10 Simple Actions to Uncover Your Life Passion | The BridgeMaker

10 Simple Actions to Uncover Your Life Passion

By on Oct 18, 2012


Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion. – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

You’ve probably been asked this question before – “If you could do anything with your life you dreamed of doing, what would it be?”

Within seconds of formulating this dream life in your mind and speaking it, all of the reasons why you can’t have it come crashing down on you.

It’s too late.

I’m too old.

I can’t afford it.

It’s not realistic.

I might fail.

My family won’t support it.

My parents will be angry.

I can’t pull it off.

Eventually these negative voices win the mental battle, and you tuck that dream back into the recesses of your brain. Meanwhile, you continue a life of quiet desperation, going to a job you don’t like, coming home to a few hours of television, before going to bed only to get up and do it all over again day after day.

Maybe your life is a bit better than that, but are you living the life of your dreams? Are you waking up every day with enthusiasm, joy, and the sense of being fully engaged in what you are doing?

You may not believe it’s possible, but look around you at all the people who are living passionate lives. Regular people, just like you, have found a way to craft their lives around their dreams.

It is possible to uncover your life passion and find a way to make it happen in your life. I’ve seen it with hundreds of my coaching clients, and I’ve experienced it in my own life.

If this intrigues you, there are a few simple things you can do right now to get started with the process of uncovering and living your life passion.

  1. Attitude
    Begin by believing that a passionate life is possible for you. Start with a blank slate, with no preconceived notions. Don’t buy in to the lies or myths you may have heard about finding your passion. Envision that your new life already exists, just waiting for you to arrive.
  2. Time
    The journey of uncovering your life passion and then creating the steps to live it takes time. It involves self-discovery work, addressing roadblocks, research, experimentation, and planning. Give yourself the gift of an hour or two a week to pursue this life-changing work.
  3. Space
    Our lives are so cluttered and over-scheduled that trying to fit in a passion pursuit feels like “one more thing we have to do.” Take action to simplify your life by letting go of unnecessary tasks and time-fillers. Clear the physical clutter from your life that drains emotional energy.
  4. Emotions
    If you are coping with difficult emotions like depression, anxiety, anger, or low self-esteem, you need to heal these before you begin your life passion work. Get support from a doctor or helping professional to address and treat the root cause of your feelings so you have the emotional energy to devote to creating a new life.
  5. Values
    Start with the big picture first to determine what is most important in your life. Define 5 core values for yourself that are non-negotiable. How is your current life out-of-alignment with these values?
  6. 6. Vision
    Now that you are clear on your core values, begin to craft a vision for your life for the next few years. Look at all of the areas of your life and write out an ideal picture of what you want those areas to look like. Be sure you create your vision around your core values.
  7. 7. Self-Discovery
    Start learning even more about yourself by exploring your personality, aptitudes, and skills. Go online to take one of the many free personality, career, and skills assessments. Review your results and research information on your personality type. Make notes about what resonates with you.
  8. Experiences
    Reflect on times in the past when you were doing something that was totally fun and engaging. Think about situations when you were “in the flow” — when you lost track of time because you were so absorbed in what you were doing. Make notes about these times. There are clues here to your life passion.
  9. Feedback
    Ask friends and family how they perceive you and what they see as your greatest strengths and natural abilities. The people closest to us often see things that we can’t perceive about ourselves.
  10. Research
    As you get inklings and clues about what your life passion might be, begin researching the topic and other people who have successfully lived this passion. Learn as much as you can about your interest to gather ideas and inspiration.

Uncovering your life passion is a process of introspection, detective work, and experimentation. But the process itself can be fun and enlightening. You will learn so much about yourself and gain clarity on your priorities and deepest desires. Once you gain this clarity, you will never be able to settle for a life of quiet desperation. You will have begun your life passion journey, firmly on the path to the life you once dreamed of living.

Barrie Davenport is a life passion coach, author, and founder of BarrieDavenport.com, a site devoted to helping people uncover and live their life passions. She is the author of The 52-Week Life Passion Project. You can follow Barrie on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Carmelo

    Your conclusions says the most (for me.) Self awareness from constant observation is so powerful. As long as you don’t follow it up with judgment!

    My changes occurred (and continue to occur) as a result of knowing myself better. Then the inspiration and motivation simply come on their own. It’s like I’m shedding layers and layers of clothing (restrictions) that have bound me and limited my movement.

    Thanks, Barrie!

    PS. I noticed your coming Passion Project book! Signed up. 😉

    • Hi Carmelo,
      Yes, inspiration and motivation do come on their own when you get clear about who you are and what you want in life. So glad you are shedding! 🙂 And glad you signed up for the book. Thank you!

  • abhay

    How do I motivate myself?
    To do all the things I want to do and to avoid all that I don’t want to do..to stop smoking, stop worrying, fretting, getting depressed?
    To start exercising, to start doing what I love, to develop conviction about my way of going about my life?
    What I want is constant motivation and conviction? How do I achieve that?

