Identify your Passions with 3 questions
Are you having a hard time figuring out what your passion is? Oftentimes when we are in a routine, we can get into an autopilot mode and become numb for certain things.
In this article and video below I share 3 questions for you to figure out what you enjoy and could turn into your passion!
You can follow along with a free downloadable PDF:
And a bonus, at the end of this article and video (above), you'll find one of my tricks that help me turn my desires into action.
Question 1: What did you love doing as a child/teenager?
This may be an obvious one but when was the last time you actively thought of it? When we are children we are not yet limited by rules imposed by society, our parents or even our own experience, so we naturally navigate to what interests us without any judgement. This is why what brings you most fun is likely to be what you did as a child.
Since I can remember, I loved drawing and sewing as a child. The pencil came first but I remember also sewing duvets for my dolls and later bags from old jeans. At the age of 9, I won 2nd place at a National Art competition in Panama where students from all schools competed. From then on, my art teacher loved me for the rest of my time in the school!
In Panamanian school, there was also a lot of focus on traditional crafts and in German school, I did wood work and technical drawing which I loved. At the age of 14, I got my first sewing machine and I remember being subscribed to an art magazine that had tutorials and homework on a monthly basis. And a friend of my mom’s who was an amazing Brazilian artist taught me many of the basics as we’d listen to Bossa Nova (which I recently realised that subconsciously I love hearing when I create art!).
Question 2: What is the coolest thing you could do with your life?
Most likely, you already know in your gut feeling what you love but you hold back due to fear of failure, being judged or not believing you got what it takes. In other words, you are giving up before even give it a try.
Think about the last time, you saw something that you thought was so cool and wished you could do. This can be anything that you are curious about, something you haven’t tried out yet, something you admire or something someone you admire does.
I recently started enjoying all these fun dance trends, like the Anime Toca Toca, Flower dance, Shakira’s Te Felicito, Ting Ting Dance and so many more. But I felt I was too old for them, not fit enough and way too shy to show myself dancing in a video.
However, I noticed how they were bringing me so much joy, almost child-like level of fun, so I signed up for an Afro Beats dance class. After teaching the steps, they ask the group to make a circle so that each of us would dance alone in the centre. I was mortified and embarrassed but I did it anyway, the group was so supportive and many others felt just like me. So overall had a blast, my confidence grew by a tiny bit and it reminded my how much dancing makes me feel alive!
Question 3: How does your 80s birthday look like?
This was an exercise that I did with one of my managers in Google as we were discussing my career but I use this tool to help me with my life as a whole. Now let’s imagine it is your 80s birthday. What would this look like? Who is there celebrating you? How are you celebrating? Who are you then and what are you known or loved for?
With this question you are forced to visualise what your life goals and deepest desires are long term. There is no right or wrong, only you know what your best life looks like. This makes it easier to then determine what steps to take today to get there.
It might sound morbid but I believe it is important to remember that we are not here forever and at some point for this life our time will be up. Do you really want to miss out just cause you’re a bit embarrassed or afraid of other’s opinions or whatever it is that is holding you back?
Bonus: From inertia to action
Now it’s time to share one of my tricks I use to turn my desires into action. I have used this trick for big life decisions such as career changes and even relationships, although not exclusively. Change can be tough and many of us stay in inertia because we either don’t want to make the tough decision or change which requires effort.
What I do is to imagine what my life would look like in 20 years from now if I were to change nothing in my life. Of course we cannot determine what the future holds, but just imagine what you are doing today, and doing that for another 20 years. How does that look like for you? How does it feel?
This exercise often resulted for me in panic realising all the things I didn’t like in my life and at the same time it became a great motivator to making changes.
I hope these questions and exercise have helped you get just that bit closer to identifying what makes you happy and can be your passion. For more content on fearless creativity, follow me on Youtube!