“Follow your Dreams” or “Pursue your Passion” – these seem to be the most buzzing words around us. They echo on all graduation speeches to placement talks to job ads and motivational videos. In fact, our subconscious keeps pointing the same to us, every time we have a bad day at work. Pursuing our passion has become an important ingredient of our dream-life.
Each one of us has something that makes us feel alive, adds an extra meaning to our existence, something that gives us a sense of fulfillment. If you still don’t know what excites you the most, try exploring the hobbies, careers and pastimes that give you contentment because those are the things worth chasing.
The essence of creating an impact, big or small, boosts our ‘feel-good’ factor. But something you can’t deny is that many—if not most—of us don’t know the why, what, when and how to pursue our passion, and thus we don’t find the path to success. Let’s try to fix this conundrum.
The foundation of success map is based on understanding 3 key things:
- Passion is not what you discover, it is something you develop.
Instead of waiting for something to strike you, try to find ways to cultivate your passion. Chart your passion path by setting goals and devising systems to achieve small steps of developing it.
- Passion is a feeling – and feelings may change over time.
Pursuing passion is everyone’s dream, and believe me, it is okay if your dreams change. Imagine your situation – stuck at some point if you would have remained at the very first dream all your life. Changing with time is growth, but it gets a challenge if your passion wanes with time. Stability to power your passion over time is the super power.
- Passion is not the plan
Dreams are beautiful, but they do not come true just because you dream them. It’s your sincere dedication, devotion and smart work that makes things happen. You may feel utmost passionate for something, but no wonders would happen unless you take control in your hands and act.
Why to pursue your passion?
#1 Act – because Life is too short to regret
We, as humans, have a shelf-life. We are running out of time and thus, it is not okay to settle for something you do not care for.
#2 We deserve a sense of purpose, happiness and contentment
Giving back to the society, creating value and impact helps us achieve something far greater than a monotonous work-life routine.
#3 Every morning is an opportunity to fulfil your dreams
Following your passion and doing what you love won’t feel like work for you. No Monday Morning blues and no TGIF.
Steps to FIND your PATH of PASSION
1. Identify what you are passionate for, keeping in mind your satisfaction and forgetting about personal gains.
This could range from travelling the world, cooking and painting, starting a business or helping others with a cause. Take help from family and friends, but do not feel pressurized or impatient. Remember to identify something that you care about, that feeds your values and brings the impact you wish to have.
2. Research your ways to pursue passion as a career
In the era of information accessible at a click away, sufficient research on your identified topic arms you better to achieve the goal. Looking at professional heroes from the same stream can reveal a lot about the success stories and learning lessons from those who stumbled over their path while trying. Networking with people having similar goals may encourage team work. Online classes is another asset to sharpen your skills for better performance.
3. Recognize the blocks on the road to your dreams
Introspect yourself – the strengths and weaknesses. It is only then you shall be able to leverage your strengths and overcome the weaknesses.
4. Daily dose of dream work
Commit yourself to devote time, prioritising your passion every single day. Even if you start with 30 minutes daily, do something – be it research, networking, practice or work.
5. Try your passion at your hands
Consider working part-time, volunteering, internship or temporary freelance to harness practical experience on your passion, before taking a full time plunge.
6. Be your own advertisement
Showcase your skills and expertise in all possible ways. You are your biggest salesman. In the digital era, most of the marketing platforms are easily accessible and totally affordable. Be an active member on online platforms. Try frequent brainstorming to do more of what you love.
7. Stay tuned to the cutting edge of your field.
While being well informed about your chosen area lays a strong foundation, being open to new ideas gives you the wings to fly higher. Keep learning and growing towards your goal. Always fuel your brain with latest information and be better each day.
8. Map your success benchmarks
Following the path of pursuing passion is not easy, but certainly rewarding. The tangible benchmarks could be money, houses or leisure trips. Nevertheless, do not forget to recognize the intangible rewards – happiness, contentment and deeper enjoyment
9. Ensure a Plan B, before working on Plan A
Trusting your skills and ambition is good, still you should keep a safety net in place. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst scenarios and plan in advance your coping mechanisms. You may not be able to sustain financially on your passion initially. Have sufficient monetary back-up.
10. Develop your Emotional support system
Don’t miss out to create an emotional cushion for support and encouragement to help through the tough times. How we handle our worst crisis and boomerang with the fighting spirit indeed determines our success.
11. Perseverance to pursue Passion
Before you embark on your journey to achieve purpose, it is very important to bear in mind it is an ongoing, challenging process and resilience is key.
Passion is much more beyond a hobby, a skill or a job. It is that driving force to dedicate your full energy and attention to something you care for.
Developing your passion is similar to falling in love. You do not sit in your slumber, choose a person in dreams and accomplish love overnight. Instead, you go out and experience emotions with different people and finally settle with someone you care for.
Everyone starts from somewhere. So, do not sit back and wait for an inspiration to strike. Get up and get going because now is the time! Focus on giving attention to your life and being mindful of the opportunities around you. Finally, don’t forget to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow.
As Steve Jobs Once Said – “People with passion can change the world. You’ve got to find what you love. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”