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3 Steps to Finding Your Passion



3 Steps to Finding Your Passion

Do you remember being a child, and being asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We all had such clear, fixed answers to that question, didn’t we. We dreamed of being presidents and astronauts, of making a difference in the world. Personally, I always imagined myself as a computer engineer. I was inspired by the likes of Steve Jobs, I loved programming, and I dreamed of creating something that would leave a legacy in the world.

3 Steps to Finding Your Passion

As kids, we had such clear ideas on what we wanted to be. We knew what we enjoyed, what we felt drawn to, what inspired us. As we grow older, though, a lot of us seem to lose that clarity. Life gets in the way. We get caught up in the stresses of day-to-day life and lose sight of what really speaks to our soul. Ask an adult what he loves doing, what his passion is, and more often than not you’re probably going to hear “I don’t know” or “I don’t really have a passion”. “How do I find my true passion” is a question that many adults seem to struggle with.


And yet, it’s a question that’s never been more important than it is today. In the world we grew up in, passion was secondary to stability and safety. We were trained in school to follow the rules and do what we were told. We were brought up to be a cog in a machine. We were told that if we just showed up, and did as we were expected, we would collect our paychecks and live a secure, happy life.


But the world has changed. Today, that’s no longer enough. Those safe jobs that we were trained to do are becoming rarer. They’re getting outsourced and automated. Those “good”, “normal” and “safe” jobs are disappearing. What’s left is underpaid, bad jobs, or, great jobs which will connect with you, and give you meaning.


That’s what we should all be aiming for. To have a life where we’re excited to wake up in the morning, and living and loving each day fully. The key to having that life is passion.


So how do you find your passion?

Here are 3 simple steps to help you on that journey.

Step 1: Self reflection and discovery

We all have things we are passionate about – things we love doing, and excite and energize us. The problem is we just don’t notice them. We ignore those passions because we feel like they’re not “productive” enough. Or we’re too caught up in our day to day life to really notice the little moments of joy and meaning that we have.


So the first step is to just take some time and reflect.

Set aside an hour or two, and sit down with a piece of paper. Here are some questions to ask yourself, to help guide your self-discovery.

  • What are some things you really want to do before you die (aka your bucket list)?
  • Who are the people you admire the most – and what you admire most about them (it’s probably not everything about them)?
  • What did you do in the past week that you enjoyed, and want to do more of?
  • What did you do in the past week that you hated doing, and want less of in your life?
  • What’s your ideal, perfect day? What are you spending that day doing? Where are you at? How does it feel?

Write these answers out on paper – it helps to make it concrete and take it out of your thoughts into the real world.


It can also be useful to ask your friends and family for their thoughts on you – what they imagine you doing, what your strengths are, what are the first adjectives they think of when they think of you.


Once you’ve written out all these lists, look for trends. And remember, your passion doesn’t have to be a specific topic, such as “Physics”. It can be a broad field, such as creating or learning. This should give you an idea of what direction to head in.

Step 2: Take a step in that direction

Realizing what direction you want to head doesn’t matter if you’re not going to walk down that path. Once you have that direction, the next step is then to actually take action. As a kid, it was easy for us to find things we loved doing, because we tried so many different things. We weren’t afraid that it would end up being a waste of time. We didn’t think about what we’d get out of it. We weren’t concerned about whether we’d be good at it, or if we’d embarrass ourselves. We just tried. And if it didn’t work – if we didn’t do it well, or if we didn’t enjoy it as much as we thought we would – we moved on.


That willingness to try new things gets lost as we grow older. In order to find your true passion, you need to overcome your fears (of wasting time, of embarrassing yourself, of not being good at it) and just dive in. The only way to find out how you truly feel about something is to try. So sign up for a course or join a club. Get out there, and do it.

Step 3: Reflect, calibrate, and repeat

Sometimes, you might not enjoy something as much as you thought you would. Perhaps after you try it, you’ll realize it’s not truly for you. And that’s perfectly okay. All that means is that you now have an even clearer idea of what works (and what doesn’t work) for you. Reflect on what you didn’t enjoy about the experience and why that wasn’t right for you. You’ll have an even more focused direction. And repeat the process. Find something in that new, focused direction, and dive into it.


