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Find a job you’re passionate about and never work a day in your life. Live your passions. Follow your dreams. We live in a never-ending cycle of folks telling us that we need to focus on what we are passionate about, which is the key to a happy life. But how do you find your passion? How do you discover what it is that you really want to do with your life? And if you discover it, how do you find a job doing it?
The answers to these questions aren’t always simple, and one of the reasons for the huge mess of confusion is the work culture in the United States. I referenced it above when I said to find a job you’re passionate about. We talk incessantly about dream jobs as if that is the only path towards a fulfilling life, and that’s not the case. There are many roads towards living a rich, fulfilling life, and finding your passion is a key that can unlock them.
What is a Passion?
Passion means different things to different people. How do you find your passion when you don’t even know what a passion is?
When we talk about how to find your passion, we aren’t talking about passionate love. We are talking about a life purpose. A thing that gives your life meaning and fulfillment and that makes you excited to get out of bed and pursue it every morning. It’s a thing that you love to do and that enriches your life. A thing you don’t want to give up and that you would do no matter what. Heck, you would PAY to do it if you had to! That’s how much it means to you.
How To Find Your Passion
So how do you find that? That thing that keeps you going, that makes your life worth living no matter what else happens? Your life purpose?
Finding your passion is a journey of self-discovery. It takes work and commitment. Sometimes it takes dabbling in many things. I thought I was passionate about art at one point. I love painting abstracts and going to art museums. But I don’t love learning about art techniques, color theory, or constructing a painting. I’m not actually interested in learning more about art; I just want to paint with emotion. I’m not passionate enough about it to dive in and truly learn every aspect of it.
And you know what? That is okay. It’s okay to try things and realize that although they are fun, they aren’t IT. This self-discovery is an important part of the life journey, so don’t let it discourage you.
Watch the video to discover how to find your passions, or continue reading below!
Where Do I Start?
It can be hard to know where even to start when trying to discover your passion. If this sounds all too familiar to you, I have something that can help. I’ve created a comprehensive guide to finding your passion, available on Etsy.
This worksheet bundle is designed to help you on the journey to self-discovery. It includes journal questions that have been carefully crafted to help you think about what you really want out of life, worksheets to help you decide if the things you enjoy doing are things you could be passionate about, a 30-day action plan that will help you get started, and so much more. It will definitely get you on the path to discovering your passions!
Why Can’t I Find My Passion?
People often look around and wonder why they can’t find work they are passionate about or why they are struggling by living an unfulfilling life.
Here’s the secret people don’t want you to know:
It’s not your fault.
Our capitalistic society tells you that you have to be passionate about your job – that’s the path to a fulfilling life. However, that myth completely ignores the fact that you need money to survive, and the majority of jobs are essential service positions. There may be a few folks out there who are really passionate about customer service, but let’s face it; most people aren’t. We work those jobs because they pay the bills, and they are often the only jobs available in our areas.
The myth that the only way to pursue your passion is through landing a dream job is something that keeps people trapped in unfulfilling lives. You can’t find your passion because you’ve been sold the lie that your passion has to be about your job.
Your Passion Doesn’t Need to Be Your Job
Your passion doesn’t always need to be related to your job. You can work an unfulfilling job that gives you the time and money to pursue your passion after hours. Alternatively, you can try to find ways to turn your passion into your own business or pursue your passion as a side hustle. Of course, there’s still the traditional path of finding a job that you are passionate about, but that’s not the only path.
Creative Ways to Pursue Your Passion
Let’s use family as an example. Some people are passionate about taking care of their families. That’s the one thing that brings them meaning and gives their life purpose. Our society might frown upon that because you don’t traditionally get paid to raise a family (though I’d argue that it’s work and should be paid – but that’s an argument for a UBI day).
There are a few ways you could pursue raising your family as a passion. You could get a normal, 9 to 5 job that gives you the money and resources you need to take care of your family outside of work. That’s a reasonable route that tons of people choose – there’s nothing wrong with getting a job to pay the bills and pursuing your passions outside of work!
Monetizing Your Passion
There are also ways you can monetize your passion. You could try to find a position as a nanny or babysitter that allows you to have your own kids with you. This way, you could get paid to raise your kids as you help watch other kids. Or, you could build your own business that revolves around raising kids.
If you don’t want to physically work with other kids, you can make money by creating content for other parents. There are tons of parent bloggers, YouTubers, and other content creators who make money documenting their life as a parent. They share tips and ideas with other parents and help people along the journey. Still, others create new products that make raising children easier and sell them in online shops like Etsy. The possibilities are endless.
Our Guide to Discovering Your Passions can help you decide how to pursue your passions. Included in this bundle are worksheets designed to make you think about what you really want out of life and how your passions fit into it. These worksheets were created with the understanding that people need to work to pay the bills and that sometimes you don’t want to get paid to pursue your passions.
On Getting Paid to Pursue Your Passions
There’s actually a huge, valid argument against turning your passion into a career. Would you still be passionate about it if you had to do it? If you were stressed out about making money from it? Living your passion sounds like a dream, but is that dream a nightmare in reality?
