It’s a new year and with Spring coming, many of us find ourselves looking to new things and new experiences to fill our days. With so many ‘new’ things to try, it can get a little overwhelming! Painting, yoga, music, film, reading, journaling … the list goes on and on! So how do you find your passion? Where do you start?
Hobbies vs. Passions
So what is a passion? I define a passion as something that drives you; that makes you feel alive and truly happy. A good friend of mine defined it as the “reason she wakes up in the morning.” Your passion is dictated by how you personally define it.
What is the difference between a passion, a hobby, and your life’s work? Some may say not much; I believe that they are distinct yet intertwined. A hobby is something you like doing, your life’s work is something that you want to be remembered for, a passion is what YOU ARE. Similar, yet different.
What are you passionate about? What do you like to do, love to do, WANT to do? Writing these down can help you find your path.
Grab a Notebook & Start Writing
First, grab a notebook (I personally like the Moleskine Cahier notebooks for this exercise), a pen (my new obsession is the Lamy AL-Star fountain pen), and find a quiet place to sit and reflect. Write down what makes you Happy, the kind of happy with a capital H!
Do you find that you race home to start writing the second chapter of your novel? Or that you purposely go out of your way at markets for exotic fruits and spices? Do you live to read or write? Does listening to music or creating music make you complete? Write it all down. Create a list of things that inspire you and don’t edit it.
Visual Aids for Inspiration & Motivation
Take it to the next level with visual aids. Take old magazines and cut out inspiring quotes and images. Paste them into your passions journal. As you sift through the images, see what themes emerge – do you have pictures of the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower and the beaches in Bali? Or do you have pictures of books and letters and art? Or is your notebook filled with recipes and images of colorful fruits and vegetables? As you fill up your idea notebook with images, you will see distinct themes percolate to the top.
What if More Than One Passion Presents Itself?
If you find yourself with a multitude of passions emerging, my opinion is to explore them all! Find a local class at the art center, or a non-credit course at the local university. Carry your notebook with you to take notes about your experience: Was it what you expected? How would you change it for the better? Whether you are ecstatic, lukewarm, or turned off by a certain experience, write down what you felt and why.
As you explore different paths, remember to take your journal with you and write down everything that strikes you. This process weeds out what you think you like with what you really love. I used to think I wanted to be a chef, but I realized after much journaling and reflection that while I love to cook, it was a hobby and not a career. Looking back on my experiences with cooking, it became clear to me. Writing down your honest experiences helps with that.
Discovering someone else’s passion is a good way to experience something new and have a guide along the way! Talk to your friends and see what they are interested in. Politely ask if they would take you along to a yoga class with them, show you how to cook a special dish, or attend a local music concert with you.
Recently, I have found the wonders and joy of keeping a visual journal. It has helped me find my passions and pursue them wholeheartedly. As I flip through the pages of my journal, I can see the evolution of my thoughts and I see how I found myself in the process.
Meet the Writer: Akhila Jagdish is a writer and editor in the process of starting her own editorial services company, The Crafted Word. She loves making lists, collecting journals, reading, drinking wine and cooking.