How To Find Your Passion

By Leo Gura - March 25, 2014 | 13 Comments

The #1 reason why you don’t have passion in your life right now and how to find your passion quickly.

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org, and in this quick self-help segment, I’m going to tell you how to find your passion.

Let’s crack into this. This is a favourite topic of mine, living a passionate life. That’s what I’m about. That’s what I want for you guys. Let’s really dig into some of the details of what it takes to find your life passion.

If you’re looking at this video, then you do not have a life passion. Most people do not have a life passion. I would say ninety nine percent of the population does not have this part of their life handled and they are missing out on so much.

You Are Normal

First of all, realize that you’re normal. You are where most people are. Second of all, realize that it takes time and effort to find your passion. Your passion does not just come and land on your lap by accident. Very rarely does that happen.

Passion is something you need to think about, something you have to work towards, and something that is also worth putting the energy into finding. This is critical. I find that most people do not have their passion for this reason. You know why it is?

It’s because it actually takes some work to find your passion, and they have an intuition that it’s important to do something they’re passionate about, but then they realize and foresee that it’s actually going to require some work or some action in the real world to figure that out.

Then they forget about it and say “Well, I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to do the work to find my passion, I just want to find my passion. Just give me my passion. What’s my passion? Right now, I’m going to find my passion, and I’m just going to go and do it, and that’s the end of it. Then I’m never going to look back at this question again.”

With that attitude, this attitude where they expect it to be easy, effortless, they never find it. Because it does take some work. It’s kind of like saying “Give me a six-pack. I want a six-pack right now.” You can’t have a six-pack without the work. You have to put some work into it.

Here’s the silver lining. The silver lining is this: it’s so god damn rewarding, so powerful to have actual passion in your life — and you don’t probably even know what that means, what it feels like — to have real passion for your life is so powerful, that it’s literally worth spending years of your life to finding your passion. It’s literally worth it.

I would say it’s worth almost anything. Sacrifice whatever you’ve got to sacrifice. Sacrifice the TV, sacrifice your bank account, whatever. Sacrifice whatever you’ve got to sacrifice to find your passion. It’s super important, because the quality of your life will just go through the roof when you figure this part out.

I spent five years. Don’t tell me it’s hard for you. I spent five years, and I’m still working on it, on my own passion. Enough of the ranting, let’s get into how this really works. What is passion really about? Here’s the core of it:

Passion Is Authenticity

Passion is about authenticity. To know what you passion is, this is something you partially discover, partially create, so discovery and creation. The problem is that you really have no sense of identity. You don’t really know who it is that you are. If you did know who you are, then your passion would be completely, glaringly obvious to you. You would not be able to ignore it.

It would, in fact, be driving your whole life. The problem is that you’re inauthentic. You’ve been conditioned by society, parents, lack of education, limiting beliefs you’ve got from your friends, or maybe even developed yourself.

You have no authenticity to you. You’re not really in touch with what you truly love and truly do not like. A lot of the things you’re doing in your life right now, are actually think you should not be doing, and you think they’re important, but they’re not really important.

They’re important to your inauthentic self, but they’re not important to your authentic self. This is a very deep idea. I’m going to talk about authenticity in many other videos, so you’ll want to check those out for more on authenticity. This is just setting the foundation for our discussion.

You don’t really know who you are. If that’s the case, and if did know who you were, then you would have instant passion. What do you think the solution here is? What do you think the ultimate solution to finding your passion is?

It’s finding out who you really are and developing a very strong sense of identity. That doesn’t mean ego — in a sense, you are going to be building up your ego — but also, it’s expanding your horizons and just living life, exploring. Exploring is important.

I would say the bottom line for why you don’t have certainty about your passion, or maybe you don’t even know what you could possibly be passionate about, is because you have too little life experience. You’ve locked yourself away in your closet, or in your bedroom, or in your office, or in your relationship, or at your job.

