This post was originally published on Medium by SingularityU community member Ana Sofia sh (Sofi).
It’s during teenage years when people normally question what their purpose in life is and what they’re passionate about. Don’t worry if you’re an adult and you haven’t found your passion yet. Sometimes, circumstances don’t allow us to fully chase our dreams. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we will never be able to do so.
So how exactly do I find my passion? Well, as many things in life, there’s no “how exactly”, but there are some tips or steps that could help us. That is what this article is about.
Engage yourself into a variety of skill-based activities
— John Fish
You now know that the trick is finding your passion because that will give you purpose, and when you have a purpose you are inspired, make a plan, execute it, probably fail but try again, make it through the difficult times until that cycle becomes easy. Here are some recommendations when trying to find your passion.
The first piece of advice that I would give to you is: don’t follow the trends. Most of the time, these will be imposed by your peers who are also trying to figure things out and can follow the career that sounds better to them.
I’ve literally known classmates who pursue a career in nanotechnology because it sounds trendy, it sounds modern and cool. But if you’re really willing to do what you love and love what you do, this probably won’t help.
Here’s a better recommendation: if you are going to follow a trend, make sure that it’s something that’s going to grow greatly over the next 10 to 20 years.
This is the kind of trend you do want to pay attention to. Even if you have a little experience with nanotech just because it sounds amazing, then give it a try, because right on it’s on its baby stage, but experts know that it’s going to be an important part of our daily lives soon.
You probably don’t know what you like, and that’s pretty okay. But do something about it. There are millions of resources online that you can have free access to, so make the most out of them.
Try what you feel like doing and if you’re just experimenting, ignore the first advice and do what sounds more interesting to you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re going to become a chef, a programmer or a guitar player.
It doesn’t matter because in the end, if you don’t end up dedicating your life to that, but you enjoy it, then you’ll probably find out that it’s your favorite hobby.
If you don’t know yet what you want to do for the rest or most of your life, then start experimenting with different activities now. Because your future self knows how much it will take until you find something that you really like.
Now, if you are a hurry because you’re close to that day in which you “should” become an independent person, I’d tell you: don’t worry that much. Discovering what you like and what you’re good at doesn’t end when you’re 18.
If you get a job at a grocery store because you already need to start making money, you’ll maybe find out that you like this kind of business and want to start your own store, or create a better system to buy stuff online, or you find out that working at that grocery store is what makes you the happiest and you’ve found your passion.
Sometimes you’ll find that many things make you happy and there are several goals that you want to achieve in life. What if you’ve always dreamed of becoming a millionaire but you also want to work as an activist? How do you join all your goals in one?
The truth is that I don’t have much experience in coaching people but what I think is the answer is intersections. In my case, I don’t have so many good ideas that involve biotech but I’m kind of good at acquiring that kind of knowledge. On the other hand, I really struggle when learning how to code, but ideas flow uncontrollably when talking about tech.
So, find those two or more things that you’re passionate about, and become crazy enough to join them in your life. If you’re good at selling stuff but you’re also in love with teaching math, you don’t have to sell a maths book.
Although that could be an option, you can also do both in separate ways. The key to this (I believe) is differentiating between passive and active activities. In the scenario where you like selling and teaching, you could easily sell lamps on Amazon and be a physics teacher. As you may see, the internet can be a great ally when doing passive activities that bring incomes to you.
It can happen that you’re feeling high in the clouds but after doing that activity for a while, probably months or even years, you discover that what you’re doing is not what you love.
Then how do you avoid being one of those people who spend years working somewhere and then discover they hate for someone they hate and end up hating their everyday lives?
Well, if there’s a secret or a really good piece of advice for this, I don’t know it yet. However, what I’d suggest to you, and myself in the future is to follow the steps above. And if after some time you discover that you really don’t like what you’re doing, evaluate what it is that you don’t like. Asking yourself questions like these can maybe help…
2. Would I like to earn more money and I’m not?
3. Do I feel like I’m wasting my time because I don’t see results yet?
4. Is this taking too much time away from my personal life?
Having identified the problems (numbers and words in bold), you can probably have a clearer idea of what is making you feel like you’re no longer following your passion. The bullet points, are other questions that can lead you to strategies to improve the situation.
Overall, while asking yourself these and other questions, you want to take into account the variables that you have control over and the ones you don’t. This is, can you do something about it or is it an external factor?
If after doing this personal analysis you conclude that the problem isn’t related to something you can somehow fix, then the “problem” could be that you simply don’t like that profession anymore.
In that case, the question should be: is there something else that’s gaining my interest more? What is it?
You’ve probably heard this or a similar phrase before. Well, it’s true and it also applies to your quest. Finding something you’re passionate about isn’t always the end. The world keeps on moving and we will constantly need to adapt to change. Change can occur within you, or in the environment that surrounds you.
So, keep on learning from other people, discover new skills, develop that project that you think is a brilliant idea but you’ve never dared to pursue.
Then when you are happy, and then frustrated but deal with that problem and learn from it, and you are happy again and manage to do this while embracing the struggle, you’ve probably found your passion.
It probably means that you’ve woken up with purpose for days, you’ve been having a burning desire to accomplish that goal, you’ve made a definite plan, followed it and you’ve finally made it to your temporary, but glorious finish line.
Is it okay to find my passion at an early age? It’s perfectly fine to be born knowing it
Is it okay to find my passion when I’m older? Some people never do. Whenever that happens, it will be a day to remember
What do I do after finding my passion? Pursue it!
Hey! My name is Sofia, a 16-year-old girl who’s extremely passionate about gene editing, human longevity and innovation itself 🤩. My first contact with biotech was a few months ago thanks to a YouTube video. Today, I’m working to learn a lot about biotech and soon 🚀 start a company to cure human diseases using cutting-edge technology such as CRISPR 🧬. I love writing articles about biotech and sometimes about random but worth-reading topics. Twitter | LinkedIn | Website