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4 Steps to Realistically Pursuing Your Passion

4 Steps to Realistically Pursuing Your Passion

By    |   Thursday, 15 March 2018 12:11 PM

Pursue your passion, live your dream, do what you love. These are the millennial mantras that modern entrepreneurialism is dictated by, and it is also the most stifling ideology in terms of achieving job fulfillment.

The idea of narrowing down your entire life’s purpose into a few sentences is daunting, simply because most people do not have a singular obsession that drives them out of bed in the morning, much less into an office. The suggestion that there are people out there who love every minute of their work is highly unattainable, which is why ‘the pursue your passion’ obsession has resulted in the least satisfied generation of working professionals in recent history.

The reality of finding work you love is that it doesn’t exist. At least, not in the way that a chest of gold can be found with a treasure map. Passion is internal, and to find it you need to take a long hard look at your experiences and pinpoint the roles you’ve had where your passion shone through.

Below are 4 simple steps to help you identify which aspects of your job spark your passion, and how to transform your career into something that more closely resembles your dreams.

1. List What You Like & Don’t Like

Take a long hard look at your current position, whether you’re an entrepreneur or working for an employer. Clear your thoughts and make an honest list of the things you find exciting and motivating, and the things you dislike.

The objective behind this activity is to rule out the emotional baggage that comes with the question of whether you are happy with what you’re doing or not. Many people feel pressured to enjoy their job when they don’t, or at least feel the need to airbrush over the parts they find dissatisfying. The key is to break it down into your activities and tasks, and identify which of these you look forward to most.

Instead of assuming you’re on the wrong path, or that you are not passionate enough about your current work, take an objective look at how your work makes you feel. You can use this knowledge to learn more about what drives and what kills your passion.

2. Focus on the Positives: What Do You Love?

Rather than aimlessly dreaming of which roles or industries you’d love to be a part of but aren’t, the more realistic approach to finding your dream job is to analyze the positions and fields you are familiar with. Just because you love culinary experiences doesn’t mean you should open a restaurant. And just because you dislike designing ads doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work in advertising.

The biggest problem with ‘the pursue your passion’ mindset is that people tend to take it as a green light to drop all sense of reason for the unfamiliar. Truth be told, it is easier to drop everything compared to looking deeper into your current state of dissatisfaction.

On the list made in step 1, look at the column of things you enjoy. Analyze the listed items and try to find a pattern, do you notice that your favorite tasks are linked to writing? Or that you seem to enjoy parts of your work where you interact with people? It may not jump off the page at first, but take time to reflect and think about what these activities have in common.

3. Identify the Roles that Inspire You

Now that you have an idea of what you like, break away from the paradigm of tasks and positions, and try to look at the nature of your favorite activities. Rather than think of an activity as an action, try to discern your role in each of the activities.

You’d be surprised by how many career leaps aren’t leaps at all. An architect and a web developer, an auditor and a head chef, or even a blackjack player and a stock trader have roles that overlap despite the vast difference in context. Once you shift your perspective to the roles you enjoy rather than the tasks, you’d be surprised by how many opportunities are already at your feet.

‘The why’ is more important than ‘the what’ when it comes to the pursuit of passion. Chances are that, to some extent, you already doing things that thrill you. Because reality is always a blend of excitement and mundanity, the idealistic vision you have of what your dream job may seem further away from the present than it is.

4. Focus on Doing More of What You Enjoy

The pursuit of job fulfillment is a lifetime journey, and as we grow and learn and develop professionally, our vision of a passion filled career will also change. Most times, we encounter challenges in the pursuit of our passion like self-doubt, lack of fund, absence of moral support and time constraint.

No challenge should distract you from pursuing your passion. Be focused and time conscious. Believe in yourself and utilize student loan financing for human capital development. Nothing should hinder you from reaching your dreams. The steps outlined earlier are not a one-time activity, but should be done during the inevitable slumps that all successful professionals experience throughout their career.

The key to finding your dream job is, over time, consistently evaluating the tasks you love and finding ways to do them more often, and on a larger scale. Use your passion to guide you through your career, not push you off the deep end and into a sea of doubt and dissatisfaction.

Richard Agu is a researcher, entrepreneur and freelancer, passionate about entrepreneurship and self-development. Currently, Richard writes for Entrepreneur.com, Goodmenproject.com, among others. Follow him on Linkedin.com by clicking here now.

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Pursue your passion, live your dream, do what you love. These are the millennial mantras that modern entrepreneurialism is dictated by, and it is also the most stifling ideology in terms of achieving job fulfillment. The idea of narrowing down your entire life's purpose into...
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Thursday, 15 March 2018 12:11 PM
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