There are no right or wrong answers to this. Some people thrive at their dream jobs or by turning their passion into a business or side hustle. Others are content to pursue their passion as a hobby, so they don’t have to worry about getting paid to do it.
What Does Finding Your Passion Feel Like?
How do you know that you’ve found your passion? Is there an ah-ha moment where the world just falls into place and, you know, similar to love at first sight? I think this idea of “knowing” is false.
Some people will know right away. But others won’t even consider it. They will be so enamored with their passion that they dedicate all of their free time to it but never even consider whether it’s their passion or not. Everyone is different, and discovering your passion feels different for everyone.
The one thing that everyone has in common, though, is their enthusiasm for their passion, whether it’s paid or unpaid. Let’s use blogging as an example. I’ve been managing Partners in Fire for over three years now, and I’ve not even come close to making what I’ve put into it. But I still write regularly, publish two posts a week, and learn as much as possible about the various ways to improve, whether it be SEO, marketing, improving my writing, or something else. I love it. I do it even though I have to pay to do it (though my goal is to monetize!).
Ask yourself if there is something in your life that you do consistently, that you love to do, that you can’t stop doing. Maybe there’s already something in your life that you’re passionate about, and you don’t even realize it!
How to Pursue Your Passion
Many “inspirational” folks will tell you to quit your job to pursue your passion.
That’s bad advice.
Jobs and money are important! Those who say “the money will come” are either naïve or have a safety net to fall back on. It’s not always that simple for normal people. A full-time job is what pays the bills, and without it, how are you going to live, eat, survive??
I love the idea that I will just quit my job to do what I love. But It’s not realistic to just up and quit without a plan, and I’d much rather be safe and pragmatic than destitute. So I developed a new way to think about life and passion: Passion FIRE.
I talk about Passion Fire a lot. It’s a term I coined that combines the idea of financial independence with the desire to live your dream life. Most people’s dream lives don’t actually include not working at anything if you think about it. Most people have a passion for creativity, want to try new things, and want to engage in meaningful work. The rub is that they can’t afford to pursue these interests.
So instead, they find a career path that they marginally care about, or that makes good money, like a programmer, and try to be happy. Some folks do this and live a completely fulfilled life, pursuing their passions as hobbies on the side, and that’s fine.
But for many of us, that’s not enough. We want to find our life calling. We want to devote all of our time to our passion and purpose, not to someone else’s bottom line. And that’s where passion fire comes in.
Passion FIRE is About Designing Your Dream Life
Passion FIRE is about designing your dream life in a pragmatic and practical way. The first step is about money, because, let’s face it, we need money to survive. So get a good job in a high-paying field and follow all the tenants of traditional FIRE – saving, investing, budgeting, etc.
But at the same time, start developing your passion. Start a business as a small side hustle at first, using the money to make from your full-time job to fund it.
Develop your skillset while someone else is paying you. Build you’re your passion project up to the point that you can sustain yourself with it while also saving money in your rainy-day fund for the “just in case.”
Then quit your job and live off the fruits of your labor. Most people can realistically achieve this in five to ten years if they really go all-in on it, and doesn’t that sound so much better than the 30-40 years you’d have to work to achieve traditional retirement?
Passion Fire won’t work for everyone. Some folks like the structure that nine to five offers, some like the security of a regular paycheck, some don’t want to deal with running their own business. All of those are completely fair. But if this sounds ideal for you, what are you waiting for?
How to Find Your Passion
Which leads us back to the real question. How do you find your passion? Everyone is passionate about something, but sometimes we don’t have the time or energy to figure it out.
It’s okay if you still need help. That’s what the Guide to Discovering Your Passion was designed for! It will help you get into the mindset of exploring your inner self and identifying the things that are most important to you. It will help you find your passion in life.
What if I’m Passionate About Multiple Things?
Humans are complex creatures. Many of us actually have multiple passions, and that makes it hard to focus. What a great problem to have! I just recently discovered my passion for creating videos. I’ve watched over 40 hours of “how to use Blender’ videos in the past three days, and it has been amazing! I’m also passionate about blogging and my cat and helping others.
It’s great to have multiple passions. Often, you may find that some of the things you are passionate about overlap. I’m passionate about blogging and making videos, but I can blog about my videos or drop my videos into blog posts. I can make videos and blog posts about my cat, which is something else that I’m passionate about. When you are passionate about multiple things, you tend to combine them and work them all into one giant ball of meaningful work that is a super bundle of passion.
The Ultimate Guide to Discovering Your Passions
My Guide to Discovering Your Passion can help you decide which passion to focus on and why. Orit may give you ideas on how to combine things. There is so much amazing content in this bundle! It’s designed to not only help you find your passion, but also to help you figure out what to do with it! It will even help you get started, so even folks who already have a bit of an idea of what they are passionate about can benefit. Head to my Etsy store to grab your copy and start discovering yourself and your passions today!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.