Do you know what your passion is?

Did you ever sit and think, what am I passionate about?

“That’s a tough question” or “I wish I knew” is the normal response when I ask people.

A French girl that I had met through friends once said to me:

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”.

Is it possible that your gift and your passion are the same thing?

I used to play football for many years in a team. No longer an avid football player or spectator, nonetheless I was excited to watch the football World Cup this summer with some friends. Watching Argentina play and Messi with the ball at his feet just left me in awe. The control he has over the ball and the fitness levels and composure that allow him to run through the opposition defence with such speed and fervour made me think how!? I did think whether that could have been me if I kept practicing! I remember my friend Tony turning to me and saying “That’s because he’s gifted mate”. This gave me peace. My mind thought “Oh well, good for him”. I would never have been that good because that is his gift. Wait, what does gifted even mean?

We tend to understand ‘gifted’ as someone being naturally born with a superhuman ability and that there is no way we could do the same.

Scientists will explain this organically and tell you that these athletes have the perfect genes for the sport. The perfect physical build, heart size, lung capacity. Hence, they can perform at optimum levels.

But. You can have great genes and you can decide not to train. You can have a great heart and decide to eat unhealthily. The genes for your lungs may be amazing but you decide to smoke everyday.

In my view, the true gift is not physical but a mental desire to be the best. Not out of ego but because there is genuine enjoyment from pursuing that desire.

Are these athletes then gifted or merely passionate about what they do? Maybe, the mental desire they have i.e. the passion, is the gift?

What if we all have a hidden gift inside us but we have fallen in to the trap of society and doing something completely different? Unlike those that have followed their passion, the rest of us have been a little side tracked. Now, we believe the true passion we have is just a dream. It probably will not make us money. We probably will not even enjoy it if it were a job etc.

What are you passionate about? Have you ever thought what is it that you really truly enjoy doing? Enjoy reading about? Enjoy debating? When someone speaks you want to listen? No? Let me tell you how. It’s not weeks of coaching or mentoring programmes or retreats away. It is quite simple.

What do you enjoy doing? That’s it.

How do I do this? Think about this:

1. Imagine you are 80 years old and you are looking back at your life. What would make you smile? What kind of role were you doing?  

2. Do you have a hobby? Can you turn it in to a commercial business?

3.  I have a hobby, but it won’t make me money e.g. I like fashionable clothes but I can’t start my own fashion company (well you can!). But I know you feel this isn’t realistic. Don’t dream about it. If you work in Finance for example, work in Finance in a fashion company. Try and work in the area you are passionate about at least.

4. Tell people about your passion. Hence why no. 3 is important. You never know where a conversation will go when you are around the people who have a similar passion to you. I was offered a job once by attending a life coaching course and happened to sit next to a Director of brand consultancy. I’d still be in Finance but I made my passion for people clear and an opportunity came up that required my Finance skills and to work and focus more on people.

5. I’m not happy with my current role but I’m not sure about pursuing my passion. What if it turns out not to be my passion? Ooooh no – you can’t fail as a human! That will be horrendous! I say try it! If you don’t like it, move on to the next role that interests you. This isn’t being indecisive. This is knowing what you want, because you know you don’t want to be where you are now.

6. You’re selfish if you don’t follow your passion. That’s right! When I joined a Professional Services firm there was a guy everyone use to call ‘The Prodigy’. He graduated from Oxford at 17 years old and started his Chartered Accountancy qualifications. Whilst the rest of us would be struggling, he would walk out of the exam hall early. When we finished our exam, we would walk out and find him outside with this camera usually photographing nature. He had a passion for it. We shared this story once at the bar with a Senior Partner after work. What he said, has always stayed with me.  The Partner knew this highly intelligent prodigy could do well for the firm and bring in good money but he simply said “What a waste. He clearly has a passion for photography and with his ability he could potentially introduce so much change in the photographic world, maybe research in to nature, perhaps beautiful works of art for all of us to enjoy”.  If you really followed your true passion, you may be able to not only enjoy what you are doing but teach the rest of us something new.

Find your passion, realise your gift, then as my French friend said, start giving it away.

If you would like to share what your passion is, I would love to hear it. I would also like to hear what it is that you currently do so we can see how much society has really screwed us 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Do you know what your passion is?”

  1. Nice post makes me partly think what a waste considering what I’m doing now but at the same time even though I am not doing my passion I am still very proud of what I have achieved people always used to say to me you can’t even pick up the phone and now I’m managing multi pound contracts for a ftse company so clearly not my passion as I’m still not 100% comfortable with it but pushing me out of my comfort zone has helped me see a new side that I was told wasn’t possible if I would have simply followed my passion I would have shyed away from these fields and limited myself to things that were comfortable for me …although I may have been happier in my work life not following my passion has lead me to be much more happy in my personal life with the financial security to support my family and realise something that wasn’t possible now is… that makes me think maybe sometimes you don’t know what your passion is at the time only later does it become clear. Ofcourse being a video game tester would have been nice but would that small chance of success been worth it when now I can see there is more to life than the time you spend at work a passion could start when work ends and doesn’t need to generate money but of course wouldn’t it be great if the two aligned !!

