Please note: There is an updated and expanded version of this post.
Coaching is often about change, a new career, better balance in life or adding something new to “spice up” life. And in those contexts we often talk about finding ones passion and following ones passion.
Mike over at ZenDonut has a really interesting post about 3 Steps To Develop Your Passion … Not Just “Find” It.
I hear inspiring phrases like, “Follow your passion”, but I have difficulties describing that passion, let alone following it.
I agree with Mike, if you not have figured out what you are passionate about then you have nothing to follow.
Mike concludes that:
My concept is that a passion is not just floating around waiting to bump you in the head (i.e. “to be found”), but rather, by taking an active approach, you can develop your passionate interests proactively.
A passion will not be something new to you, something that you know nothing about. But it does not have to be the result of proactively developing your interest. Your passion might be right under your nose but not clearly visible. I will explain that by using myself as an example.
How did I find my passion?
Once upon a time.. Not really that long ago but I have been working with IT and computers for a long time. Due to the progress within that area my work was my passion, learning and doing new things at a pace that kept me on my toes. But I have always been doing other things in my free time, being active in organizations and learning new things – more or less related to what I worked with. Personal development, my own and others, has been a running thread in my life.
Eventually my passion for IT and computers started to fade, I wanted something else but could not figure out what. Like Mike says, I could not describe my passion yet I knew it was within reach. That was rather frustrating but I trusted my intuition, did let it take the time needed to settle. I worked with describing my own personal profile, in terms of knowledge – experience – interests etc, using mind mapping and other techniques to connect the dots.
After a while of connecting the dots I realized that several of my different interests tended to overlap to some extent. That made me curious and I focused on that common ground, the core area that united things. I started to describe that core area, realizing that I had found my passion. I want to help people be the best they can be.
I had been coaching friends and workmates before but in August 2007 I joined a coaching course at CoachCompagniet (Sweden) which made me a professional coach, see Key Coaching. I love being a coach, I help people find out what they want and achieve it. And I learn something from each session.
Update July 17, 2008
Mary Jaksch at Goodlife Zen has a great post about 15 Questions that Reveal Your Ultimate Purpose in Life.
Update March 26, 2009.
Alister Cameron has an interesting post about If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!