Few things can fill your life with a sense of energy and fulfillment like pursuing your passion.
To discover what you love to do and then to dedicate your life to mastering that craft or maximizing your impact (depending on what it is) gives your life a sense of progress that continuously feeds your heart and soul.
But what do you do if you haven’t found what that thing is for you? What do you do if you feel lost and– worst of all– unmotivated?
That’s where I was a decade ago. I had just closed another chapter of my life and was completely lost as to what I wanted to do.
The thing is, this lack of direction can be really discouraging, so it’s hard to motivate yourself to take action on anything when you feel like there’s no point.
Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
– Oprah Winfrey
But I managed to find my passion. In fact, several things that I’m passionate about. And then, from that, I found my calling. And I did it using a pretty simple process that anyone can do.
It’s nothing crazy, just a few practical steps that allow you to begin exploring yourself, and the world around you, to reignite your passion for living and find something that moves you.
Here’s how to find your passion– even if you feel lost and unmotivated:
Take some time off
First, you need to get away. Your environment is sapping energy away from you by the minute and you need to create a real psychological transformation to make this work.
Take whatever you can get– a week, a weekend, a single day. The more the better. Something is better than nothing.
Also, you need to go somewhere far from home. This could mean driving somewhere an hour away or taking a trip. Again, how far you go with this is completely up to you, but you need to get away from your normal surroundings to make this work, it’s critical for creating that mental shift and finding clarity for the proceeding exercises.
Rediscover your inner child
This is one of the most important parts of the exercise.
Personally, I’ve found that a divide is created at a certain point in our young adult life. It’s the point where– unless someone teaches us otherwise– we begin to believe that we need to give up our childhood dreams and settle for something more reasonable.
That’s why this step is so important.
Take out a notebook and start writing down all the things you’ve ever loved to do as a kid. Start as far back as you can remember and run all the way up to now. But only write down things you had a real passion for. The things that drove those parts of your life.
Take a minute to pay attention to how you feel about each of these things. Does something jump out at you? Is there something you’re dying to try or do again for the first time in years?
Also, maybe this exercise has made you think of something you have always wanted to do but, for one reason or another, were never able or allowed to. Write those things down as well.
Get in touch with your emotions
Next, in addition to exploring your lifelong likes and interests, you need to dig deep down within yourself to find out what’s really going on.
What are you feeling as you sit here in silence, contemplating your life? Regret? What about? Has excitement started to swell in you, what caused it specifically?
Write everything that comes to you over several minutes and try to do this once a day for a week or two starting from this first day to get the clearest picture possible. This will help you make a decision that is truer to you instead of letting outside concepts such as societal expectations corrupt the process.
Settle on something, move forward, and walk the path of self-discovery
Personally, the main thing I picked from doing this exercise didn’t turn out to be my calling. However, it is something I have a passion for and it actually led me to discover my calling.
And that’s the point of this step. It’s now your job to get out there and experiment. Try things out that you think might be a good lead and see how they make you feel.
Stay connected with your emotions throughout this entire process as they’ll help tell you whether you’re being authentic or if you’re slinking back down into fear and discouragement.
Keep trying new things, allowing the process to unfold as it will, and you’ll soon discover things that give your life a sense of energy and fulfillment that are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. From there, it’s your job to figure out how to make them your life’s work.