After coaching hundreds of clients through career-coaching and speaker-coaching programs, the most often asked question I hear is:
How Do I Find My Passion?
Answering this question isn’t easy. If it was, there would be no need for coaching. But it CAN be answered.
The best place to start is to figure out what might make your passion list and what definitely doesn’t make your list. You do this by asking yourself the right questions.
How To Find Your Passion – 7 Great Questions to Ask Yourself
Before jumping in, one quick word of advice. Be completely honest with yourself. If you are unwilling to think deeply about these questions, your chance of finding your passion is slim.
1. If money was a non-issue, what would you do with your life? How would you invest your time?
2. Think about all the times you’ve said: “I’d really like to do that!” List out all the “thats” you can think of.
3. What do other people compliment you about? What do they say you do well?
4. Think back to when you had big dreams. What did you dream about? What future thoughts caused you to get excited?
This is different than what many experts say, but my advice is don’t just think about what those things were and whether or not you could do them today. Although that’s a good first step, think bigger. Come up with ideas of what you could do today that would possibly make you feel the same way.
Case in point: When I was in middle school, I dreamt about playing college basketball and maybe even making to the pros. Once I realized these dreams were not in my future, I started thinking about how much I would enjoy coaching. In fact, in my early 20s I coached basketball and swimming, but more as a hobby than a career.
Years later as I was planning to start my own business, I thought about why I was so passionate about coaching and if I could find something that could make me feel the same way. I realized what I enjoyed most about coaching was inspiring, encouraging, and equipping people to intentionally and proactively make positive progress in their lives. That’s what I do today through the services and products on this website as well as speaking to high school and middle school students.
5. When you browse through a bookstore, what kind of magazines and books grab your attention? When you are surfing the net, what websites interest you?
This is one of the best questions to ask. Imagine you have two uninterrupted hours in your favorite bookstore. In what sections will you spend most of your time? What books and magazines will you flip through? This is often THE question that helps my clients find their passion.
6. What do you think you do well and what things do you like to do?
These don’t necessarily have to be work-related. They also don’t have to be big. The key is to list as many things as possible.
7. Attend your own funeral in your mind (I know,morbid…but this works). What do you want your spouse, children, work associates, clients, and friends to say about you? How do you want to be remembered? What contributions do you want to be recognized?
If I could leave you with only one last thought, it would be this: Don’t avoid asking these questions just because they are hard, uncomfortable, or you’re afraid you might not figure it all out. If you want to find your passion, you have to embrace the attitude that no matter how long it takes or how hard it is, you are going to figure this out!
Questions: Which question is hardest for you to answer? Why? What would you add to our How To Find Your Passion list of questions?
Looking to find your passion? I’m here to help.
* Portions of these questions adapted from
Jean Chatzky’s great book The Difference.
Get it. Read it. Live it.