Louise Thompson: Passion seeking
Some people are born knowing exactly what they want to do. Where they fit in the world. You can see it from an early age; their passion to be a dancer, a geologist, a hairdresser or arborist — or whatever it might be.
The kid who is obsessed with rocks or climbing trees, nature, dancing, helping people, baking . . . you can see how their passion evolves and blossoms into adulthood. They always knew what they wanted to do and who they wanted to be. Never doubted it for a second! It’s like they were born with a GPS lock on their passion from the moment they entered the world.
Not everyone is that lucky. Some of us take a lifetime to find our passion, if we find it at all. We can get locked into something like a set of golden handcuffs where we are too senior in our career or we have waited too long or are too invested financially to feel we can switch.
And if we are not 100 per cent sure about what we want to switch to, then all seems too big a risk. At worst we can end up living what Henry David Thoreau eloquently described as “the mass of men leading lives of quiet desperation”.
So, if you are feeling stuck in a rut and want to find your passion but you don’t know where it’s hiding then you are absolutely not alone. You are probably missing one or more of these key passion-seeking strategies to start homing in on it.
You have given up?
A really common query is “Does everyone have a passion? Maybe I just don’t have one?” which is a good question, a sad statement and also a fantastic indicator that the person has pretty much given up hope of finding what lights them up. The answer is, yes, everyone does have a sweet spot of passion where they will feel their most connected, challenged, of service, energised and alive. Absolutely.
We can get very disconnected from it for many reasons. We can believe deep down that we are not talented enough at whatever it may be. Or that no one makes money from their passion. Or that we don’t deserve it. Or that we will never figure it out. Or that we would lose our status or security. And so we give up on the desire to discover and connect with our passion. We logic ourselves into surrender, and submit to the status quo.
Relinquishing our curiosity and our belief that we have a passion is the number one reason people don’t find it. If you stop looking it’s so much harder to find. When we reconnect with the fact that having a passion is a quality all human beings are built with, we can start moving forward.
Some of us just have our passions buried a little deeper under years of social conditioning. Once we start to move past what limits us and become curious and hopeful about finding what truly lightsus up we will, to quote Thoreau again, “advance confidently in the direction of our dreams” and light bulbs we never expected will start to light the way.
So don’t give up. A whole series of strategies for you frustrated passion-seekers is coming up over the next few weeks.
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing