There are two drives in the human condition. Fear and passion (also known as love). It is worth some time to figure out the nature of these two drives in order to use them to your best advantage. Fear will find you, and hold you in its grip, until you push back. Build your skills, make a plan, work hard to take on the world. Passion is very different. You have to find passion from within. You have to seek it out, awaken to it. It comes to you through paying attention, through having an inward gaze that takes note of that spark of joy when you feel it and following its lead.
Great for Steve, but how do we actually find work we love? How do we find the job that is our passion? Often it doesn’t exist yet. It starts with paying attention to the little things that bring you joy. Gerber daisies, brownies, calligraphy and the smell of babies. Put these small things in your life and practice paying attention to how they make you feel. Then follow that good feeling to the next place it may lead you, even though it seems to be a wandering path with no productive outcome. Letting go of the need to be productive for a moment and allowing a 360 degree outlook is an important first step towards connecting with your passion.
As you go to work tomorrow, ask yourself, what you are really looking forward to today? It could be the most surprising thing. Or think about how you could add your love for something to your workplace. The thing is, you have to look for it.
A survey of UK factory workers found that 90% of them rated their job satisfaction as very low. They described spending their days bored at work, their evenings at the pub, recovering, their home time eating and sleeping! Not much passion there.
But there was one employee who looked around his workplace and noticed there was a small appliance that was broken, so he fixed it. He discovered he really enjoyed making things work. He decided he would learn how to fix every machine in the place. He just thought it would be a fun thing to do. Pretty soon everyone turned to him when a vehicle wasn’t working or the printer was on the fritz. He loved his job. After work he still had energy, so when he and his wife noticed they really loved the water feature at the local park, and decided to make one at home. He loved his work and as a result he had more energy after work. Who knows where that will take him.
It won’t be just one thing, and it won’t stay the same all the time. Your passion will come from an unexpected combination of the things you love and will grow over time. You may find a place to pursue it within your current job, or perhaps as a hobby when you get home. Notice something you love and ask yourself where is the next place I could take this interest? Whenever you try something out and it feels wrong to you, go back to the last place it felt right and take a step in a new direction. This occasional switch from externally driven to internally guided could change your life.