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We all want to find our passion. Everyone wants to find their passion, but it feels so overwhelming.

There are so many possibilities in front of us and there are so many things that we could do. There are numerous things that we’re good at!

It feels like we have 360 degrees of options around us. We could go in any direction, but we don’t know the right direction to go.

We don’t know the thing that will truly fulfill us and we’re stuck wondering how to find our passion.

The fear is that we’ll pick the wrong thing and find out we don’t really enjoy doing it. We think if we pick the wrong direction, we’ll end up somewhere we don’t want to be.

Deciding where to start is the enemy of starting.

There’s so many people sitting there making no progress and going in no direction, because they’re paralyzed.

They fear that they’re going to head in the wrong direction because they picture it as a circle with 360 degrees of options. They could go in any direction, which means they could also go in the wrong direction.

I would encourage you to reset your mental picture of the possibilities that you have in front of you.

sketchnote-brain-dump

Give Yourself Permission to Explore

Instead of thinking of it as 360 degrees of options, think of it as a starting line with all the arrows pointing forward.

Anything you could possibly choose is forward progress.

If you end up picking something, doing it, and finding out that you don’t like doing it, that’s progress!

That’s good news because everyone has all these ideas of things they could pursue or might be their passion, but you can never truly know until you do it.

The thing that you’re passionate about is something that you enjoy the act of doing. That means you need to have an exploratory phase.

Allow yourself to go into an exploratory phase and try it out, and see if you enjoy the act of doing it. Giving yourself permission to enter into an exploratory phase takes some of the pressure off.

Instead of thinking of it as, “This is the thing I’m going to do for the rest of my life, so I have to pick carefully. I have to pick the right one,” think of it as, “I’m just trying this out. I’m not treating this as a full-time job or something that has to turn into a serious hobby, I’m just exploring. I’m just trying things out. Maybe I like it, maybe I don’t.”

It’s progress if you find out you don’t like the act of doing something.

You can take that thing off your list because otherwise it’s taking up cognitive bandwidth, because it could always be that thing that maybe you should have pursued, but you don’t know if you actually don’t like it because you never try it.

You’re also going to learn things. You’re going to get skills from trying things out and those skills can be applied to the next thing you do.

Enjoy the Act of Doing

For most of us, the next thing you decide to pursue almost certainly isn’t the thing you’ll do for the rest of your life. That should be liberating and give you courage!

That should help you avoid being fearful, because it means the next thing you do doesn’t have to be what you’re going to pursue for the rest of your life. It takes a little bit of the pressure off.

Maybe it is what you do forever, but more than likely, that thing will take you closer to the next thing, and maybe the next thing takes you closer to what you end up doing, which fulfills you and have a passion for.

It all comes back to enjoying the act of doing what it is you want to do. If you enjoy something, then it’s your passion.

The idea of something can’t be a passion.

It has to be the fulfillment in the process, the work, and the act of doing.

Only then will you truly know that you’re passionate about something.

You have to get out of the idea stage into the execution stage. Take some pressure off of yourself. Don’t pick something that’s going to be what you do for the rest of your life.

Give yourself permission to enter into an exploratory phase where you try things out. That’s the only way you’re going to know—you have to like the act of doing it.

The only way to know whether you’re passionate about something is when you’re on the other side of resistance.