Still Struggling to Find Your Passion?

Written by on October 20, 2016 in Breaking Barriers

Struggling to Find Your PassionDid you know that, depending upon the exact term you use, there are currently between sixteen and forty million conversations online about how to discover your passion?

The headlines are all too familiar, “Find Your Passion in 5 Minutes Or Less”, “Why You Need to Find Your Passion”, “Find Your Passion and Do What You Love”, and of course the ever popular, “Find Your Passion and Never Work Another Day in Your Life!”

For those of you who have firmly locked onto your passion in life, pat yourselves on the back because, for every one of you, there are scores of others who will tell you that they still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.

We may act as though we’re saying this in jest, but more often than we like to admit find ourselves feeling somehow “less” for being 30, 40, 50+ and still having no clue what our passion is.

Maybe you’ve even entertained the notion that there is something wrong with you because you should have had it all figured out long ago?

“I’ve tried so hard to figure out my passion but I don’t feel ‘passionate’ about anything and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. What if I don’t have any passions and my life now is the best I can ever hope for?”

This is an actual comment I found in response to one of the aforementioned millions of articles on how to find one’s passion, but it’s hardly unusual.

The Never Ending Search for Passion

The basic idea of finding your passion goes something like this – find your greatest passion, match it to a career path, pursue that career with all your heart and chances are you will achieve success.

That makes sense as far as it goes, but there are a few stumbling blocks and one of them is that we underestimate how our interests change over time so pursuing a career based on what you were passionate about when you were 20 could well leave you miserable and wondering what the heck you were thinking at the age of 30.

Then there is the problem with our preconceived notions of what the process should look and feel like based on all of the inspiring stories we’ve read about what a glorious life people lead who have followed their passions.

Now you’re not only looking at a serious case of tunnel vision, chances are you’re holding out for a passion that comes fully equipped with an exit strategy from that 9-5 job you’ve been clinging to just until you, well you know, find your passion.

Passion is where your energy and effort meets someone else's need. Click To Tweet

Should You Stop Searching For Your Passion?

Terri Trespicio is a branding strategist who helps visionaries, experts, entrepreneurs, and businesses communicate with power and precision across media platforms. She consults with a wide range of experts, everyone from surgeons and social media celebs to startups and brand managers.

She’d also like to tell you why you should stop searching for your passion.  Listen as she tells her story and challenges you to rethink the popular notion that following your passion is the answer to a life well lived.

Who Do You Want to Be?

We’re often so driven by the pressure and expectations of what we believe we should be achieving that we don’t stop and look at the reason behind all the doing.

Stop struggling to uncover a ready-made passion and begin working passionately toward the hard but worthy goal of doing something of value.

Instead of worrying about what to do, try asking yourself who you want to be.

When you know who you want to be, you’ll become clearer about what you truly want to do, and passion will naturally flow from having done that well with little regard for ego or expectations.

This is the way to create a fulfilling life that adds value to the world.

If you’re ready for more … Another TEDX worth watching is To Find Work You Love, Don’t Follow Your Passion by Benjamin Todd. Please don’t be put off by how young Benjamin appears, this is a brilliant talk with some very specific steps to follow to find work that you love.

What’s your story? Do you have a job that you are passionate about, but wasn’t something you initially thought would interest you? How did you get involved? What made you grow to love it?

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.

Thank you for sharing!

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  1. Fred

    Very interesting topic. I feel like it’s important to have multiple things in life to be “passionate” about, it helps makes life worth living. But it gets complicated when trying to tie this concept into a career.

    “Follow your passion” makes sense on a certain level, most people can probably relate to how an awful job feels like it’s sucking the life right out of you. But sometimes turning a passion into a job can make you less passionate about it!

    Enjoyed Terri’s reference to Scott Adams, I have checked out some of his writings lately and it’s really good stuff.

