Sometimes, it may feel like you’re just bumping through life, aimlessly and without a purpose or a passion. People around you are so sure of what they’re going to do after school and with the rest of their lives.
It can be intimidating to know someone like that who seems like they have it all figured out when it feels like you haven’t. So, how do you know what you’re “supposed” to do with your life? How do you find out what your passion is?
1) Pleasure or pain – Humans move towards pleasure and away from pain. It’s what motivates us. Pay attention to what draws you in, those times in your life when you felt peak happiness. That’s pleasure. It could be when you finally pushed through something you thought was impossible. Maybe it’s the feeling of getting on an airplane. Use those moments of pleasure to help you figure what you really love and what excites you.
2) Experiences – It can be hard to know what your passion is if you don’t even know it exists yet. There’s a saying that goes, “If you want something you don’t have, you have do something you haven’t done”. Make it a goal to try out something new. Try a new food. See a different type of movie. Through these experiences, you’ll have more to learn about yourself and what really makes you happy.
3) Remember Your Passions –An old Buddhist thinking trick is not to try and solve a problem, but imagine you’re just trying to remember it. You’ll get out of the thinking of trying to find something that’s lost towards just remembering something you once knew. Everyone had something that they loved doing when they were 9 or 10. Before your friends, your parents, your teachers came along and told you what you should think; there was something that excited you in the past. Remember that passion.
The good news about this world is that there are careers and new jobs that never existed in the past. 10 years ago, no one grew up thinking they wanted to be a podcaster, a YouTuber or a social media manager. Your options are bigger than ever now.
When you figure out what excites you and draws you in, what experiences you loved and what you always remembered loving, you can create a career with those passions. University can give you new experiences and offer new learning that will give you more passions and experiences. Let those passions push you towards courses and studies that make you come alive. As Howard Thurman wrote, “The world needs more people who have come alive”.