead you to your purpose.”
2. Look to Your Childhood
Kids are passionate little creatures! When I think back to my childhood, I remember hours playing “teacher” with my siblings, creating elaborate plays for my parents, and drawing up my own homemade newspapers full of “news”.
What did you love doing as a child? Making up games and stories? Building tree forts? Creating art projects? Researching animals or space? Dancing? Sports? Academics? Lego structures?
Revisiting your childhood passions can provide big clues about your lifelong interests. Check out old photo albums, trophies, diaries, and projects you made.
Talk to your parents about your favorite activities. This can spark forgotten passions from when you were naturally playful and curious.
The brilliant scientist Albert Einstein said it perfectly: “Play is the highest form of research.” Follow the breadcrumb trail back to your childhood. What did you playfully “research”?
3. Pay Attention to Compliments
Here’s an amazing exercise: Write down every nice thing anyone has ever said about you! I did this and discovered so many themes, like friends telling me I’m a talented designer, empathetic listener, and creative problem solver.
Ask close family and friends what strengths they notice in you too. Their outside perspective is so valuable.
I guarantee you have talents you take for granted. Keep a running list of compliments and look for your gift patterns.
For example, are you often praised for your writing, adventurous spirit, business savvy, leadership skills, athleticism, artistic abilities, musical talents, tech skills, or financial acumen?
Your compliments shine a light on your innate abilities. They provide clues to what you’re meant to do. As Oprah says, “Everybody has a calling. Your real job in life is to figure out what that is.” Paying attention to what others admire in you helps tremendously!
4. Get Curious About Your Curiosity
Some of my most random interests have led me to cool discoveries about myself. Be open to curiosity! Treat life like an experiment. Explore that odd topic that fascinates you. Sign up for the unusual class. Have lunch with someone in a weird career.
Digest a podcast episode about obscure mythology, learn to identify rare birds in your neighborhood, research tiny houses…follow your whims! You never know where it might lead. It expands your horizons and unlocks new passions.
I like to imagine a virtual cabinet where I store all the strange things that catch my curiosity. Once in awhile I open it up, pick something out, and explore it further. This sense of play and adventure is the best part of self-discovery!
As Leonardo da Vinci said, “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things.” I definitely want to “happen to things” and allow serendipity to uncover hidden passions!
5. Pay Attention to What You Do For Fun
When you have a totally free day with no obligations, what do you find yourself drawn to? I love tasting new recipes, hiking nature trails, and brainstorming creative projects. Reflect on your own interests and hobbies outside work.
What you do for pure enjoyment is a wonderful window into your passion. Make a list of:
- Your favorite weekend activities
- How you spend vacations
- Which blogs or podcasts you follow
- What books you read for pleasure
- Fun projects you work on
- Groups and clubs you join
Do you notice any common themes? For instance, interests like cooking elaborate meals, running trails, painting landscapes, or tinkering with electronics can point to passions.
Pay extra attention to anything that makes you lose track of time. That feeling of flow is a giveaway you’ve found something meaningful. Follow your free time fun to uncover your purpose.
6. Look For Themes In Your Life
I’ve always been naturally drawn to creativity, helping people, and exploring new places. These motifs have woven through my life in small and big ways. Think about the themes in your own life journey.
- Passions as a kid
- College classes or clubs you loved
- Hobbies and interests over the years
- Careers you’ve had
- Volunteer work you’ve done
- What you daydream about
Do the same motifs keep popping up? For me it was clearly creativity, empathy and adventure. Trace the patterns of your experiences to uncover major themes that reveal your passion sources.
7. Listen to Your Gut
Sometimes your logical mind doesn’t initially understand what your soul truly desires. But your gut knows! When you feel inexplicably drawn to something that lights you up, pay attention.
For example, maybe you have an opportunity to teach yoga abroad, start a bakery, or learn guitar. It seems impractical but feels so right. Or on the flip side, you have a “smart” job offer but it makes you feel instantly depressed. Listen to that inner wisdom!
Through activities like meditation, stream of consciousness journaling, long walks in nature, and quiet contemplation, you can tap into your intuition. Don’t ignore those gut feelings – they contain golden information about your passion.
Tips for Uncovering Your Passion:
Uncovering your purpose is a winding journey, not a straight line. Give yourself grace, time, and space for self-exploration.
Here are a few final tips that helped me discover my own passion:
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Your purpose is beautifully unique.
- Try new things outside your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised what you love!
- Follow your curiosity with childlike playfulness and adventure.
- Don’t ignore frustration – it often indicates a passion needing expression.
- Pay attention to your energy levels. What gives you juice? What drains you?
- Trust your gut instincts. Your inner wisdom knows the truth.
- Talk to friends and family to gain valuable perspective.
- Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. Passions evolve.
The destination of finding your true passion is amazing. But don’t rush there! Savor each step in the journey of self-discovery.
Pay attention, get curious, explore, and trust your gut. You’ll discover you knew your purpose all along. Now boldly go bring it to life!