Pretty soon you’ll have a completely clear idea of what you love doing.


And here’s the good news. It’s never been easier to make a career from your passion.


There are more opportunities than ever – more ways to establish yourself, to connect with the right people, to learn the right skills. All you have to do is find your passion, and take small steps in that direction.


And remember, it’s never too late to start pursuing your passions.

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Can You Receive A Compliment Without It Getting To Your Head?



a compliment (1)

Receiving compliments gracefully isn’t as easy as it should be for some people. How about you: are YOU ready for someone to give you a pat on the back? To be pushed to doing more? To have someone give you a supporting hand? To be picked up when you fall down?

Sure, we may think that’s what we want. But is it what we need to develop, to grow, and to get better?

If someone complimented you on every little improvement you made while learning a new skill, would you not start to feel a bit marginalized? That perhaps they didn’t really think you could do it? What about when you do something that seems pretty easy and everyone made it into a big deal?


Receiving Compliments When You Are Not Ready For It

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

Developing new skills is never free of trouble. We all know the level of foundation that must be built to get from being a novice, before reaching greatness. In the learning process, we all know when we are in that frustrating stage of not being quite as good – but we know what we have to do to get there.

It’s in these moments that receiving compliments on your every action could minimize your efforts. That’s because if they truly knew you, people would be holding out for when you make that big, defining leap. 

As we overcome hurdles in our learning and development, friends, family members, and colleagues will know when the time is right to provide encouragement. They know that when that moment comes, those words will have the right amount of impact on you.

Think back to when you were growing up, playing some elaborate game. Perhaps you spent hours creating this game: building a fort, putting together things that the rest of your characters in the play could use. You pushed through despite the trials and problems.

It would have served absolutely no purpose for someone to congratulate you on every step (and misstep) along the way.  You would have lost your flow as you worked through the problem, constantly being interrupted – all while you were still trying to figure it out and understand where you needed to go.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments


When Receiving Compliments Makes You Content with Present Achievements

You might never have finished if someone patted you on the back early in that moment, content in the knowledge that you “thought up” the idea and that was enough. If everyone was saying you did great simply for thinking up something new, would it have compelled you to stop?

Maybe. Perhaps you would have stopped with that compliment.

As a parent, you learn when to encourage your children. Usually, it’s not when they show up, and not when they do what kids around them are able to do as well. It’s when they push themselves to do more. When they pick themselves up and still lose, when they try something new for the first time, fall over and fail, not sure if they should do it again.

Those are the moments when kids should be receiving compliments – NOT when they have done the same thing over and over again, or when they didn’t try their best but won anyways.

Kids know this. They can feel it when people give false compliments or encouragement because they did something they’ve always done. But when it is something meaningful, something they have worked hard for, they know the encouragement will be there to help them.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

The reason you might not be receiving compliments or encouragement when you want to is because you haven’t earned them or don’t deserve them yet.

Maybe your coaches, leaders, parents, or other people who support you know you are not ready for it. Perhaps they need to see you making that next big leap in your growth and development.

Those compliments might not come today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But look at those around you – the great people you have chosen to surround yourself with – and you’ll see that they are waiting to give you that push. They are waiting for you to make it happen.

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3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart




when your dreams are falling apart (1)

I truly believe that dreams must extend beyond wishes of self-improvement; that its goal should be to contribute to the world around you.

The heart is a fickle thing. Imagine how many amazing things wouldn’t have been accomplished if great minds simply stopped when they “didn’t feel like it”.

It’s human nature. I’m sure that during the course of over 300 bank rejections, Walt Disney had days when he felt like giving up. But he didn’t. He kept going. Why? It was because his dream went far beyond himself.

Here’s how YOU can keep going – even if it feels like your dreams are falling apart.


3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

1.) Remember The “Why”

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

Often times, I find that dreams extend far beyond the simple purpose of making one happy. For example, being a songwriter in and of itself does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Imagine if my life’s work was to write songs that no one would ever hear. That doesn’t elicit any feelings of happiness or fulfillment (at least to me).