    1. Thanks Ricki – an interesting and very real perspective. By not following your passion you have been challenged further. What makes you think you would have shied away from these fields if you did follow your passion as a video games tester? It’s absolutely natural to think there would be a small chance of success doing something you are passionate about – we want security, safety and predictability. We all are taught to think the same. So much so that we believe it – it happened to me too. Following your passion sometimes is absolutely scary. Just as a footballer spends a disproportionate amount of time on their passion of football rather other things they take that risk. They can’t imagine doing anything else. The have complete self belief, they dream about it, wake up wanting to play, last thing at night football is on their minds. This isn’t just a football thing, as anyone who has a deep passion. I completely agree however, that it can take some time, and there should never be any regrets. The career you have chosen is perfect. Ask yourself in your current role, you must be good at it. Naturally, if you are intelligent and hard working you will be good at anything you do. As a video games tester could you have been great? Could you change the way games are tested. Bring a new perspective, maybe due to your passion be invited to design meetings, input on what customers want, develop and grow the gaming industry, bring in new innovations. That’s what passion does.

  2. Hi, made me think as I don’t know what my passion is spent all my life pleasing others , may be now I will really take some time out and THINK….thankyou!!!!!!

  3. First of all its necessary to identify your passion. Happiness can only be achieved if you follow your passion and be successful in attaining your targets. I had the passion to study Engineering whereas my Dad wanted me to do medical. I persuaded my Dad to let me do Engineering which I eventually did but due to personal circumstances I could never follow my passion.

    As the time passed my priorities changed and my passion changed as well but in the process of fulfilling my original passion I lost a lot. But I agree you should not give up on some unsuccessful events. I am sure if you have determination and hard work put in achieving what you intend to you will.

  4. After 3 years spent in the Uk, recently I got paid for my first article in English about tigers extinction, written for a wildlife photographer. I should perhaps translate some short stories and write a few more and send e-mail to publishing home and magazines but for some reasons I never do that. I’ve been updated my website but I am still trying to understand how I can give my gift away without being corrupted by society. I know that I don’t want to be a journalist or a copywriter for companies who might not be ethical and writing with a short deadline but I should probably consider to contact some editors and see what they think about my writing. That’s my gift, in the past years I made some people happy writing their bio or presentation for their exhibitions and now I’ve realised that I really would like to give my gift to preserve purity and wake consciousness. I hope that I will find out how. Thanks for your post, I hope to hear from you. Cristina

    1. Cristina, thanks your comment. It sounds like you already know what you should be doing. That is great! Now all it takes is faith. I can read from your comment alone that you are truly passionate about writing. So please don’t stop! Continue to let as many people as possible know of your passion (to be honest sometimes you can’t help it!). You are clearly writing about a worthy cause too which is great service. Continue to apply to places even when your mind says you have a 1% chance of success, with faith doors will open. Preserve and I would love to hear your progress.

  5. Hi 🙂

    That’s a tough one – finding your passion.

    I am sitting here taking a study break. To answer your question in terms of what I am doing now – I am in the process of getting my CPA designation so I am studying for an exam that is coming up. One thing I can tell you is that I definitely do not have passion for taxes lol but I do like clothes.

    In fact I love clothes – I love to sew and make sure all my pieces are tailored so they fit perfectly. I was actually getting lessons in sewing woman’s Indian clothing because whenever I get my suits, they never fit the way I want. Of course this made my mom and aunts very happy since they would not have to pay a tailor anymore lol. However, I had to put my sewing lessons on hold because I have no extra time while working full time and studying.

    I guess part of the reason I went into this profession was so I can dress up to work – I know it sounds crazy.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful that I chose this path as I do love to learn and being in this profession, the learning curve is steep.

    Thanks for posting this – it was nice to take a brief break and reflect…


  6. Hello Sandeep. CPA designation sounds interesting. At this time it may be right for you. Provides security for the future, a steep learning curve and that’s what you may enjoy. But does it bring you true happiness? Perhaps dressing up for the profession does, like you say. But what if you owned a fashion or tailoring business? And you were tailoring designs for big companies? Providing advice and becoming the go-to person for tailoring needs in your local area? How would that feel? The way you dress would still be important being CEO of your own business. We know what our passion is. It’s more than a hobby. The trick is in thinking how you can commercialise what you enjoy. There is way if you truly enjoy it. Keep up with the learning curve and I hope the CPA goes well, for you may need that too if you do run your own tailoring business. I would love to hear how things progress.

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