“Find your passion.” “Do what you love.” “Follow your heart.”
We hear this advice from super-successful people in interviews and graduation speeches all the time. And even though it sounds very simple, it isn’t.
3 Ways To Know When You’ve Found Your Passion
We live in a world with limitless choices for what to do, where to go, and who to become—limitless choices for vocations that could be your passion. And we’re always under constant pressure from close family, friends, peers, and the world in general to make choices that conflict with what we really want for our lives.
Finding what you love is not easy to do.
It’s an uphill battle that most of us have not won yet. According to a recent Gallup poll, almost 70% of Americas are not working on vocations that engage them—the grand majority of us are not working on our passions.
Most people aren’t engaged by their careers because finding your passion is a tough process. But it’s not impossible.
Here’s 3 ways to know when you’ve truly connected to a vocation that you love—3 Ways To Know When You’ve Found Your Passion:
1.) If You Do It For Fulfillment—Not For The Money
To determine whether or not a particular craft, job, or vocation is your true passion, start by asking yourself: Why?
Why did I choose this specific career or vocation? Why did I decide to become a golfer, a skier, a cook, an investor, a runner, an engineer, a blogger, or an entrepreneur? Why did I get into this career-field in the first place? Why do I show up to work everyday?
To figure out if a particular craft is your passion or not, you firstly need to understand your reasons and justifications for jumping into that career. And secondly you need know your motivation for continuing to pursue what you’re doing on a daily basis.
For the grand majority of people, the answer at the top of their list of reasons is: Money. Most of us pick our majors in college and choose our career-tracks based on money-motivated reasons.
We live in a society and system that trains us go to school, earn good grades, graduate, earn enough money to live well, build up a pension or 401K, and eventually retire comfortably when you’re in your 60’s. The end-goal of this system is the accumulation of money.
And there’s nothing wrong with building your bank account.
But a life lived in the pursuit of wealth leaves no room for passion, love, or excitement for what you do. Because the craft that you love is never a career that you pursue purely for the sake of making money.
Passion is always a craft that you choose purely for the sake of doing it, for the fulfillment that comes over you when you’re working—simply because it makes you happy.
When you do find something—some hobby, activity, career, sport, job, or career—that you show up for day in and day out purely for the happiness that comes over you when you do it, then you will finally Know that You’ve Found Your Passion.
2.) Work Doesn’t Feel Like “Work” Anymore. Work Becomes Play
Here’s another key factor that separates passions from every other type of career: working on what you love never feels like “work.”
We live in a culture where almost all of us view our daily nine-to-five jobs as undesirable “work” that we’re forcing ourselves to show up for. We live in a Rat Race culture of constantly chasing after some distant goal off in the future—a goal that keeps getting farther and farther away and never comes true.
For some of us it’s happiness. For others it’s wealth. For others it’s power. For others it’s retirement. We’ve all got this Rat Race mentality of forcing ourselves to “work” for something that we don’t currently have.
“Work” has turned into this chore that we drag ourselves to show up for every weekday. When you get into that habit of dragging yourself into a career that doesn’t speak to who you are, you lose touch with that spark, excitement, and joy that makes you who you are.
But when you connect with your true passion, you’ll never lose touch with that spark and childlike excitement that makes you, you. When you find your passion, Work Doesn’t Feel Like “Work” Anymore. You don’t have to drag yourself out of bed every morning. You stop hating Mondays. And in fact, you even get excited to jump out of bed and show up to your job every morning because you love it that much.
When you no longer have to hit the snooze button on your alarm clock because you can’t contain your excitement to get started with your work for your day, you can be sure that what you’re doing is your true passion.
3.) Your Craft Doesn’t Drain Your Energy. It Feeds Your Spirit
Do you often feel cranky, agitated, upset, tense, wound up, or stressed out when you get off from work on weeknights? Do you usually need to do or drink something to ease off the tensions of your workday? When you leave the office to head home for the night, do you just collapse on your couch because you have no energy left for anything else?
If you answered yes to the three questions above, then you’re in a career that’s draining your energy.
But it’s nothing to feel bad about. As I pointed out earlier, almost 70% of American workers are not engaged by their work. Almost all of us are doing careers that drain our energy and leave us feeling lethargic, tired, wound up, tense, and worn out by the end of the workday.
Here’s the thing about finding your passion: Doing what you love never Drains Your Energy. It Feeds Your Spirit.
You’ll know when you find your passion because working on something you love will never leave you feeling stressed, anxious, tired, worn out, or wound up at the end of your day. In fact, it will do the exact opposite.
Working on that craft that you love will always feed your spirit, confidence, happiness, motivation, optimism, and soul. Your passion will always leave you feeling happier, healthier, and more upbeat than when you showed up.
When you find a craft that fits these three criteria—when you do it because it makes you happy, when work doesn’t feel like “work” to you anymore, and when your vocation feeds your spirit—you’re going to step into a type of fulfillment, success, and aliveness that most of us haven’t found yet.
If you haven’t found yours yet, pay heed to the wise words of the legendary Steve Jobs:
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” –Steve Jobs