“There’s an old gospel with a refrain I love: ‘I’ve got fire, fire, fire shut up in my bones.’ We were all born with this fire, but beginning in childhood, we let others snuff it out. Passion is the log that keeps the fire of purpose blazing. Your work now is to find that fire and rekindle it—and then let it burn.” –Oprah
When you were a child, you knew who you were and what you wanted.
If you liked to dance, you boogied.
If you liked to draw, you drew. All the freakin’ time.
If you wanted to be an astronaut, you probably spent time imagining yourself in outer space. You might have built your own rocket ship out of cardboard boxes. Maybe you stood on the couch pretending it’s fluffy cushions were the surface of the moon.
Other than a missed T-Ball calling, I spent much of my childhood playing teacher, choreographing dance shows, writing stories, drawing pictures, reading the encyclopedia (seriously), talking to myself in the mirror as though I were a famous actress, and practicing my cursive handwriting.
Why is this crap important?
I believe that investigating what you loved as a child is the key to finding your life’s passion.
Because when you were young?
You weren’t worried about other people’s expectations.
You didn’t have the pressure of “bringing home the bacon” or “putting bread on the table”, or doing any other sort of idiom that refers to food.
You hadn’t undergone all of those years of “education” – a process of piling layers of “shoulds” and guilt on children so that they systematically forget what they love to do and start worrying about what they should do.
And it’s not just me, here’s actress Rita Wilson giving her take on the topic in an interview by Laura Munson titled, “Rita Wilson on Doing What You Love.”
“If you’re not quite sure what it is you feel you can do, if you don’t have an idea what it is you want to be doing, I would ask yourself the question, ‘What did you love to do when you were a kid?’”
Maybe you wanted to be an artist as a kid, but in the fourth grade you realized that “artist” wasn’t a good enough dream.
If you’d asked me when I was 5 what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said “artist”.
But by the fourth grade, I had learned that being an artist wasn’t a good enough desire. It didn’t have the prestige that some of the other kids’ dreams did.
To most parents, “doctor” sounds a lot better than “artist”. (Jerks).
And though my parents never put any pressure on me to stop being a creative kid, I learned from the kids at school (and a myriad of other situations/adults/ass holes) that being creative was childish.
So I started to copy the other kids. I told people that I wanted to be a teacher, be president, be an astronaut.
(I never, ever, ever wanted to be a teacher, the president, or an astronaut.)
I wanted to be an actress, a writer, a dancer, a choreographer, a painter, a dreamer—a CREATOR OF AWESOME THINGS.
Not just one of these things, but all of them.
But the thing that I wanted didn’t have name.
“If life doesn’t offer you a game worth playing, then invent a new one.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo, author
So I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I realized I didn’t fit into a box. No “one size fits all” career path would fit me.
And then after much trial and error, I made the most profound realization of my entire life:
THE THING I’M BORN TO DO DOESN’T EXIST YET.
This realization TERRIFIED me.
I wanted to fit into a box!
I didn’t want to weed whack my own path. I wanted to follow a paved one!
THE THING YOU ARE MEANT TO BE DOESN’T EXIST YET, EITHER.
No one fits into a box. Some people can get their arm, their leg, and maybe their torso into a box. But no one fits completely into a box.
You need to go back to your childhood to find the clues to what you love to do.
I do this all the time, even though I’ve already started my business. Keeping in touch with my innter child keeps me sane, and I can promise the same for you.
You must spend some time thinking, reflecting, meditating on your entire life.
You need to analyze every big decision that you’ve ever made…
every moment where you felt INCREDIBLE…
every moment where you felt like you didn’t fit in.
Let yourself play!
(Yes, creativity is childish…and there’s NOTHING wrong with that. The world could use more of it).
Answer this question:
What would you do all day every day for the rest of your life if you had millions of dollars?
(Don’t worry about not having that money yet. We’ll get to how this translates into the business world in the next article. You’ve got to let loose first).
You absolutely MUST do this work if you ever want to start a business that you’re passionate about. Especially if you don’t know what you’re passionate about!
Knowing the answers to these questions is what will keep you working on the days when you’d rather lounge in bed and have a Leonardo DiCaprio movie marathon. (Let’s be honest—I’d do this EVERY DAY if I could).
Here’s the great news, O Gorgeous One!
I created a free worksheet for you to fill out.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FABULOUS “HOW TO FIND YOUR PASSION” WORKSHEET!
Already found your ooey gooey passion? Trying to start your own neat-o business? I haven’t forgotten about you, my dear!
If you haven’t yet purchased your copy of From Amateur to Professional, then that’s precisely the step that I recommend taking next. And it’s not just because I wrote it!
If you do all of the exercises, this book will make the difference between you running a business and you searching for your next gig at Company X (where you actually have to put on makeup before work and ask permission to pee!).
It’s important to invest in yourself (get some skin in the game, if you will). And at $17? You’re going to get the value of a $200 eCourse, darlin’. It’s a no-brainer! The cost of a pizza delivery!
Hey! Didja like that post? Didja?!
If so, it would be of great public service if you would share it with your social media peeps!
Well, aren't I a happy 'lil gal that I just found you !
AB-SUH-LUT-LAY getting up and doing something, rather than sitting around pondering, is exactly where the 'find my passion' shizzle comes into play. And if the thing you do doesn't work out? Try something else!
And also a perfect way to see if the-thing-you-wanna-do is worth turning into a full time gig, or if it is happy being called a 'hobby'. (but not a hobbit. Because that implies short. and barefoot. and weird hair).
P.S -are you still living in Paris? So am I! So. Am. I.
Welcome!!! So glad you enjoyed the post.
I'm actually in Montreal now 😛
I had a very big passion called Batman.
Now guess what I did a few months ago.. http://batrepreneur.com/
It also refers to Entrepreneurship so give it a look and keep going your good work!
Love your post!
Thank you for sharing!
The same things count for me: I also wanted to be an actress, a painter and a writer as child.
When I was 26 and almost finished wirth studying, I still wanted to be many different things: a filmmaker, a director, a musician, a designer, an illustrator, a painter and a writer. Because my studying allowed it. I had the possibility to learn a lot of different things there.
But society always tell you, that you can do only one thing. That you have to concentrate on one thing. I always had the feeling that this does not count for me.
Now I love to do both design and writing. But it is not that easy, because some people think you can do only one thing or the other.
And now I am working on both. On doing art, design and writing a lot.
Oh – I forgot that I also love photographing!