As gifted adults, many times we find ourselves passionate about an insane number of things. From snapping turtles to the Old West to helping feed the hungry, we crave knowledge, learning and experience.
So many experts these days tell us to ‘find our life passion’ because when when do that our world will be wonderful. And yes, indeed, if we could actually do that, it probably would. But with so many desires tugging at our time and attention where do we even begin?
Here’s an exercise you can do that will help you sift through the myriad of inspirations you’ve got going on right now and begin the process of honing down your life purpose:
1. Take some time and make a list of absolutely everything you’d like to learn about and experience. Include anything you can think of that you would really enjoy being, doing or having. Give yourself a minimum limit of about 5 minutes where you keep writing and writing, no matter what thoughts come out. That will make sure you’re getting, not just the surface ideas, but also the ones that are buried down a bit deeper.
(This list can be done on paper or using a word processor, but I think for the next steps you’ll find the computer to be the handier tool.)
2. Take your exhaustive list and, for each item, ask yourself, “Would I be content in my life if I never had the chance to experience this?” Put check marks or stars beside the things that you couldn’t imagine yourself NOT doing, or if you’re using the computer, copy and paste these responses into a short list.
3. Take a look at your checked, starred or short-listed items. You’ll probably find some correlations or overlaps in some of them. If you do, great. Look for any that you can combine into one point to make your short-list shorter. If you notice that they’re all different, that’s OK too.
4. The next step is to begin to find a way to mix up a life-passion-potion that includes most if not all of these things. This will take you some time, so for now, with your top priority items in front of you, make a new list of anything that comes to mind that may be able to combine some of them into a workable job, a profitable business, or an exciting volunteer opportunity, depending on what end result you’re searching for. Don’t edit your responses or cut yourself short before you write something down. You’ll get better results if you just let your ideas flow.
5. Now it’s time to let all of this information percolate. Put your short-list and your potential life-passion-potion ideas in a prominent place where you’ll see them often. And if anything new comes to mind, add it to the list.
You’ll find by doing this exercises that you become more aware of what’s important to you in your life, and what you enjoy v.s. what you can’t live without. This by itself will start bringing that ever-elusive life passion into focus, and before you know it you may recognize that what was once an item on a list for you is now the way you live your everyday life — with passion!