I still don’t like the word “passion.” I still think it’s a loaded word, but everybody still seems bent on finding it, so here we go:
1) What conversations do you enjoy having? The types of conversations we want to have determine the types of friends we make, the work we do, and ultimately, the person we become and the contribution we make to the world. I particularly enjoy having conversations about why people do the things they do and how a greater understanding of the self can lead to a better life.
2) If you were stuck on Mars with 30 days left of food, what would you say to everyone? Funny how a life or death situation can remind ourselves what truly matters. What would you say? And how could you apply what you are saying to your own life?
3) What topic could you read 1,000 books on? Take a look at your bookshelf. Are there any reoccurring subjects? Maybe you’ve already read 1,000 books on a certain topic without even knowing it. What topics do you find yourself returning to and wanting to learn more about?
4) What’s the overarching theme between all the things you’ve been doing and all the goals you’ve been making? Take out a piece of paper. Write it down. Create a map. How does it all link back up to each other? If you look back far enough, perhaps you’ll find that everything all connects to one overarching goal.
5) What would you regret not pursuing when laying on your deathbed? I know. A little hard to imagine. This question is even a little borderline cliché but only because it’s very helpful. What would you regret? Maybe that’s precisely what you need to do.
6) What do you want your future self to look like? Take 10 minutes to fantasize what a day in your perfect life would look like. Start in the morning, and describe everything you do in detail from the moment you wake up. Where are you? Who are you with? How are you spending your day? Now, read over what you wrote. How does this future self differ from who you are now? What can you do today so this future self can one day become your present self?
7) What would you do for free? You may find that you’re already doing what you’re passionate about without even noticing it. This often happens because some of us might think that passion must be a burning desire you feel when you wake up every morning. It doesn’t have to be. It can just be something you enjoy without even getting paid for it. Maybe you really like baking, offering words of advice to friends in need, or telling stories. So ask yourself, are you already doing it?
8) What work were you doing the last time you forgot time altogether? In psychology, there is a term called “Flow.” Or in other words, “being in the zone;” a state of complete absorption in an activity where time flies. Right off the top of my head, it’s when I’m writing, performing and teaching. How about you?
9) How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning? Much of how we feel in the present is determined by what we have in store for the future. What do you look forward to? What do you want to look forward to?
10) What do you miss? As we grow older, there are more and more things we let go of for the purpose of becoming an “adult.” Sometimes, this type of thinking forces us to let go of things we otherwise would have very much wanted to hold onto. I miss high school band. I miss playing music. I miss being part of a team. I miss the camaraderie. I miss having a coach. And I’ll share a secret, when I was a kid, my dream was to be a rock star.
If it makes you feel any better, whatever you’re searching for is also searching for you. Sometimes you just need to open yourself up to the things that are already trying to find a way into your life.
by Jason Lam