One of the triggers for my decision to write The Best of You came by happy accident. I had been looking for pro bono consulting opportunities, and I came across Emo Ikede. After a few back and forth messages we agreed to meet for coffee. One of the first ‘getting to know you’ questions Emo asked me was:
“What’s your Passion?”
And at that moment, I didn’t have an answer. I know what I like, and I know what I’m good at, but that’s not the same as a passion. What Emo was asking was a simple question: “What drives you?” But the simple questions can be the hardest to answer, because to know what drives you, you also need to know:
- What invigorates you / what frustrates you?
- What motivates you / what discourages you?
- What inspires you / what enervates you?
- What heartens you / what saddens you?
Ultimately, what are your personal triggers?
And if you find ‘passion’ a bit strong, that’s fine. Businesses like to use Purpose, Mission and Vision for the same outcome. So feel free to pick the “What’s your ….” word that works for you. All these word choices take us on a similar journey:
- Passion: an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.
- Purpose: the reason for which something exists
- Mission: a preestablished and often self-imposed objective or purpose
- Vision: the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be.
Oh, one Very Important Point before we get started. We will discuss this more deeply later:
Passion and ability might not be connected at this point. We can be good at something and yet not have it light our fires. Equally, there are millions of us who have a passion but no skill to pursue that passion (yet).
I mulled Emo’s question for a while. How could I discover my passion within myself? After some research and investigation I ultimately I came up with some questions that can help you identify your passion, or at least get you thinking about it. Because knowing your own Big Picture is a great starting point for your The Best of You roadmap.
- What makes you feel positive (words like happy, calm, energised, excited, elated, passionate) and what makes you feel negative (words like angry, anxious, frustrated, annoyed, bitter)
To answer this, try keeping a note of your reaction to something you read or see on TV. What was it that triggered the positive or negative response? Why do you think this topic elicited that response?
- What activities makes time run fast; what do you hate to stop doing?
Pay attention to the little things here, not just the big ticket items. Do you love being asked to plan an event, design artwork, talk strategy? Are there certain aspects of your job that you find yourself immersed in more than others? Does your writing/painting/baking seem to eat up more hours than anything else, yet it feels like you never get enough time? Are you a hiker, a biker, a gardener or a painter?
- What are you good at?
Be specific – I’m not looking for things you are good at but don’t enjoy. Take note of those things for which you have a natural ability and that you do happily. Think about things you like doing but you don’t believe you are good at. Do others share your self-view? If you get compliments, chances are you’re doing something right.
- What did you enjoy when you were younger
Age brings with it inhibitions we never had as children. Back then, we were free to pursue all manner of interests without judgement. Did you always admire rock stars or sports stars, scientists or chefs, animals or machines? Chances are, the things you enjoyed as a child might hold clues to your passions now.
All of these tools can help you unearth the subject areas within which your passion may lie. But this is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the journey and be kind to yourself. As you explore and delve deeper, you will unearth a treasure trove of ideas, dreams, potential life goals. Keep note – and add the best to your Life List.
So what was my journey of discovery?
- I’ve always known I wanted to write – I devoured books as a child and I’m still a voracious reader.
- I’ve always enjoyed the aspects of my work that help bring out the best in other people – my years training and change management were some of my most enjoyable.
- I love strategy and what-if questions – planning and strategizing the future. I’m the chief planner of family vacations and excursions.
Pulling all these threads together led me to The Best of You. This project brings together my love of writing, helping others and planning. I hope it will launch a consulting and speaking series to spread the word still further – but one step at a time!
This blog is a place will be a resource of tips, tricks and personal reflections within the central theme of personal growth and success that will eventually build into the book. I call it The Best of You – because that’s all we can ask to be – the best version of ourselves.
What’s your passion, and how did you discover it?
Source: Susan Biali MD