How to Find Your Passion: 10 Helpful Tips to Try

You've likely been told at least a few times that it's a good idea to follow your passion in life. Many people advocate that those who pursue their passions are happier than those who “settle.” But what if you don't know what your passion is?

It turns out that to find your passion is harder to do than it is to say. You'll likely need to work a lot of jobs and try a lot of hobbies before you really find what your passionate about. Luckily, there are some things you can do that could potentially speed up the process.

Here are some tips and tricks to try that could help you find your passion.

10 Tips on How to Find Your Passion

Passion is a subjective idea. It is often used to describe when you feel great fulfillment or excitement towards something.

If you find something you're passionate about, you'll likely want to continue to do it through good times and bad. That's why working in a job you're passionate about and pursuing your own passions on the side is so crucial to having a fulfilling life.

Here's some tips to help you discover your true passion.

Learn What Your Own Values Are

Learning what you value is a great first step towards figuring out what your passions are. After all, your passions are likely the activities that align the strongest with your values and ones that excite you. Some good questions to ask yourself to determine your values are:

  • What makes you the happiest in your life?
  • What moments did you feel proudest?
  • What activities make you feel the most fulfilled and satisfied?

As you work through these questions, try to identify common themes and list them out. You may find that many of your common themes can actually be combined. For example, if you find that spending time with others, bonding, and community are some common themes, perhaps what you really value is friendship.

Begin With the End in Mind

As Stephen Covey states in his world-renowned book, one of the habits of highly effective people is that they “begin with the end in mind.” Though Covey uses this phrase to describe how people should view goals in their lives, it can also be applied to passion-seeking.

One way to identify your passions is to imagine what the ideal life would look like for you. Try to think about where you are, what you are doing, and who you're with. Identifying the ideal “end” will help you naturally select passions that align with what you want to eventually achieve.

Think About What You Love to Do

As silly as it may sound, many people forget to think about what they actually love to do when searching for their passion.

A great starting point is to identify all of the things that you love doing and to list them out. Try to get as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying “I like golf,” narrow it down to “I like competing in golf against players who are better than me.”

List out as many of these statements as you can on a sheet of paper. Then, try to see if there are any common threads that connect them all. If you're honest with yourself about what you love to do, you should see some themes emerge throughout all of the activities that bring you joy.

Think About What You Don't Love Doing

On the flip side, it's also very important to dive deep and think about what you don't like doing. Try to figure out which activities make you dread waking up in the morning and which ones feel as though they are sucking your soul.

Maybe you don't love working at your current 9-5 job. Maybe you despise commuting every day for an hour each way. Whatever it is, list out what you don't love doing and see if there are any similarities.

Knowing what you love doing is important, but it's equally important to be transparent about what you dislike. Having a clear criteria of things that you don't like will help you narrow down your passions a lot. For example, if you find that you dislike structure, you know that you likely won't be passionate about things that require you to show up at a set time and do very structured things.

Think About Your Achievements

When you attempt to seek out your passion, you are trying to figure out what will make you happy in the future. Looking ahead is important, but your past achievements can also reveal a lot about what you might be interested in.

List out some of the things you consider to be achievements in life. When doing this, try to think about whether each achievement made you proud or not. If all of your achievements have a clear theme, you might want to consider searching for a passion that embodies that theme. Oftentimes, people are more passionate about something when they are good at it.

Journal Often

People are not very good at remembering how they feel on a day to day basis. You might be miserable at a certain point in time, but when you look back on the moment, you might think that it was actually not that bad.

Everybody suffers from present bias where they don't give enough weight to past or future events and overly value their current emotions. When seeking out a passion, this bias can work against you, which is why it's so important to journal.

Journaling can help you remember how certain activities made you feel and what you were experiencing in the moment. It helps to limit present bias and can be great for helping you determine what you're passionate about.

Live Life in the Moment

Too many people spend too much time worrying and thinking about the future. They think thoughts like “am I in a rut? Where do I want to be five years from now? Where do I want to work in the future? What do I want to do with my life?”

While it's good to think ahead, too many of these thoughts can detract from the experience of living itself. After all, the only thing that is guaranteed is today. Nobody really knows what tomorrow holds and how much time each of us has.

Living life in the moment has the effect of making us happier and can also help us figure out what we really want to do in life. People who live life in the present are more conscious of each moment and can better analyze their own feelings without worrying about what the future holds.

Try Different Things

Needless to say, one of the most important parts to finding your passion is to try a whole bunch of different things.

It's helpful to have a guideline of values and achievements behind you, but at the end of the day, you'll never really know if you like something unless you try it out. If you spend every day doing the exact same unfulfilling things, you'll never know how you feel when you try different activities.

Trying different things can not only help you enjoy life more, but also potentially move you closer to finding your real passions.

Identify What Specific Parts of Activities Make You Happy

As you're trying out various activities and experimenting, try to identify the specific parts of each activity that make you happy.

Maybe you really enjoy the learning aspect of chess but despise the competition. Or perhaps you enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with skiing, but don't like the wait time between each run.

Though it might seem like there is no connection between each activity, if you try to do this exercise enough, you'll eventually realize a pattern of parts of activities that make you happy. After you identify a clear pattern, it becomes much easier to choose activities that will maximize your happiness factor (and thus potentially be something you become passionate about).

Get Inspired

One of the best ways to learn anything in life is to hang around people who already have what you want. If you're looking for passion in life, try to talk with people who are already very passionate about what they're doing.

Ask them what they love about their passion and how they realized it. Most people who are passionate about something are more than happy to chat about it and will gladly spare you some time.

Alternatively, if you're really looking for guidance, you can try to hire a mentor, therapist, or life coach. Sometimes the best way to discover you passion is to chat with someone else about your experiences.

How to Find Your Passion in Life

Finding your passion in life can help you with many things. It can help you answer questions like:

  • What job and career should I pursue?
  • Should I strive for a promotion at work or should I stay where I am?
  • Should I start my own business?
  • Should I invent my own path or go down the well-trodden one?
  • What should I do with my spare time?

Your passion can influence how happy and satisfied you are with life. As such, it's important that you try to figure out your passion as soon as possible.

Though it might be difficult and require a lot of introspection, finding your passion is sure to benefit you immensely in the long run.

Jeff is a current Harvard student and author of the blog Financial Pupil who is passionate about learning, living, and sharing all things personal finance-related. He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys the pursuit of financial freedom. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.