You’ve locked yourself away in a little bubble, this hermetically sealed bubble, from the rest of the world. You are so focused on that that you’ve got your blinders on. You don’t see what else is out there. Maybe you were lucky, that the first thing you saw with those blinders on is something that you loved, and it somehow just coincidentally aligned with your authentic self.

In that case, you probably have a purpose right now. That’s why some people naturally have a strong sense of purpose. They just fall into it. Most of us don’t get that lucky. Most of us have to go out there and do some discovery work.

This is an iterative process. By discovery work, I literally mean whatever job you’re working on right now, if you don’t like it, it’s valuable to know that. That’s a valuable piece of information. You don’t like your current job. Good.

It would’ve been nice if you found something you loved right off the bat, but don’t beat yourself up for not having done that. Almost nobody can. It’s too hard. What you’ve got to do is explore round in the workspace. What kind of jobs are out there?

A Tasty Analogy

Have you tried even five different jobs? How do you know what you’re going to like and what you don’t like until you try it? It’s almost like — this is a very apt analogy — let’s take someone who is just born into the world, and imagine they grew up on IV. They were fed through an IV, they never ate food.

Now they’re a fully grown human being, and we take them to a restaurant, to this grand buffet. I live in Las Vegas, we have these grand buffets here. We take them to this ridiculous buffet of buffets, where you can have everything humanly imaginable, from seafood to lobster, to steak, to caviar, to whatever you want. Breakfast, dessert, it’s all lumped together. Anything you want, it’s there.

And it’s all delicious and amazing, and extremely unhealthy. But let’s take that point in another video. We’ll take this person to this buffet. This person, he has never in his life eaten anything. He doesn’t know what anything tastes like.

You ask that person “Go pick one dish. Just one dish, you only have one dish to pick. Go pick that one item from the whole buffet and be really passionate about it. Really love it. Fall in love with it.” Is that going to happen? How is that going to happen? It’s like I’m telling him to go out and pick out his favourite food, when he hasn’t tried any food yet. It’s not going to work.

He hasn’t sampled it. You need to start to treat your life, and life in general, as a buffet, with all this variety out there. What you’ve got to do is a little bit of sampling. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to quit your job right now. There are smart ways to do sampling. There are smart ways to do this in life.

This doesn’t literally mean you have to go and have five very different jobs. Practically, that’s challenging to do. It’s challenging to go be an engineer, then be a doctor, then be a lawyer, then be a politician, and then be an artist. You can’t realistically do that in life.

Test The Waters

What you can do is start testing the waters. This is where you have to become smart. This is where the work process comes in. If you’re working, let’s say, as an engineer right now, and you found out, by working at an engineering firm for a few years, that engineering is dry. It’s boring, it’s not really your passion. Something about it is rubbing you the wrong way.

That’s fine. You know that’s not where you’re going to end up in the long run. That means you need to start thinking about what else you could be passionate about. You have to start to ask yourself “What is it about this place I’m in right now that’s rubbing me the wrong way?”

There are hints there. These hints are very powerful, so we can look at them and say “Why don’t I really like engineering? The two biggest things I don’t like about engineering are because I sit in a cubicle too much, and I don’t get to interact with people. Let’s say that’s item number one, that I’m just too isolated. I feel myself coming alive when I’m talking with people.

I feel myself coming alive when I’m in a group meeting. As an engineer, we don’t do that enough. We don’t have enough meetings. Most of my work is just sitting at a computer, punching away at some spreadsheet or drawing some schematics or whatever. That’s problem number one.

Then we have problem number two. The thing I really don’t like is, I found out that I don’t really like working for a large corporation. I’ve been working in this company of ten thousand people, and our division has three hundred people in it. My boss is overseeing a team of fifty of us, and we’re all working on this project. I don’t like working in that kind of environment.

Those might be two things you don’t currently like about engineering. Those are valuable. You can now use those to intelligently decide what your next test in life is going to be. You’re testing stuff out. This is almost like being at that buffet, and you go and say “You know what? I’m going to start off with seafood. Let’s see if I like seafood. I’m going to take a shrimp, and I’m going to try a shrimp.”

