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How do I find my passion?

Updated: Feb 1

Sometimes people comment that I am lucky to have found my passion in life. Some have asked for advice about how to help their children find their life paths. It is true that I found one of my passions - music - early on, but the story certainly doesn't end there. There are so many misconceptions about passion! People think (or want to believe) that one is born with it. There is a lightening bulb moment at some point in your life, and you know what that passion is for you. Yes, your aptitude is an important factor in navigating life. However, I've found that passion is not as simple as many people think.

According to Seth Godin, the author of 'The Practice', the strategy of "seeking one’s calling" gives people a marvelous place to hide, commenting that many people use it as an excuse not to act on some difficult tasks. Our passion is simply the work we've trusted ourselves to do. It requires us to do the work first. We can only steer the ship if it is moving. But I also understand that taking action without certainty is difficult. After all, who wants to do difficult work that doesn't fulfill? Who wants to commit to a journey before he knows that it's what he was meant to do? Seth says that the trap is that only after we do the difficult work does it become our calling. Only after we trust the process does it become our passion.

"Do what you love" is for amateurs. "Love what you do" is the mantra for professionals.

You have to put in the work, invest time and energy, research, and learn the process. There is no one method to discover your passion, and there is no one passion per person. You will have plenty. But there is beauty about acting as if you're onto something, as if it will work, and as if you have a right to be here. As Seth says, you can discover what doesn't work on your way to finding out what does. With every concert that I prepare and every project that I create, I am not sure it will work. People might not like or be interested. They might unsubscribe from this newsletter and walk away from what I do. But I've learned that the key is that I care. I care about what I create, love the process of creating music, and believe that I make a difference even with the slightest contribution to the world. So here it is - the essential formula that I've found that works for my life to discover my passion.

Love the process Don't care about the outcome Refine the process Repeat the process Care about the details (even when others don't) Be of service, make things better Just begin the work

Susan Kare, the designer of the original Mac interface, said that "You can't really decide to paint a masterpiece. You just have to think hard, work hard, and try to make a painting that you care about. Then, if you're lucky, your work will find an audience for whom it's meaningful."

I wish there were more guaranteed routes to finding your passion too. But at the very least, we know that this works. Firstly you have to be courageous enough to believe in yourself that you are enough. Commitment to the process is the only alternative to the lottery mindset of hoping for the luck of getting picked by the universe.

Which passion have you been cultivating? I am proud of you for making the first step into the unknown to discover yourself.


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