Seeing and hearing the healing effects that come from the songs I create for others to hear? Now you’re talking. Healing and helping others is the part of my dream that keeps it alive. It gives me purpose in this world that goes far beyond myself and my skills.

I’m reminded of the character Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge’s goal in life was to have money – and lots of it. He set aside love and relationships for that dream. The result of this life goal was a lonely, cold, bitter old man.

I won’t ruin the whole story for the very few of you that may not have heard it. In the end, Scrooge discovered that what brought him fulfillment and happiness were community and generosity.

So what is the “why” to your dream? How is your dream going to affect those around you? Get beyond yourself. As many have said, YOU are your biggest obstacle to success.


2.) Take Off The Rose-Colored Glasses

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

You know what I’m talking about. The “I’m going to make it big” and “I’m going to famous/rich/etc.” I hate to take a pointy realistic needle to your big ideas, but I’m doing it out of love. Here it is:

Your dream isn’t going to look exactly how you pictured it.

Take a minute to take that one in. Still here? Yes. Alive? Yes. Not Bleeding? No? Hurt a bit?

It’s OK. I know. I’ve been there. Dreams are vulnerable. We spend countless hours imagining what it would be like and how we will get there. But the truth is, in my experience, they have never turned out exactly how I have imagined. Why? We live in a world of people and circumstances that we can’t control.

Here is where the “why” comes in. The beautiful thing is that your works are a direct result of your heart’s intention…and what you put out into the world never comes back void. Here’s an example:

As a singer-songwriter, the common idea of making it big for my line of work is to have a hit song or perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden (I’m more inclined towards Red Rock Amphitheatre, but you get the picture).

Let’s say that I work and strive tirelessly to do everything I need to do to reach that goal. I release a song, I tour around the US, develop a large following, get on the radio, etc. Along the way, I hear stories of how this song has impacted the people who have heard it. Stories describing how it brought healing, encouragement, and hope.

To go further, what if I never even make it that far? What if circumstances happen and I can’t tour? What if everything “falls apart”? What if I end up playing at open mics for the rest of my life? What if it doesn’t happen in the next year? Two years?

Does that change the fact that my song helped heal and open the heart of a broken and depressed Vietnam Vet? Or how it helped encourage an author to keep going and writing? Or how my song started a conversation on how to look past the labels overshadowing soldiers and their families?

It’s all about your perspective of success, my friend. To me, because my “why” and my heart’s intention are to help people, those stories above are my version of success. It’s what keeps me going. If I get to Madison Square Garden (or Red Rocks), well that’s just icing on top of the cake.

Keep going on your dream. Make a plan, and in the words of .38 Special, “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go.” Roll with the punches and understand that even greater things can come when things don’t go according to your plan.


3.) Make Your Dream Your Job

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

No, I don’t mean quit your job and have no income while you work on your dream. That’s an entirely different article (and completely up to you). I’m talking about treating your dream like it is your job.

For example, if you completely failed at a presentation at work, would you just quit and not go the next day? No! You have a livelihood and an expectation to show up. So why quit on your dream at the first sign of failure?

Treat your dream like your job. Make a plan, show up every day, and understand that it may take a while to see any results. I know many songwriters who wrote hundreds of songs before they wrote a hit. However, they never would have reached it if they didn’t take that first step, made a commitment, and wrote 100 songs first.

Dreams don’t just happen. They take work. So go get started!

My best advice under this theme is check out the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It is by far the best resource I have discovered in my journey of living out my dream.

Here’s the deal. With every goal that I have set and achieved, I never sat at the end and thought to myself, “man, look at what I did”. Believe it or not, I was more overwhelmed with the thoughts of the journey that I had to take to get there – the good and the bad.

I would admire and laugh at the unexpected things that came. I would smile and enjoy the character it built, the person that I became in the process. In the end, the best thing about dreams and goals isn’t their achievement, but the journey that you take to get there.

Never forget that the dream in your heart was put there for a reason. You were made to make an impact on this world.

Enjoy the journey and never, ever give up. Keep going.

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