“Find your passion.” “Do what you love.” “Follow your heart.”
We hear this advice from super-successful people in interviews and graduation speeches all the time. And even though it sounds very simple, it isn’t.
We live in a world with limitless choices for what to do, where to go, and who to become—limitless choices for vocations that could be your passion.
And we’re always under constant pressure from close family, friends, peers, and the world, in general, to make choices that conflict with what we really want for our lives.
Finding your passion is not easy
It’s an uphill battle that most of us have not won yet. According to a recent Gallup poll, almost 70% of Americas are not working on vocations that engage them—the grand majority of us are not working on our passions.
Most people aren’t engaged in their careers because finding your passion is a tough process. But it’s not impossible.
Want to know how to find your passion?
Below you’ll find 3 ways to know when you’ve truly connected to a vocation that you love.
For more inspiration, be sure to also read our compilation of passion quotes.
1. If You Do It For Fulfillment—Not For The Money
To determine whether or not a particular craft, job, or vocation is your true passion, start by asking yourself: Why?
Why did I choose this specific career or vocation? What led to the decision to become a golfer, an investor, an engineer, a blogger, or an entrepreneur? Why did I get into this career field in the first place? How come I show up to work every day?
To figure out if a particular craft is your passion or not, you first need to understand your reasons and justifications. Second, you need to know your motivation for continuing to pursue what you’re doing on a daily basis.
For the majority of people, the answer at the top of their list of reasons is Money. Most of us pick our majors in college and choose our career tracks based on money-motivated reasons.
We live in a society and system that trains us to go to school, earn good grades, graduate, earn enough money to live well, and build up a pension or 401K. Then we can eventually retire comfortably when we’re in our 60s. The end goal of this system is the accumulation of money.
And there’s nothing wrong with building your bank account.
However, a life lived in the pursuit of wealth leaves no room for passion, love, or excitement for what you do. Because the craft that you love is never a career that you pursue purely for the sake of making money.
Passion is always a craft that you choose purely for the sake of doing it, for the fulfillment that comes over you when you’re working—simply because it makes you happy.
When you do find something—some hobby, activity, career, sport, job, or career—that you show up for day in and day out purely for the happiness that comes over you, then you will finally know that you’ve found your passion.
2. Work Doesn’t Feel Like “Work” Anymore. Work Becomes Play
Here’s another key factor that separates passions from every other type of career: working on what you love never feels like “work.”
We live in a culture where many of us view our daily nine-to-five jobs as undesirable “work” that we’re forcing ourselves to show up for. That ‘Rat Race’ culture is real and leaves us constantly chasing after some distant goal in the future—a goal that keeps getting farther and farther away and never comes true.
For some of us it’s happiness, for others it’s wealth. Oftentimes, people want power. Then there are those whose sole goal is to retire comfortably. Most of us experience this ‘Rat Race’ mentality at some point.
“Work” has turned into this chore that we drag ourselves to show up for every weekday. When you get into that habit of dragging yourself into a career that doesn’t speak to who you are, you lose touch with that spark. That sense of excitement, and joy that makes you who you are, begins to dim.
However, when you connect with your true passion, you’ll never lose touch with that spark and childlike excitement. When you find your passion, work doesn’t feel like “work” anymore.
You don’t have to drag yourself out of bed every morning. You stop hating Mondays. And in fact, you even get excited to jump out of bed and show up to your job every morning because you love it that much.
When you no longer have to hit the snooze button on your alarm clock because you can’t contain your excitement to get started with your work for your day, you can be sure that what you’re doing is your true passion.
3. Your Craft Doesn’t Drain Your Energy. It Feeds Your Spirit
Do you often feel cranky, agitated, upset, tense, or stressed out when you get off from work on weeknights? Do you usually need to do or drink something to ease off the tensions of your workday?
When you leave the office to head home for the night, do you just collapse on your couch because you have no energy left for anything else?
If you answered yes to the three questions above, then you’re in a career that’s draining your energy.
As I pointed out earlier, almost 70% of American workers are not engaged by their work. Almost all of us are doing careers that drain our energy and leave us feeling lethargic and worn out by the end of the workday.
Here’s the thing about finding your passion: Doing what you love never drains your energy. It feeds your spirit.
You’ll know when you find your passion because working on something you love will leave you feeling fulfilled at the end of your day. Working on that craft that you love will always feed your spirit. It improves your confidence, happiness, and overall well-being.
When you find a craft that fits these three criteria—when you do it because it makes you happy, when work doesn’t feel like “work” to you anymore, and when your vocation feeds your spirit—you’re going to step into a type of fulfillment, success, and aliveness that most of us haven’t found yet.
If you haven’t found yours yet, pay heed to the wise words of the legendary Steve Jobs:
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And 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. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” –Steve Jobs