If you’ve spent any time in the online sphere over the last few years, you’ve probably heard the rallying cry to follow your passion. While this cry comes from a well-meaning place, working in the personal development sphere as a life coach, I’ve also spoken to plenty of people who have heard this call, want to heed it, but are left with the big question: but what if I don’t know what my passion is?
For some people, picking something as “your passion” can feel like a lot of pressure.
First of all, passion is a big word and, while we might have several things we’re interested in pursuing further, it doesn’t ring true to say we’re passionate about them. We might also be aware that the thing we’re passionate about right now will probably change. We are constantly evolving and therefore so do our interests and priorities. Perhaps it doesn’t feel right to pick the one thing of things right now and close the door on everything else.
If these concerns resonate with you, I want to share a piece of brilliant advice from author Elizabeth Gilbert. She addresses this issue in her (also brilliant) book Big Magic:
“I am a big advocate for the pursuit of curiosity. You’ve maybe heard me talk about this before? We are constantly being told to pursue our passions in life, but there are times when passion is a TALL ORDER, and really hard to reach. In seasons of confusion, of loss, of boredom, of insecurity, of distraction, the idea of “passion” can feel completely inaccessible and impossible. In such times, you are lucky to be able to get your laundry done (that sometimes feels as high as you can aim) and when someone tells you to follow your passion, you want to give them the middle finger. (Go ahead and do it, by the way. But wait till their back is turned, out of civility.)
But curiosity, I have found, is always within reach.”
So if you’re not sure what it looks like to follow your passion?
Follow your curiosity instead.
Look for the things that speak to you in the everyday. Pursue your interests. Forget conventional wisdom and go where your attention draws you. There is no “right” way to do your most important work, so follow your own path and see where it leads…