You try that shrimp and say “You know what? I don’t like seafood. I don’t like the texture of it, it’s slimy, it’s raw. I don’t like this. I don’t like the seafood flavor, the smell of the sea and the salt, I don’t like that. I don’t like the sweetness of crustaceans and shellfish.”

Fine. That means, the next time you go, you shouldn’t grab another piece of seafood. You shouldn’t grab some salmon and you shouldn’t grab some octopus. Instead, go and do something else. Try a steak. Totally different, right? Try a steak, maybe you’re going to like the steak. Or try a salad, try some vegetarian dish. Maybe try a dessert.

That’s like life — you don’t like the engineering thing? What would you like that’s going to honor more of your natural, authentic desires? Here, with this engineering example is the engineer actually finds out that he’s more of a people person. He wants to interact more. He needs a job where he’s talking to people a lot, working with them and collaborating.

He also doesn’t want to work in a very big corporation. Maybe he wants to either start his own business, or he wants to work in some sort of small start up environment, where he has more autonomy. Maybe his voice is being heard more. Where it’s a little more creative type work.

Those are now two things he can go find in some other job. What you do is go and find that other job, you try that and you see how well you do. Maybe you’re going to get it. Maybe you’re going to get it on your second attempt. Maybe you won’t.

If you don’t, you’ll still learn stuff, so don’t get butthurt about this. You’re going to learn even more. Now you’re going to refine it even further. Now that engineer, let’s say he’s working in a company that’s small, it’s a start up.

He is actually working with people. Now he discovers something else. He discovers something else about himself that he doesn’t like. He doesn’t like working for a boss. Or maybe what he really finds out is he likes the part of working with people, where he gets to teach people. He finds out that, in this company he’s working at right now, he’s working with people but he’s not in a mentor role, he’s not able to teach them.

Now he has to align his life with that. It’s this alignment process you go through. This is what you really need to do. It’s an experimental model. This is an iterative model. You iterate, iterate, iterate. Of course, the warning here is that this requires development. This requires work. This is not something that’s going to come about easily for you.

All Work And No Play

You’re going to have to think about this, switching jobs. Switching a couple of jobs, if you do that within the span of a few years, it’s going to take a lot of energy from you. It’s going to cause a lot of stress and challenge. You’re going to have to really be up for that.

What’s the upshot? What’s the silver lining of all this? It’s like we talked about. It’s having passion. It’s so important. I really want you to believe and buy into this idea that if you could just find your passion in life, then so many of your problems in life will be resolved, just automatically. They’ll dissolve.

Your money problems will dissolve. Your relationship problems will improve. Your lack of energy to go to the gym and do other stuff will improve once you have passion. That stuff starts to spill over. This is really powerful.

The general idea here is that you want to be exploring more in your life. I find that too many people are just living in a little box, in this little box that confines them and that keeps them from really discovering who they are.

A List Of Suggestions

Let me quickly rattle off a list of ideas for how you can discover who you really are. These are some of the best ways to do it. One is to read. Be a voracious reader and read on a diverse variety of topics.

Two, go to college. Get a nice, well rounded college education, where you experience all the variety that college has to offer. Number three, travel. Traveling is really powerful. Travel to as diverse places as you can. Travel within the country, but if you can, travel abroad. Travel across the whole world and see how much of it you can soak in. The more you can travel and see what the world has to offer, the better.

The next is, we already talked about it, we really covered it in depth, try different jobs. That can be a really powerful way. Maybe you want to spend the next two years jumping from job to job, just to experience them, not to commit to one, but to experience the full buffet out there.

Another one is: live in different places. Don’t get stuck living in the same little town, or even the same big town your whole life. This is very much restraining you from finding out who you authentically are.

