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Finding Your Passion

Mixed messages are scattered over the Internet about finding our passions. Some life coaches believe that it is up to us to discover our passions, but others suggest that external factors such as mentorship are valuable. So which conviction should we follow? And how do we unearth our passions? Although we may define "passion" differently, we can all agree that it is an element of our life that allows us to feel fulfilled, or even experience euphoria.

To find one's passion, one must understand what passion is. The textbook definition of passion is “a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.” To understand this, we can visualize our passion(s) as our soulmate(s). We are fond of our lovers, we are zealous about spending time with them, and fancy to live in unity with them. It is a relationship that is meant to be. When we integrate our passions into our lives, we will have purposefulness. We become so occupied with them to the extent that our engagement transforms everything we do.

Image is courtesy of Our Mindful Life.

But how do we find our passion? Ugandan speaker Noeline Kirabo suggests we can find our passion by asking ourselves two questions. First, "If we had all the time and the money in the world, what would we spend our time doing?" Sometimes we prioritize the acquisition of security, abandoning our passions to simply survive and not thrive. By asking this question, we take time and money out of the matter and focus on what we love doing, in other words, activities that reflect our passions. The second question is, "What makes us happy or gives us the deepest sense of fulfillment?" This kind of fulfillment is not self-indulgence but a feeling that it is good to be alive. It is a feeling that allows us to avoid an existential crisis.

Another way of discovering one's passion originates from Japan. It is commonly known as "Ikigai," which translates into “a reason for being.” Ikigai is the force that motivates individuals to thrive. To discover our Ikigai, we can concentrate on four central questions.

  1. What do we love to do? Brainstorm ideas and use a sheet of paper to either draw them out or jot them down.

  2. What are we good at? Be mindful that this need not be hard skills such as programming or learning languages. It can also be traits such as empathy, patience, and compassion.

  3. What does the world need? Contributing to humanity represents a human who can bring joy into others’ lives.

  4. What are professions that align with our Ikigai? Pondering upon this question allows us to wonder how we can turn our passions into livelihoods. Personally, I do not feel that this question is critical for us to contemplate. Passions are activities or tasks we perform without the hopes of being remunerated.

Image is courtesy of Ave Matieu.

What if we face difficulties in choosing our passions? No need to be concerned. As American writer Terri Trespicio points out, it is a myth that an individual can only have one passion in life. She used to believe in this delusion and spent a significant portion of her life on what turned out to be drudgery. She then discovered she had multiple passions, and each one of them could bring joy into her life. Instead of rejecting them, she prioritized them. We can follow her approach and embrace all our passions instead of pursuing one sole passion.

To end off, let me leave you with this quote:

"To be successful in life, follow your passion(s), and not a paycheck."

-Jen Welter


Kirabo, N. (n.d.). Transcript of "2 questions to uncover your passion -- and turn it into a career". Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/noeline_kirabo_2_questions_to_uncover_your_passion_and_turn_it_into_a_career/transcript?language=en

Mims, C., & *, N. (2016, January 09). Finding Passion in Your Government Career. Retrieved from https://www.careersingovernment.com/tools/gov-talk/career-advice/finding-passion-government-career/

Passion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passion

Featured image courtesy of Wix.

Article Author: Michelle Xiao

Article Editors: Maria Giroux, Valerie Shirobokov