“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher
Look around you. How many people you personally know are living a life of passion, driven by a strong motive to fulfill their purpose in life and do things they love? And how many people you know are suffering from a mediocre life, floating aimlessly just to get by?
Oftentimes, we are not satisfied with our lives. We do mundane things that drain our energy or don’t give us the sense of excitement or accomplishment. Is it because we don’t know what we REALLY love to do in this life?
Actually, if we look deeper, chances are we all know what our passions are and what we truly feel called to do since we were young. We just d on’t remember those things, probably because we’ve been taught to “be realistic” and meet the society’s expectations of what constitutes a “good citizen”.
With some guidance, exercises and practice, we can actually uncover all that knowledge about ourselves – it is hidden in our past, in our present, in our daily habits, and in our dreams.
There are different things we like to do in different phases of our lives that may teach us something about our passions. Here’s a simple exercise called “Favorite Activities” that you can do in order to find out. It comes in several steps:
Download this sheet of exercise, write down as many as possible the activities you like doing, and note down the elements that make the activities so interesting and rewarding for you. For example, if the activity you like is “biking along the beach”, maybe the elements could be serenity, the connection with nature, and the connection with yourself. If the activity you like is “singing”, maybe the elements could be creativity, bringing others happiness, and so on.
Once you have a list of activities and their elements, draw a line to indicate from when to when you actually do/did those activities. For instance, maybe you like playing the piano, but you only did it from when you were 10 to 17 and you don’t do it anymore. In that case, your line would only last from “10” to “17”.
By listing out all your favorite activities and the elements behind the activities, you may see some patterns. For example, out of the 16 activities I listed, 12 have the common elements – “connection with myself” and “serenity”. That’s when I know that these things are what I’m very passionate about, and when I’m not doing much of the activities that contain those elements, I probably won’t feel very fulfilled or happy in life, and that I should perhaps have more of those. The same element can also appear in very different activities. For example, I find serenity in both writing and biking along the beach, so when I can’t bike along the beach due to some limitations of surroundings, I can probably do more writing to achieve a similar purpose.
This exercise is only one of the many that can help us reveal our passions. Once we gain some insights or find out what it is that we truly love to do, we can then take a step further: what do we want to do with it, now that we’ve rediscovered our passions? Do we want to change small elements in our daily routines, that will make our days a little happier? Or do we want to make a drastic change, quit our job, and change our career to something that makes us truly happy? Or maybe the middle ground: just start to do more of what makes us happy and gives us meaning, and then see where it will lead us. Maybe after a while, it can turn into a job or a business!
Knowmads offers the “Rediscover My Passions” workshop during our regular programs, and as a standalone workshop open to the public from time to time. For more information, please follow us on Facebook to keep updated.