Meet new people, this is also very big. When you meet new people, they give you new ideas. They inspire you. They share stories. They share their jobs. If you want to really learn about which jobs will work for you and which ones won’t, probably the most efficient way to do that, because it’s hard to actually try all the jobs yourself, is talk to people who are immersed in those jobs.

Just talk to them and pick their brains. It doesn’t take long, you can pick someone’s brain for fifteen minutes and find out very quickly, if you’re asking the right questions, whether that job would sit well with you if you were doing it. You can talk to people and this will happen naturally while you’re traveling, which is what’s nice.

Living in different cities, you’re going to interact with new people, make new friends, break friends. It’s going to be powerful. You’re going to discover what you like and what you don’t like.

The last thing is, more generally, try new things. Be open to new things. Eat new food. Listen to new music. Explore new websites on the internet. Try new TV channels you haven’t watched, although you should not be watching TV. Read a new magazine. Read a new type of book. Go to a new type of place. Go somewhere you’ve never been before.

When you do these things, stuff will just start to pop-out at you. You’ll start discovering what you don’t like about all things, and the things that you do like. The last one, which is super powerful is: spend time by yourself, alone.

Spend long periods of time by yourself, in isolation. This is very important, because it gets you in touch with your higher self, your authentic self. Ideas will start bubbling up to you. When that happens, I almost find it is necessary if you want to find your passion, unless you’re extremely lucky, you need to go out and explore, like we’ve been talking about, but then you also need to spend time by yourself, quietly in isolation.

Maybe with a journal, maybe even not. Just sitting and thinking, and stewing in the experiences you’ve had. Thinking about them and asking yourself questions. Questions like “What do I really like about that? Why did I like that? What about this thing here rubbing me the wrong way? Why did I really not like that? Why do I like this type of person, but not that type of person? What do I really love about life? What irritates me about life? What am I already doing that I’m very passionate about? How could I make money out of that?”

It’s these kinds of questions that you want to be asking yourself. This is not something you do once. This is something you do consistently. Like I said, an iterative process. Those are my thought, quickly, on how to find passion. I have a lot more, and each one of these points can really be blown and expanded and we can really get in depth on each one of those. I’ll shoot more videos on that.

Wrap Up

For now, I’m wrapping up. This is Leo, I’m signing off. Go ahead and post me your comments down below. Please like this and share this, so that other people get the message and they can find their passion. That’s what we want, a passionate world for everyone.

Of course, if you’re really serious about this, and you really want to feel the passion in your life, then you’ve got to go and check out Actualized.org and sign up to our newsletter there. When you do, you’re going to be getting free weekly updates, we don’t spam you or anything like that.

You also get some awesome bonuses for signing up. But really, the reason you’ve got to do this is because the whole point of Actualized.org and what I’m doing with you guys is trying to get you more passionate and more engaged with your life.

To do that, I found this is not something you do in one day. This is not something you do by reading one book. This is something you have to work towards. This is something you have to commit yourself towards. If you sign up and follow along with what I’m sharing with you guys, I’m committed to giving you the understanding you need, the big picture, I’m drawing the very big picture that very few people out there are drawing for you.

It’s going to help you understand life. It’s going to help you master your own psychology, your own abilities. It’s going to help you understand how your authentic self is. It’s going to help you tap into that. That takes some work to do, but wow, when you do it, and you’re on — even just getting on the path to doing it, you start to see the results.

You start to see the benefits. It’s just so powerful. It’s so amazing, I can’t even convey to you how amazing this is. Sign up because it’s free, why would you not want this? Everyone should want this. Sign up for free on the newsletter.

