When I was lost in the sea of “what to do with my life”, every time some guru/ genius would say “Just Follow your passion” I wanted to take a butter-knife and stick it in my eye.
Pretty graphic right?
“Just follow your passion” is the fast food of life advice, it’s quick, its easy but it doesn’t break down and give your body any nutritional value.
Sure, it’ll feed you, but you’ll be regretting ordering when you’re stuck on a toilet taking a massive, toilet rattling shit.
I have often struggled with pinpointing what I want to do with my life. I was the kid who’s addicted to soda and found my way to a grocery store filled with every soda in the world.
With so many options, I was frozen with choice and feeling that if I took one step I would be turning my back on the rest. I was stuck, I was frustrated and I was confused.
I didn’t need to know what my passion was, what I needed was some clarity as to who I am as a person.
I accomplished this with questions.
Below are the questions I asked myself that I attribute to my clarity. I hope this helps you as it has helped me.
Who Do you Admire & Why? Then Write Down the Similarities.
We all like someone. We all admire someone. We would all trade places with someone. Who are these people and why do you like them? Maybe they’re all creators. Maybe they’re all funny. Maybe you like their social impact. Whatever it is, try to find a theme in the people you admire. This should add clarity as to qualities you like in people and what you would like for yourself.
What are you most proud of?
Was is that killer burrito you made? The one with the habaneros? The one that felt like you were shitting fire? The one where you needed to call the plumber and the bastard charged you 500 dollars. IS that you or is that me. Perhaps it was a garden you started. Maybe it was how you helped your little sister with her homework or taught the new guy a skill at work. Whatever it is, simply know that everyone is proud of something and the pride you felt was you feeling accomplished. The truth is, whatever made you feel proud doesn’t need to be big or world changing but it needs to be something that brought you joy no matter how small. This is a great insight into yourself.
What do you do in your free time?
Aside from taking dumps, watching Netflix and persuading people you have the funniest cat in universe, in-no-particular-order, mind you, you likely spend your free time doing something. What is that thing? Write it down. If money wasn’t an issue, write down what you would do in your free time. This should tell you what you gravitate towards.
What don’t you want to do?
It can be hard to figure out what you want to do, but it isn’t hard to figure out what you don’t want to do. You know the jobs that would make you want to scream? The jobs that you absolutely dread the thought of doing? It might be a good idea to avoid those. Whatever you don’t want to do, write it down. Eliminating options will automatically give you more clarity.
What are you curious about?
For whatever strange reason people dry off curiosity from their body, like a swimmer using a towel after a race. Fuck that, stay curious. What are you curious about? What are you interested in learning about? What can you lose time researching? This is a gateway to your interest my friends.
What would make you so fucking proud, that thinking about it almost scares you?
Oh yes, the big dreams. What are they? What is something that you could accomplish that would make you beam with a smile? What are the dreams that you’re afraid to admit? The ones you don’t admit out loud because you think they’re unrealistic. Newsflash, if someone accomplished something without having a superpower, you can too. In a year from now, if everything went well and you were extremely happy, what would have needed to happen to put a smile on your face? This will help with clarity big time.
What’s a common characteristic in the friends you make?
This was shocking for me, because it was clear as day that all my true friends have the same theme in common; they’re funny. This little question will show you what environment you like to surround yourself with.
What activities make you lose track of time?
Imagine this, you’re working on a project when you look down and suddenly you’re two hours in the future. You’re shocked. “Where did the time go?” you ask yourself as you force yourself to go eat dinner because you skipped it as you were lost in the activity.(Kind of like what happened to me writing this) Those activities you loose your time in are generally the ones you love and should be noted.
If money and fame didn’t matter, and you had all your needs met, what would you do?
I’m assuming you want to be rich and famous. Who doesn’t want that? Welcome to planet earth. Now do me a favor and forget about this. What would you do if you didn’t need the money, and you were already famous? This should be something that you would do because it makes you happy. Whatever this is, write it down.
Fuck qualifications, what jobs would you apply to?
Have ever been looking for a job and you saw a job you were excited for? Yeah? That’s a pretty damn good indication of what you would like to be doing. What are the jobs that would make you jump for joy if you landed them? Note that, and write it down.
Put it all Together
So now that you’ve spent this time analyzing yourself, what did you come up with? Are you noticing a theme? Good. My friends, you’re on your way. The more questions you ask yourself, the more you’ll know yourself.
Please like comment, share and tell me what you think. What are you passionate about? What questions helped you? What questions am I missing?
29 thoughts on “10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help you Find Your Passion / Career.”
I actually really liked your questions. Thought-provoking, for sure. For me, I am a passionate person all around so that’s a tough one. I’m passionate about efficiency as it relates to time and energy. Meaning, I don’t like wasting time, wasting energy, wasting resources, wasting water, wasting money, just… waste. So that is a big reason I am a crunchy neo-hippie. I’m passionate about love and art. I am passionate about nature and groundedness and mindfulness…. perhaps this is why I am so at peace when I am outside in contemplation. Thanks for the post, Tony. Definitely have my mind working.
That’s so great! Well it’s good to know what you’re passionate about so you know the world you want to be in! I could certainly be more efficient.
Damn, you’re good!
I loved the scenario in the beginning. So graphical, for sure. 🤭 But so true. I hear you! Same here. ✌🏻
You’ve brought great questions I never considered, to be honest. But I am lucky to have an incredible soul mentor from South Africa. Weird, considering that I’m from Romania? Maybe. But it worked very well for me, so far. She manages to always keep me on track and “forces” me to acknowledge my self-worth. Periodically, she makes me look back at where I was a few months or years ago and understand how far I’ve come.