    Definitely a good idea to keep your options open and looking to create value both for others and for yourself. And being aware that our passions do change over time as well.
    Fred recently posted…Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar Review – Domo Arigato for Great ValueMy Profile

  2. ikechi

    Hi Marquita

    You remind about a post I wrote recently about Passion. The need to pursue a single purpose has made many people feel sorry for their lives but as you shared, interest do change and that is who we are.

    I believe it is limiting to want to pursue one interest for live. It is great to change and evolve. Thank you for the videos as I learnt so much.

    Thanks for sharing. Take Care
    ikechi recently posted…Why You Shouldn’t Throw Any of Yourself AwayMy Profile

  3. Joyce Hansen

    Oh, are you on target! I’ve been watching all these “finding your passion” articles. They are mostly about the need to find it; some even offer suggestions of “how to”. But, there’s a lot of guilt associated with the idea that you can only be happy or find success with a passionate endeavor. Time to get out of the passion guilt trip and be proud of what you do, whatever it is.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…Brain concussions are more dangerous for womenMy Profile

  4. William says:

    i discovered my passion in life after I took the time to get sober. Before, in my teenage years and early 20’s I was not sure what I was passionate about. I went to rehab, started to live in recovery and it came to me. We need to break down our barriers before we can discover who we truly are and what are passions are.
    William recently posted…Walking in the Garden During RehabMy Profile

    • That’s true of so many things in life William. I think it must be the very rare person who has a true fix on their passion or purpose in life at a young age, most of us are just trying to figure out how to support ourselves after school. 🙂

  5. Summer

    I loved this. I think It’s true our passions change as we change. I am certainly not passionate about the same things I was 20 years ago. I am also not the same person because, or ay least I hope, I’ve matured 😉 and I’ve experienced more. I think it is about finding out who we are and realizing that can be fluid and being okay with that.

  6. Kimba

    My “passion” changes about each decade. Passions most definitely evolve. What motivated me to get out of bed in my 20s definitely has changed substantially for this Club 50 gal. Great post.
    Kimba recently posted…When Wonder Woman Needs a Time-OutMy Profile

  7. Hi Marquita, Wonderful article on a great subject.
    Really liked the Ted talks, mostly though I liked the Terri Trespicio one. Loved her quotes:
    Passion is not a plan, its a feeling and feelings can change.
    It’s the full force of your attention
    And your passion follows you not the other way round.
    My passions certainly have changed thru out my life. I was passionate about horticulture, cosmetic industry, cooking and now writing and marketing. I have worked in all of these businesses. Now I am passionate about helping people with marketing. Passions change, follow yours with all of your heart. Great article.

  8. Hi Marquita,

    This is a really great post. We all put far too much pressure on ourselves to find our passions. But if we just enjoyed the journey a little more things might fall in to place so much sooner.


    Beth Hewitt recently posted…Using Canva for your blog posts.My Profile

  9. Mark

    This is some very sound advice M!

    And I not only love, but totally agree with your assessment, about blindly pursuing a given passion.

    Only to come to the realization later on in life, they’re not exactly passionate, about the same things any longer. LOL!

    Oh have I been there and done that, a time or too!LOL!

    And it certainly does stand to reason, find out how you best want to, or where you’re most qualified to serve, and your unbridled passion will surely follow!Great advice as usual M!Thanks!
    Mark recently posted…Being An Entrepreneur: Means Taking Advantage Of Power Marketing Leverage Opportunities!My Profile

  10. Doing something valuable for the people around me is truly my passion too.I majored in accounting as I loved dealing with numbers. However, as I studied database management as one of the subjects during graduation,I developed a curiosity for learning how huge databases function.I worked as a data analyst and truly enjoyed what I did.Over the years my interests have changed and now I like helping people find homes.This article is a great resource as my learning from it is that bringing value to others can bring value to my life as well as others around me.I am motivated to give my best to my profession.The concluding paragraph about altruism in the Benjamin Todd’s video has made a lasting impression in my mind.Thank you very much Marquita for sharing these videos and a beautiful article on passion.
    Priya Prabhu recently posted…Subtle experiment – Are tattoos good for us?My Profile

    • I’m so glad you found value in the article and the presentations Priya. Like so many others, I’ve been a fan of TED for years but only last year began paying closer attention to the smaller regional events that are featured in TEDx. There are some real gems in those talks so it’s fun to be able to share them with others. 🙂

  11. Donna Merrill

    Hi Marquita,

    I am passionate about so many things but you put it so well when you wrote: “Passion is where your energy and effort meets someone else’s need.”

