August 6, 2015
HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR PASSION?
I often meet individuals who are desperately looking deep inside themselves to find something that will spark their passions. They miss the fact that, for most of us, our actions lead to our passions, not the other way around. Passion is not innate, but grows from your experiences. For example, if you never heard a violin, kicked a ball, or cracked an egg, you’d never know that you enjoy classical music, soccer, or cooking, respectively.
The first step toward developing a passion need not be glamorous. If you took a job as a waiter in a restaurant, for instance, you’d have the chance to interact with hundreds of people each day, to learn something new from each interaction, and to tap into that new knowledge to spark your passions.
For example, as a waiter you might discover the secrets to effective customer service and dive into learning how to help others improve their hospitality skills. You might become fascinated with the dietary requirements of some of your customers and decide to open a unique restaurant that addresses their needs. Or you discover that a customer has an illness and, after learning about her challenges, take on that cause.
Just as there are almost infinite passions you could develop, so too are there wide-ranging directions you could take your new passion once it grips you. If you decide to focus on customer service, for example, you might develop a guide for best practices in the hospitality industry, launch a consulting business, make a documentary, or launch a chain of restaurants. Without your initial experience as a waiter, you’d never have found this new calling. In each case, once you open the door to a particular destination, you reveal a set of paths that you probably didn’t know existed. In fact, before it’s your cause, it’s likely something about which you knew nothing.
Love at first sight is rare in most aspects of life. The more experience you have with a person, a profession, or a problem, the more passionate and engaged you become. Let’s take this comparison further: If you want to get married, the last thing you should do is sit alone, waiting for the phone to ring, or for Prince or Princess Charming to show up at your door. The best chance to find a compatible match is to meet lots of people. Your attitude (affection) follows your actions (dating), not the other way around. Yes, the dating process can be filled with false starts and disappointments, but you will never be successful unless you embrace the process of discovery.