Cultivating your passion requires a dedication to unstructured exploration. You have to leave large swathes of free time in your schedule, and fill this time with the exploration of things that might be interesting. Of equal importance, when something catches your attention you must leverage your free time to aggressively follow up.
Faced with the task of identifying their “passion,” most people have one of two reactions:
The first is a frantic search of their lives with the aim of uncovering some magical pursuit that unmistakably sings to their soul. As a writer of student advice, for example, I frequently receive e-mails from young people that begin: “I’m trying to decide what my passion should be…” (If only it were that easy.)
The second reaction is paralysis: faced with the life-changing importance of this discovery, many people freeze — hoping for a sign from above that will make things clear. (Spoiler: This can be a long wait.)
Neither of these approaches succeed, as passion is not something that can be forcefully identified, and though it sometimes bubbles up serendipitously, this is not something you can count on happening any time soon. So what’s a passion-seeking minimalist to do?
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“Cultivating Your Passion” Show Notes
In this episode, I share on the following topics:
- The Simplest Way to Find Your Passion
- Scott Dinsmore Video on Finding Work You Love
- 27 Questions to Find Your Passion (see below)
- College and Career
- Follow Your Passion? Or Cultivate Your Passion?
- Don’t Forget to Live Today
- Alan Watts Video on What Do You Desire
- 27 Questions to Find Your Passion (from Scott Dinsmore’s site)
- What makes you happiest in your life? What excites you?
- What do you do that makes you feel invincible?
- What do people thank you for?
- What are you ridiculously good at? What are your precious gifts?
- Who do you look up to? Who are your mentors? Who inspires you? Why?
- When was the last time you massively over-delivered on something? What was it and why did you work so damn hard?
- When was the last time you were in a state of flow, in the zone and totally lost track of time? What were you doing?
- Imagine you won $158 million in the lottery. It’s now three months later. How will you spend tomorrow?
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
- If you could have or do anything, what would it be?
- What topics do you find yourself continuously arguing or defending with others? What beliefs does your stance represent?
- What makes you most angry about the state of the world? With unlimited resources how could you fix it?
- What are you most afraid of for the next generation, whether you have kids or not?
- What do you love helping people with? How do you most commonly help others? Don’t start your day with broken pieces of yesterday
- What’s your favorite section in the bookstore? What’s the first magazine you’d pick up at the grocery store?
- When was the last time you couldn’t sleep because you were so excited about what you had to work on? What was it?
- If you trusted that your art (your creativity) would support your life, how would you live?
- Out of all your current work roles, what would you gladly do for free?
- If you were able to be a member of the audience at your own funeral (in 100 years or so) what would you want to hear people say? Quit thinking about it so much
- What do you want to be remembered for – what dent do you want to have put in the world?
- What do your friends always tell you you’d be good at, that you should do for a living (i.e. “he’d make a great…)? If you don’t remember, then go ask five of them.
- What are you naturally curious about?
- If you had a free hour to surf the internet, what would you explore?
- Think back to when you were 5 or10 years old. What did you want to be when you grew up? Anything goes. What skills and metaphors do these represent (i.e. pilot may be a symbol for freedom)?Eat your raisins
- If you could write a book to help the world, that is guaranteed to be a best seller, what would the title be? What’s it about?
- What careers do you find yourself dreaming of? What jobs do others have that you wish were yours?
- What 3-5 dream jobs or businesses can you imagine that would firmly embody your core beliefs about the world. Sky’s the limit.
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