I personally don’t like the word “passion.” I think it’s a loaded word, but everybody seems bent on finding it, so I might as well help you along your path.
1) Who do you admire? Though I can’t say I have found my passion, I do have a few people that make me say to myself, “Wow, I want to be just like him.” You probably admire multiple people, and your ideal self is a mishmash of all those people combined. While everybody has been preaching looking within, sometimes it’s easier to look out and see what you like. So who do you admire? And to take it a step further, what do they do? And how can you get yourself closer to that?
2) If you’re in a bookstore, which section do you go to first? I’ve always gravitated toward the self-help section for some reason. And if it wasn’t the self-help section, it was the travel section. Funny enough, I never really found myself in the photography section too often, but only because I view photography as a tool we must utilize to talk about something else. Frankly speaking, I can’t use this tool unless I have something important to say. Which part of the bookstore have you been finding yourself in lately?
3) If there was a zombie apocalypse and you were the sole survivor, would you still be doing it? The basic infrastructure of life as we know it no longer exists. The typical 9-5 is gone. No more mortgage, health insurance, or fuss about a 401k match. It’s just you and the world. What would you still be doing?
4) When you are left alone, what are you drawn to? When I’m left alone, I’m drawn to thinking, seeing, and creating imaginative stories in my head, which ultimately leads me to write everything down. So when I am left alone, I write. I can’t help but write. It seems quite second nature to me. What about you?
5) If you painted a canvas of your ideal life, what would it look like? How different would it be from the life you’re living now? What can you do today that can make your life look more like the painting of your ideal life?
6) What has your inner voice been telling you to do? What do you want more of? If there is something you have been thinking about for a long time, chances are you need to go and do it. The reality is you’re going to end up doing it anyway, so any time spent doing otherwise is just time wasted. As Bruce Lee says, "If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made of." I want to create more great work, both in writing and photography, and that is what I will do.
7) What are you glad you let go of? Letting go comes with many negative connotations because it can feel like giving up, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do for yourself. Why did you let go? Sometimes knowing what you want means knowing what you don't want. Sounds simple, but this subtle distinction will help you avoid making the same mistakes further down the line.
8) What do you want your days to look like? I like this question because it forces us to think about the lifestyle you would have if you were to follow your passion instead of only focusing on what you should be doing. By posing the question this way, we can work our way backward from the life that we want to live and, ultimately, the type of work most suitable to sustain this lifestyle.
9) What gives you goosebumps? We get goosebumps when we are either cold or frightened, but fear can be interpreted as a sign that you are on the right path. I get goosebumps at the thought that my work can actually make a difference. It's scary, but it's a sign that perhaps I am headed the right direction.
10) What do you want people to remember you for? Someday, people will summarize your life in a single sentence or word. What do you want it to be? Inspiring. I want to be remembered as someone who inspired others to get what they want out of life. If by coming in contact with me or my work, I enriched your life in some way, inspired you to overcome your fears and take a step closer towards the person you want to be and the life you want to live, then I have done my job.
by Jason Lam