Finding Your Passion

Passion is a powerful thing. It can become a lucrative career or a wonderful hobby that improves your mental health. But not everyone has a passion—or, perhaps more accurately, not everyone knows what their passion is. If you’re in search of something that moves you, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few ways to embrace your inner creative. 

It might be right in front of you! 

A funny thing happens to people sometimes: They worry that they have no direction in life, and then they take solace in their passions without even realizing that they have them. Maybe it’s an office worker coming home from a long day and breaking out paints and an easel to relax. Maybe it’s a full-time janitor and part-time musician who doesn’t realize how talented they really are. Before you assume that you need to “find” your passion, you should check to see if it’s right in front of you!

Think about how you spend your time, and think about what brings you joy. Think about the things that you wish you had more time for. One of them might be the thing that you were put on this Earth to do.

Start thinking and reading up on your interests. 

If an obvious passion doesn’t come to you right away, don’t fret. Instead, just start thinking. What do you like to read about? Maybe that’s your passion. If you don’t know what you like to read about, maybe you should head to the library and find out! Consider movies and podcasts, too. What interests you? Keep brainstorming, take notes, and indulge yourself: Just think, without putting pressure on yourself, and come up with a big list of ideas. They don’t have to all make sense! As you read, research, and think, you’ll likely start seeing connections.

Know when it’s a job—and when it’s not.

To paraphrase the old saying, a person who knows what they love to do never has to work a day in their life. All they have to do is turn their passion into a lucrative career. Right?

Well, sort of. But it’s important to remember a few things. For one, your job doesn’t have to be your passion; it may only make use of it. For instance, someone who loves tinkering with cars and gadgets may become an expert in forklift engine maintenance, filling a much-needed role that maybe people don’t even think about. And, of course, a passion for debate can turn a person on to politics or law, and a love of science can lead to careers in medicine, research, and so much more. Don’t assume that everyone who gets their “dream job” is doing nothing but wonderful stuff. Doctors deal with logs and paperwork, for instance—a job is still a job, even if there are parts of it that you love!

Some passions can be “side-hustles” instead of full-time jobs. If you’re a talented painter, for instance, you might want to start selling your work on Etsy—but that doesn’t mean that you have to quit your day job. Sometimes, it’s nice to have the freedom to choose when and when not to indulge in your passion. If you make your passion your main source of income, then you might be surprised to find it transformed into a dreary obligation.

It’s also important to remember that some passions are better suited to being hobbies. Just ask acclaimed lawyer and mineral enthusiast Howard Fensterman. Fensterman is incredibly passionate about minerals and gemstones, and he knows an impressive amount about them. He maintains a blog on the subject and is active within the collecting community. But Howard Fensterman does not consider his mineral obsession a job—he already has one of those, thanks to his successful career as an attorney. For Howard Fensterman, this all works out splendidly. In this case, we’re looking at a passion that is best expressed as a hobby.

It’s vital to remember that passion is just that—passion. It’s something that you care about and something that brings you joy. If you find that your passion is building things out of tongue depressors, then you shouldn’t feel pressure to somehow turn that into a career. You shouldn’t even feel pressure to put your work on Etsy. Just have fun, and nurture your passion. You’ll be happier and healthier if you do.