    • Hi Abhay,
      Rather than trying to motivate yourself, just start taking small actions in the direction of one of your goals. Maybe start with exercise, as that tends to make you feel better physically and mentally. Pick one small thing related to the type of exercise you want to pursue. Let’s say it’s running — so begin the first week by taking five minutes total to devote to running. You put on your running clothes (which might take 2 minutes) and then run in place or outside for 3 minutes. The next week increase it to 7 minutes, then the next to 10 minutes. Take your time building up the time commitment and training yourself to get in the habit of exercising. Do it at the same time each day if possible and do it immediately after something you do regularly, like brushing your teeth. This is a trigger to remind you. Before long, as you establish this habit, you will feel more motivated. Once you have this habit established, move on to your next goal. But give yourself plenty of time with each one. 2-3 months.

      • abhay

        Dear Barrie,
        Thanks for your reply. Really appreciate it. I guess what you want to say is that Motivation follows Action, not the other way round. I think it is a good attitude, which can definitely show results.
        Let me tell you a little about me (hope I don’t bore you). I am a 27-year old man from India. I have seen and suffered many a changes in my life. 8 years ago, I was a pursuing a program in dentistry (equivalent to DDS in the US). I had actually wanted to be a doctor instead of a dentist, but unfortunately it could not happen due to the intense competition in India for such professional courses. I was not very good at all the fine dental prcedures, and as a result I got extremely demotivated and depressed. Unsurprisingly I flunked all the courses in second year. In the same year I lost my father to cancer after an extruciating battle. Being the only male member in my family, all the family responsiblity came onto my shoulders. Eventually I quit that dentistry program, and became a Management Accountant. As a result, I lost almost 5 years.
        I became totally isolated and cut off from all my friends. I became “friendless”, and lonely. Meanwhile I got engaged. My fiancee is sweet and loves me very much. But maybe I expected too much out of her. I expected her to be my strength and my support pillar. I expected her to appreciate that I am different from other people and have different needs. But maybe she does not have that much maturity level or deep thinking. At the same time, her obsession with calls, texting and romantic chats really annoyed me. This mismatch of expectations caused numerous fights and extreme grief for me and her. This has been going on for the past 2 years, and now I feel that all my energy, passion and motivation has been drained out. There is a feeling of having missed out on many a good things and opportunities in my life due to all this. Nothing seems to work. To cope with all this stress I became hooked to smoking, and cannot get off it. Now my fiancee is also dejected and very sad.
        I feel that I am just dragging myself through life, day in and day out. Nothing seems to work. Obviously this is a very very bad feeling, and I cannot continue to live in this manner. I am getting married next month. Please tell me what should I do to make everything nice.

      • abhay

        Dear Barrie,
        Thanks for your reply. Really appreciate it. I guess
        what you want to say is that Motivation follows Action, not the other
        way round. I think it is a good attitude, which can definitely show
        results.
        Let me tell you a little about me (hope I don’t bore you). I
        am a 27-year old man from India. I have seen and suffered many a
        changes in my life. 8 years ago, I was a pursuing a program in dentistry
        (equivalent to DDS in the US). I had actually wanted to be a doctor
        instead of a dentist, but unfortunately it could not happen due to the
        intense competition in India for such professional courses. I was not
        very good at all the fine dental prcedures, and as a result I got
        extremely demotivated and depressed. Unsurprisingly I flunked all the
        courses in second year. In the same year I lost my father to cancer
        after an extruciating battle. Being the only male member in my family,
        all the family responsiblity came onto my shoulders. Eventually I quit
        that dentistry program, and became a Management Accountant. As a result, I lost almost 5 years.
        I
        became totally isolated and cut off from all my friends. I became
        “friendless”, and lonely. Meanwhile I got engaged. My fiancee is sweet
        and loves me very much. But maybe I expected too much out of her. I
        expected her to be my strength and my support pillar. I expected her to
        appreciate that I am different from other people and have different
        needs. But maybe she does not have that much maturity level or deep
        thinking. At the same time, her obsession with calls, texting and
        romantic chats really annoyed me. This mismatch of expectations caused
        numerous fights and extreme grief for me and her. This has been going on
        for the past 2 years, and now I feel that all my energy, passion and
        motivation has been drained out. There is a feeling of having missed out
        on many a good things and opportunities in my life due to all this.
        Nothing seems to work. To cope with all this stress I became hooked to
        smoking, and cannot get off it. Now my fiancee is also dejected and very
        sad.
        I feel that I am just dragging myself through life, day in and
        day out. Nothing seems to work. Obviously this is a very very bad
        feeling, and I cannot continue to live in this manner. I am getting
        married next month. Please tell me what should I do to make everything
        nice.

        • Dear Abhay,
          I don’t know that I can give you one answer on how to make everything nice. I am so sorry for the grief and difficulties you’ve experienced over the last few years. The one thing I can suggest is that you focus your energy on the positive things you have around you. The first would be your relationship. Before you get married, perhaps you and your fiance could go to couple’s counseling. Or if you can’t afford that, I highly recommend the book called The Five Love Languages. Maybe you can both read that together and make creating a loving and harmonious relationship be your main priority. Also, your health is so important, and I’m sure you know that smoking is harmful. You might want to read this article by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. He has changed so many habits in his life including quitting smoking: http://zenhabits.net/10-tips-for-quitting-smoking/
          Also Abhay, be sure you know the signs of clinical depression. If you are sad all of the time and so unmotivated that you can’t get anything done, you should visit your doctor to talk about treating depression. If left untreated it will only get worse. Make your main goal to take care of yourself — your body and mind — so you have the energy to be a good husband and to be motivated in life. My thoughts are with you.