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Comments
(13)
neha says:

Hi Leo, i simply loved this video of urs. I am also going through this phase of my life where i am stuck in a job i dont like…i really cant leave it bcos my family survives on it, i want to travel but i cant afford it,i dont want to sound negative but i am not able to break free…and also as u said i dont know my passion. i have some inclination about what it could be but i am not sure… but i will try,for all the motivation u have given me i wil try…i dont know the path but i will try…u are a wonderful human being helping others so much….i really wish i cud meet u or talk to u in person…

Leo Gura says:

Making that transition is very challenging, but certainly worth the effort. The biggest thing it takes is courage, faith in yourself, and higher purpose. You have to fight to share your greatest gifts with this world. Make sure you watch this video:
http /www.actualized.org/articles/the-100-million-dollar-question

Fletcher says:

Like many watching this video, I’ve never (to date) quite pinned down my real passions. I have a sense of some things – love of nature, of connecting people with nature, and a few other things. I just have to refine my concepts into something that will help me target career and life paths to focus on.

One thing I wanted to comment on is that many people may already have a variety of job experiences that they could reflect on… perhaps more so those of us who have not yet found a job that really aligns with our passions. For example, I have worked as an environmental consulting project manager, geologist, public school teacher, college instructor, and project manager/educator with an environmental nonprofit. You can see there are themes there, but most of them didn’t jive for different reasons… in the spirit of this video, namely that they somehow all hovered around my passions, but never quite touched at their heart. (The instructor job came closest.) Either that or, like the consulting job, they sometimes conflicted with ethics that are part of my authentic self.

I have often kicked myself for not finding my passion like my father did with flying or my brother with computer science. Conversely, I have always felt that I could forgive myself my mistakes if I can learn from them. This is really no different. If you’re like me, instead of beating yourself up for “going from job to job without any sense of direction”… sit down and start to inventory what you did and didn’t like from the jobs you’ve had. See where patterns start to emerge that may give you clues to what you enjoy and value… what aligns with your authentic self. If you do that, you’re actually following the suggestion of trying different jobs – just getting a retroactive head start. Use your past experiences to start building that foundation of self exploration rather than viewing them as a series of mistakes.

Also look to hobbies you have taken up and experiences you have enjoyed. In my case, I was part of a sacred hunter project (first year hunting as well) last year that gave me many experiences in the woods. I came face to face with the transformative power of being out in the woods, sitting on an outcrop or in a makeshift blind among trees for several hours. It was practically meditative and I actually had visions that revealed to me a spiritual path I am now exploring. I find that whenever I talk about these things with someone I get really excited (passionate) about sharing these experiences with other men – though not necessarily focused on hunting since not all men have an interest in that. I am starting to explore how to facilitate mens’ circles, fire circles, whatever you want to call them. Perhaps in time that will turn into a career or side job. Who knows?

The TL R version of all of this is don’t just limit your exploration to this point in time forward. If you have had a variety of experiences, reflect on them and see what you can discover about yourself.

Not only will that help identify your passions, but you’re taking a life history you may be beating yourself up about and turning it into something positive. Learning from your past and using those lessons as a vehicle for forgiving yourself for mistakes – be they genuine or perceived or projected onto yourself – can be a powerful transformative tool.

Leo Gura says:

Yes, definitely!

Norbert says:

Hi Leo, I enjoyed the buffet anecdote, it’s easy to digest (pun intended) it describes the situation well.

I also agree when you say its invaluable to find your true passion; I imagine a reservoir of energy and zest for life that’s in us all but cannot be unlocked and enjoyed until said passion is found. Something like being a kid again, not wanting to go to sleep so you can keep doing what it is you like and when you wake up you have to be pulled away from it.

However!

I’ve been floating around in a career for over a decade now and I haven’t moved upwards due to the field NOT being my true passion but a job. I can’t imagine the guy in the anecdote forcing himself to be passionate about the food he doesn’t like, but I have heard: “you enjoy what you’re good at”. So my question is: Is it possible to make something you’re not crazy about almost on par with passion? Also, there’s a mental block in starting to really get into it, the block being that I’ve been in the field for a decade and I feel like I’m starting from scratch.

Any ideas?

Leo Gura says:

Passions do get cultivated with practice, but there are limits. You won’t just magically become passionate about something you find meaningless. That’s why realignments are necessary. When you find yourself in a dead-end career, you have to quit!

