EE 010: Find What Lights You Up and Do That
The key to unlocking your life’s passion is to find what lights you up and do that. It seriously really is as simple as that.
Well then Sam, why is it so difficult?
Touche…that’s a really good question. And one that literally took me decades to finally answer! But I answered it.
You see, it’s not really about finding your passion as much as it is finding something that ignites your curiosity to a level of all out obsession.
I’ve included a link to a printable PDF of my list of the top 10 questions every EXECUpreneur’s soul craves answers to…. Print it out and dig deep into a question a day, your soul will thank you. Refer to The EXECUprenur’s EDGE Podcast episode EE-009 for an audio walkthrough with yours truly. I’ve included that recording at the end of this blog post.
Alrighty my friend…let’s get to it finding what lights YOU up, shall we?
I know you’ve experienced the absolute drag of “I don’t want to do it”-osis. We all have. This is the condition caused by an outright lack of desire to do something, or to do that something with a certain someone.
There will come moments in your EXECUpreneur life that will be a drag. No doubt. To tell you otherwise would be to flat out lie to you. That is something I will never do.
The way you drag your butt (and the rest of you) out of the state of “I don’t want to do it”-osis is to have a crystal clear vision of your “Why” and a genuine curiosity surrounding it. A curiosity that borders one of the obsessive nature even, that will see you through.
Focus on the things you are genuinely passionate about and that feed your curiosity and those that will involve adversity and challenges. You usually haven’t mastered your passion…it’s all but impossible to do, and that makes it appealing. Make your Why something that drives you to improve yourself and inspires you to move forward toward accomplishing your goals.
Pursuing your passion is a gratifying process. This is why finding your “Why” must be not only something that excites you, but makes you do things you never thought you would. We’ll call it the Tequila Effect. Just for fun. (SIDE NOTE: Say “NO” to tequila. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I was in college for 8 years…I am intimately aware of the dangers of uno mas tequila. Don’t do it!)
Back to the matter at hand.
When you set out to achieve your goals, you take an entirely new and different path than you’re used to. This helps you persevere, which is one of the characteristics of the successful EXECUpreneur. An essential step in developing your EXECUpreneur skillset is to discover what you are passionate about and start pursuing those passions with the curiosity of a two-year old.
If you don’t know what you are excited about, and it is perfectly normal not to know, here are a few exercises you can practice to help you discover your passions.
Make a List of All the Things You Love
Start by creating a list of everything that you love to do. Write down whatever comes into your mind. Keep jotting down ideas. This step is meant to help you focus on the things that you absolutely love to do.
Filter the List
Once you have completed writing down what you love, it is time to filter it. Your list will contain many things that you love to do but aren’t good at and things that you like the idea of but aren’t interested in. Take the time to go through the list to find the things that truly excite you. Narrow it down to 10. Then look for commonalities amongst the 10. Can you narrow it down even further?
Focus on each activity and tease out the things that you enjoy and that you are good at. Taking the time to analyze your list will help you discover what you are genuinely passionate, in turn curious about.
Do the Activities
As you narrow down your list and discover the things that you believe you are passionate about, it is a good idea to carry out the short-listed activities to find out if you are really passionate about them.
When you are doing the activities, you need to focus on the feeling you get. If it makes you feel good and excites you, it is something that you are passionate about. You get bonus points if it is something that you are good at too. Don’t worry if you realize that you aren’t good at some of the things that you are passionate about, you can become better with practice. Once you’ve discovered your true passion you can move onto the next step.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting your childhood is another way you can find your passion. As we grow older, we begin to disconnect from the things that meant the most to us during our childhood. To help you find your passion, revisit your childhood and think about the things that you loved to do back then. You may find your passion during your visit.
Do you remember spending hours rooting around the backyard pursuing the caterpillar or watching the ants do their daily dance? How about checking the bird’s nest outside the back door on the daily, just excited as can be that this may be the day you see that first beak poking out of an eggshell?
It is that curiosity we want to liberate again. No matter how many years it has been.
Seek Out People You Want to Emulate
This is a biggie…there will be people in your life who inspire you to follow your goals. There will also be those people in your life who have achieved the kind of success you’ve always envisioned for yourself.
To find your passion, figure out how they did it and what made them focused and determined enough to reach their dreams. This exercise will help you become focused on your goals. It also gives you the chance to figure out that one role model you want to follow. Act as if you are them. Channel your inner (insert ROLE MODEL here). What would they do in any given situation?
Develop a Creativity Board
Browse through magazines and websites to gather inspiring images, newspaper clippings, poems, articles, and other material that is related to the things you enjoy and that inspire you. Place these elements on a big poster board, being sure to have separate columns for each interest. Begin to build on each interest and think of creative ideas to create a business out of your interests.
You will be brimming with ideas for those interests that you are passionate about. Don’t stop until you have figured out a master plan to create a career out of that interest.
When you’re already in a career that would be foolish to abandon, work your vision into your current gig.
Don’t Focus on Money
To find what you are truly passionate about, you have to stop focusing on money. Your fear will try to talk you out of just about everything and “you can’t make any money at that” is a big flag fear throws on the field of your dreams.
You need to focus on that one thing that makes you feel alive.
If you want to enjoy a life you love living, then you need to do something that you love. Whether it is something that will make you money or not is not the point of this exercise. Your financial concerns should be a secondary thought to your passion.
Now of course you do need to make money. Unless you have a trust fund or have invested well, or have a Sugar Daddy or Mama. (Hey, I won’t judge.)
When you have your Why dialed in, you can then seek your business specifics. There are a wide variety of business books and coaches accessible at your fingertips. Find a mentor (whether book or human form) that jives with you.