I’m a small-town California girl turned mental health therapist. Favorite things: babies (but don’t have my own!), comfy pants, and taking too many pictures. I'm all about realistic self-care, mental health for everyone, and personal growth even if you hate that phrase (cause I do!).
Use this free 2 min assessment to take a fresh look at how you're doing.
To be honest, the word passion can be tricky. We know we should have things that we get excited about, but how do we figure out what our passions are? Are passions only about what you like to do for fun, or should you be passionate about your job? Is passion the same as purpose or calling or dreams? Like.. what do all the words even mean?!
For a long time, when I thought of “passionate,” I pictured the runners who didn’t just run, they ran marathons. I pictured the camping enthusiasts, who didn’t just camp, but they could tell you the ins and outs of the latest and best camping gear. I interpreted “being passionate” as this loud, outgoing, exuberance, highly-educated excitement about something.
… Adjectives I wouldn’t use to describe myself about well, …anything. 🤷🏻♀️ It’s just not my personality.
So I define passion differently now. ⠀⠀
You don’t have to be an expert about something to be passionate. You don’t have to be loud about it or outgoing when talking about. You don’t even have to talk about it, really! You could be passionate about cross stitching funny quotes, with no one else knowing. (Not knocking cross stitch!!)
The sad truth is I’ve shied away from showing interest in things that others around cared about; it was “their thing.” Been there too?
For instance––Your friend loves snowboarding and hits the slopes practically every weekend. So you let that be her thing instead of admitting that you really love it too. Or even that you want to try it!
A friend is passionate about the environment and could tell you all the ways to live zero-waste. So you hold yourself back from diving deeper, even though you have your concerns too.
The problem is that there are always going to be other people passionate about the same things as you (and more knowledgable!). And that’s okay! ⠀
I used to think that my passion would be what I do for a job. That I needed to find work I am passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, that’d be great if it happens, and it’s great to hope for that, but it’s not always reality. The reality is that you will have a lot of different jobs thru your life. Sometimes, or a lot of times, your job is mostly about being able to pay the bills. Plus, it’s unlikely that one job or career will encompass everything you are passionate about.
Passion can look 682 million different ways. Passion starts with listening to what intrigues you, what sparks your curiosity. What motivates you, moves you, angers you, or makes you want to take action. Your passion might include hobbies, but it can also includes things beyond hobbies. Things like your values, personal dreams, or your hopes for the world.
Let me break it down:
Our interests can lead us to our passions (but not all of our interests are passions). Our passions do often end up fueling our callings. The things that break your heart, or move your soul, or you can’t stop thinking about, … those are your calling.
Calling is a sense of purpose or what gives your life meaning. It’s what matters to you, what you want to look back on in 30, 40 years. That might not be the same as your 9-5 job. In other words, it’s okay if you have a job you don’t feel particularly “called to.” Your calling could be what you end up doing for work. But it can also be how you aim to treat people, your civic engagement, your lifelong learning, your creative expression, or your skill. It’s what you want to give to the world or to yourself. It’s what you can’t not do. ⠀⠀
If you’re feeling a little lost, a little empty, bored, or longing for more meaning in your life, consider that an invitation to dive deeper into your interests, passion, and callings. Here are some questions to get you started:
It’s a lifelong journey, and never too late to start. Let me know if you use these reflection questions, or how you explored your interests, passion, or calling.
by Kylie |
January 7, 2019
I'm Kylie. I’m a small-town California girl turned mental health therapist. Favorite things: babies (but don’t have my own!), comfy pants, and taking too many pictures. I'm all about realistic self-care, mental health for everyone, and personal growth even if you hate that phrase (cause I do!).