As for how to find your passion… Only by doing. I started writing after reading a book and sending a few self-written lines to a workmate. He was impressed, so he asked if I ever thought about going for writing. That’s all it took. I didn’t believe I can put up something interesting, but I kept on doing it. And today I realize what a therapeutic effect had on me. To my huge surprise, people also enjoy my writing.
Besides writing, the same happened for website building and video creation and editing (what can I say? I’m a polymath 😂). This time, without anyone asking me anything. Curiosity and my hunger to learn kills me. 🤣
There’s an expression I enjoy: get your hands dirty. 😉 That’s the best way to learn who you really are, what you love and what you hate.
But, again, I love your questions and I’ll make sure I reflect on them. ☺
Much gratitude for this post!
You’re so right! You only learn by doing and getting your hands dirty! Video production and editing is fun – it’s just like writing. It’s one of my hobbies too!
But yeah I’ve always struggled with what do I really want to do, because it’s hard to balance money and happiness. But I think for me I just want to entertain and help people through my work weather it be in person or writing, I just want to leave the world slightly better
Career and those kinds of things are all behind me now. I changed majors in college because I knew I would not make the cut. I returned to military service after swearing I would never do that again, later realizing that I enjoyed it (my tribe). I did a lot of what I did for money and security. Retired now with enough of both (wish health was better), I can do what I enjoy, play with my identity, and not care about a lot of those things you mention, but I did for years. Long run advise from an old man, keep the long run in sight, plan and try things. We need two things, enough money and good health. We cannot have too much of either if we’re gunna have too much fun in life.
I appreciate the advice and the service my friend!
Your questions are right on target (and this compliment is a no-shitter.)
That’s a compliment I won’t flush!
Great questions, Tony. My personal fav is bout qualifications. People always say I haven’t the education for that. My personal opinion is if you can read, you can reinvent yourself. I worked for a boss who always said that every job he’s been hired to do, he wasn’t qualified for when he got hired.
I completely agree! If you can read, if you can work, if you can be disciplined, the world is yours!
The perspective of starting with self awareness (seeking answers within) is great advice for finding fulfillment in career and life.
As someone midlife, I observe that many people define their worth by their work, and find themselves upended when that changes unexpectedly. Learning to learn (staying curious), being adaptable and positive despite setbacks, and challenging oneself are evergreen wisdom when it comes to staying engaged in work. My worst case scenario is being bored. I am a terrible mischievous disruptor when that happens (on my 3rd career now!)
These are great, clarifying questions. Passion? If I followed my passion, I’d be.
No. Not going there.
I want to add something. I’m sixty-three, so I get to do this. I want to add: Keep Going. Start, keep going, go until you finish. Go like you brush your teeth, without questioning why you do this, or making up some BS about Hillary putting fluoride in the water, and keep going until you FINISH.
If you do this, you’ll break through any low-grade boredom, which doesn’t matter, but you’ll soon know if you cannot stand what you’re doing, which does matter. Keep going, finish and you will already be an ultra-achiever and proud, because 99.9% of people never start and never finish.
Yes, I just made that statistic up.
Keep up the bologna. Err, bro.
Love it man’ I’m going to keep going!
These are all great questions. I have a huge problem with the ‘follow your passion’ trope, too. Except, for me, the reason is because I don’t have a passion anymore. Hell, I don’t have dreams anymore. I have spent the past 25 years broke. Broke to the point of food pantries and living off the kindness of others. I’ve also had to move a lot and take care of and raise two kids, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. My focus has been on the here and now and not in a good, freeing way either. My here and now consists of do we have money for groceries? How much? Can we make rent this month? Am I going to have to rob Peter (the electricity company) to pay Paul (water/trash) yet again? How many co-pays this month? Can I get my prescriptions filled or does it all go for the kids again? What do you mean we have to move again?
So, yeah. I have no idea what what even brings me joy anymore much less what my passions are. Simply put: there just isn’t any anymore. Anyone have any suggestions?
It’s hard to dream when you’re focused on surviving – maybe find a way to make money from home, or find a way to get into sales where – praying for you
Nikki I have an idea and you are going to think I’m absolutely crazy for saying this but write a book, then start a YouTube channel a few minutes a day everyday take time out to make a raw, real video talking about your life. The stories I love reading the most aren’t the cookie cutter, white picked fenced once’s they are the raw, real ones, the stories that broke you, changed you. Just from what you wrote I would absolutely love to hear more. I’m thinking of you, I’m sending love
Perfect. This is a list that I will bookmark. Good one, Tony!
So glad you liked it
Tony I have to agree with you in your opening comments about following your passion. That line is utter BS! Don’t follow your passion. Bring it with you to whatever you do. If you choose to clean porta-johns be the best damn porta-john cleaner out there. Apply that to all things. When you bring your passion with you’ll find satisfaction in whatever you choose. Thanks for a great post.
Beautiful post…so helpful questions to find the right path! Keep going.
Pls check my new blog post
Thank u so much
So glad you enjoyed it! I checked out your post, congrats on making the change you needed!
Dude, this was great! Your first question was the one that made me realise what I wanted to do. Who are the people I look at and feel a stab of envy? Whose success do I compare mine to? And why the hell aren’t I going after that? ☺️
So glad you found these helpful! Yeah once I figured out who I envied my path was more clear
So right on point here! Thank you for sharing this with us, Tony.
Wow. This is really cool. I’m sending a link to a dear friend who has been wondering what in the world she wants to do for some time now. She feels floaty and odd and keeps waiting for an answer to come to her. She also loves journaling and Your ideas are such a great tool for discovering One’s self. Smiling huge and copying link! Thank You and Cheers!!! 🙂
I’m so happy you enjoyed this and are sharing!
Scrolling through these and I find that many of your questions are helpful in that they assist me in finding the deeper meaning behind what I write, why I write, and how I choose to express myself. 😊 thanks
So happy you found this helpful