8 Questions to Help You Find Your Passion

leadershipSarah and I had a few friends over this past weekend and toward the end of the evening we started discussing our greatest passions. The conversation was frank and authentic, as it always is among people willing to be real, and it turns out we ran the gamut in our little group. Some had their greatest passion summed up in a single word while others were at a loss for what their true passion really was.

Finding your passion is not an easy thing. As an American male, trained as an engineer, who spent my 20’s wearing a military uniform, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to stuff my heart in a box over the years—to focus on more important things than “finding my passion.”

The truth is, finding your passion is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. True passion will clarify your focus, drive your authenticity, and inspire others to action.

So how do you find your passion? There’s no one way to find your passion. All I can do is share my journey and hope that some part of it helps you on yours. Here goes.

Going through my journals, I’ve collected a list of questions from various sources across different times in my life, that have helped me nail down my passion. If you’re looking to find or verify your passion, I suggest you take a few minutes and jot down your answers to each one (multiple answers are encouraged for each question):

1. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
2. What could you do forever and never get tired of it?
3. When was the last time you lost all sense of time? What were you doing?
4. What do your friends think your biggest passion is? (ask via Facebook or Twitter)
5. Off the top of your head, what are your three favorite movies/stories of all time.
6. As objectively as possible, what are you really, really good at?
7. What things frustrate or upset you the most?
8. What do you daydream about?

Now take your combined list of answers and look for a common thread. Are there one or two themes that run through all or most of the things on your list? You’re looking for something broad enough to encompass all of the answers, yet specific enough that you can sink your teeth into it.

Once you think you’ve found one or two fundamental passions, it’s time to pick one and try it out. Try to apply that passion to other areas of your life—such as work. Look for new ways to express or channel that passion and see how it works out.

If you end up feeling less anxious and more fulfilled, less hurried and more purposeful, you’re probably on the right track.

What is your great passion in life?

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