    Now people write books, articles and so on about find their passion. You my friend explained it all in that one sentence.


    Donna Merrill recently posted…Influencer Marketing To Grow Your BlogMy Profile

  12. Marquita, I love this blog and had no idea there were millions of people blogging about finding your passion. I believe we can search and search for it, and just when we think we will never find it, we turn around and see it has been following us all along. Often, our passion is like a puppy or kitten, it finds and chooses us. As for the statement, “Find your Passion and Never Work Another Day in Your Life-” Even the puppies and kittens we love are work. Like our passion, they are work we love to love. Thanks for the great blog.
    Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

  13. Reba Linker

    I love this: “Passion is where your energy and effort meets someone else’s need.” This really spoke to me, because, once we meet an other’s need, we really begin to take off. The whole experience gets grounded in reality (I feel like I am continuing the discussion from your comment on my post!!!) and it really grows from there – often in unexpected ways. Great post, Marquita!
    Reba Linker recently posted…Epigenetics – Done For You HealingMy Profile

    • That is so true Reba, it’s funny sometimes how people in a community can sometimes find themselves focused on a similar topic at the same time. Thank you for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed the article Reba, always appreciated. 🙂

  14. Sue Kearney

    Right on, sister! This, in my words: Stop spending precious bandwidth trying to unearth the what; instead, spend that energy passionately doing your best thing the best way you can.

    Lovely, and true.
    Sue Kearney recently posted…Priestess Your Brand — what’s in your cauldron?My Profile

  15. Vatsala Shukla

    I can’t imagine my life without passion, Marquita, although my passion has changed over time. When I was a teenager, I was a passionate rebel, then as I grew older, my hidden passion was devoting time outside of the corporate world to causes that I believed in – animal rights and now I’m pursuing a new passion in my second innings career – helping careerists achieve their potential, 1 professional at a time. 🙂
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Want Spiritual Life Coaching? The answers are in the Bhagavad GitaMy Profile

    • I believe interests and passions change for most people over time, which is why I tend to agree with the speaker about not focusing on passion as the sole guidepost for our life journey. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. Dave

    You know me well enough by now, Marty, that displaying a TED talk in your post is like placing a piece of chocolate in front of me. It cannot and will not be ignored 🙂

    I watched both videos and each one had so many profound messages. I found myself scribbling down the quotes so that I could refer to them later.

    One of my favorites was in the talk by Terri where she said ~ “You don’t create your live, then live it. You create your life by living it.”

    That one really, really resonated with me, perhaps because it’s by following that very advice that I discovered my love (and dare I say, passion) for writing.

    I started my blog on a whim, just because it was something new and exciting to explore. It was only through that exploration of the world around me (in Benjamin’s talk) that I found something that I could get reasonably good and make a difference with – even if it is on a small scale.

    I love the idea to do what’s valuable ~ valuable for other people as well as valuable in a sense that exploration and taking chances serve to ignite the flame of passion inside you that you don’t even know exists yet.

    I was on vacation earlier this week, so I unfortunately missed out on reading the two articles you posted until today. However, with that being said, I couldn’t be happier that the week unfolded as it has. The way your two articles on inspiration and passion complement each other has left me feeling inspired and passionate for what’s just out over the horizon.

    Thanks, as always, Marty ~ truly brilliant posts this week 🙂
    Dave recently posted…Becoming YouMy Profile

    • You know the point of creating something of value resonated with me as well. I often reference creating meaningful change, but somehow the connotation of “value” seems more profound, somehow more personal to me. Anyway, now I find myself weighing what I’m doing against that concept and it really is eye-opening. Always appreciate your thoughtful insights Dave. 🙂

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