The Downside of Finding Your Passion

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We discussed finding your passion on The BIGG Success Show today. Click the player to listen, or keep reading for a summary of that discussion.

This show was inspired by a study on finding your passion to be published in Psychological Science.

The research shows people are led astray by the advice to “find your passion”. It makes it harder to discover one’s passion. So you get stuck. In fact, that’s a conclusion we came to years ago here on BIGG Success.

Fortunately, there is a better way…

Finding your passion versus finding your purpose

Passion is sexy. Passion is new. Passion is exciting. Passion is popular. Our culture is passionate about passion.

Purpose is passion’s step sister. Purpose is Cinderella. It’s usually dressed like a maid, scrubbing the floors. Underneath it all, though, you’ll see a stunningly beautiful bride fit for a prince.

Think “and”

It’s not “either/or” – either passion or purpose; it’s both – passion and purpose.

Passion burns hot and bright, but it can quickly get snuffed out. The study shows people who try to find their passion give up when they run into obstacles. And like death and taxes, you can count on running into obstacles.

That’s the downside of “finding your passion”.

Think about a romantic relationship. You start out all starry-eyed. You romanticize who they are. You live in separate spaces, so you aren’t together as much as if you lived together. So, you see an idealized version of them.

Most relationships end soon after this dreaminess wears off.

If the relationship is to last, you must move from “in love” to loving. The rose-colored glasses come off. You share space, so you’re together more. You see the real person and you love them anyway!

Passion may get you started, but it’s purpose that keeps you going.

A better way to find your passion

So how can you find your passion?

Stop trying.

Don’t try to discover your passion. Strive to develop your passion.

The study shows this is a better way.

Start with an internal focus. Think about your proficiencies.

Chances are you love what you are good at. But your base level of skills aren’t enough.

God has given you a gift. That is a clue to your passion, what you should be doing.

But you must develop your true talents. That will require purpose, understanding why it’s important for you to do it.

Then move externally. What opportunities allow you to play to your proficiencies?

This is entrepreneurial thinking. You are the entrepreneur of a very special enterprise – your life. You own it. You’re in control if you choose to be.

Entrepreneurs are very opportunistic. When they see an opportunity, they find ways to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Then they move forward.

It may not be the perfect opportunity, but it helps them gain resources. Then rinse and repeat, spiraling upward to BIGG success!

BIGG Takeaway

The best place to find your passion is in your God-given gifts.
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