Yes, that mental block is talked about in one of my Dreamkiller videos that you get when you subscribe to the newsletter. It’s the fear that you are too invested and it’s too late to start something new because you’d be too far behind the pack. Check out that video for how to reframe it.

Bisente Gama says:

My name is Bisente I am on my girl friend Youtube account, this video is amazing, I have been playing bass for 40 years, it was always something I Love but was taking IT for granted till now! I am 57 and retired, I also like your other videos, for the short time I have learning from you I see results, after you said 99% of people dont have a pation ,then you brought it to my attention that I have had a awesome pation this whole time, I am rather good in bass in my town, thank you for giving me the ability to look deep in my soul and start taking better care of my mind, I also have lost 60 pounds and 2 knee surgery and drop A total of 80 points with my cholesterol, in one year, I have a great girlfriend that has inspired me to be heathyier, I owe it all to her, I have 0 issues and a great life but I have not been happy, I am learning to live happy in the moment, my mind rolls ans rolls, playing complicated bass has my mind set on over load, i have decided to use your techneeks to be happy, you said it may take years, but so far for a week I am well on my way to be the happy person god intends me to be, thanks for opening my own mind to me , and trust me when I say your not done with me! peace out,

Thorsteinn says:

I’d been working in manual labour for much of my life, roadwork and construction and that kind of thing, and the company I worked for went bankrupt so I found myself unemployed. I never really liked that job – but hey, it’s a job, I get paid so I can pay rent, pay my bills and so on. I was on the dole for a while, and down at the unemployment office, I got into a course in health care. Now I’m working in a nursing home (for the elderly), and at 35 (well, I was 32 when I got the job but I took to it at once), I’ve finally found the thing I want to do for a living, motivation for finally going to further education (nursing), and found interests doing new things beyond going out with the lads for endless beers on Fridays and Saturdays, and playing video games in my off-time otherwise.

Thanks for your videos!

Marie says:

One of my challenges nowadays is trying to find a job opportunity that really interests or excites me very much or slightly. And it’s very hard, because most of the job postings I’ve been seeing online are typical /general ones that usually don’t even require degrees or require specialized degrees with some experience in certain industries. Most or all of them have job descriptions, and I could tell just by reading it if it didn’t sound interesting enough.

I am currently in my 30’s, underemployed and no longer receiving unemployment benefits. Based on my past work experiences, I don’t really like being in a mediocre work environment where I don’t grow and learn anything new. I decided to do figure modeling at an art college, beginning of this year for the first time since I wanted to do something different. It’s an entry level part-time job but not very stable; mainly good as a side job for extra income. There are pros and cons just like any other.I also thought about the other types of modeling. Recently, I applied to substitute teacher job at an agency; it’s also a temporary entry-level job, and this is also gonna be my first time to do this job.

I did attend colleges before and eventually received my Associates degree/liberal arts, but didn’t major in a specific subject. So I haven’t had a real career, mainly mediocre/dead-end jobs that I don’t prefer to go back to. I probably just need to choose something and continue my education or get trained in a specific field.

Rafael says:

How can i get a hold of my authentic self when there is no self at all? Should i get hold of illusion of self? But if it is just illusion it is not authentic.

This is a great video, one difficulty I have is that I am passionate about many things. I am ambitious and motivated, without a doubt, but am working on so many projects I can only take a few steps with each one. I know I need to prioritise more….hence the question of what is my true passion is very important. I wish you all well on your journey to Self.

Alexandria Ames says:

Could your passion be tied to your last name? For an example, Your last name is Gura which is a spelling variation to guru which means a spiritual teacher and your like a guru and you seem to be passionate about your job. So can your last name help you find your passion in life?

Elizabeth Davis says:

wow great video. I have actually had many jobs while still not really finding my passion. I’m sure I just need to jot down what I have liked and disliked more fully about each job I have had.

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