Finding Your Passion

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


life | 12 December 2016

Finding Your Passion

In the industry I am in, I am surrounded by people who are driven by a creative passion. And I count myself a lucky gal to be able to a part of it, even if small. But I know it is not a given. For a great part of society, it is unclear what their passion is. And often it results in the unjust conclusion that they must not have a passion at all.

I am no expert at finding your passion but I can tell you how I was able to clear my mind about what I wanted in life. Which is a great first step at finding your passion.

1. your life on a timeline

What helped for me was to picture my life in front of me. We don’t all get to live to a hundred years old, but let’s say we do. Now picture a timeline with your birth at 0, your age and 100 at the end of the line. Wherever you are now, this is how far you are at achieving your life goal. Scary isn’t it, to see that you’re supposed to be at almost a third of your life’s goal, but you realize you are not. Subtract another third of the timeline (because we won’t be working until we’re 100) and you’re left with even little time!

Why is this important? Time is always important. When we feel like we’re running out of time, that’s when we start running.

2. Your life goals

Now we’re getting to the hard part – finding your life goals. Explore the idea of doing what your doing all your life – would you be happy at the end of the road? Would you feel like you’ve succeeded in life? In realizing your life goals? If not, what would you rather see yourself accomplishing in life?

For me, the idea of running out of time, helped push me towards what I really wanted to do. I thought about my childhood, my passions then. I thought about my student life and what I loved spending my spare time doing. And then I thought about my working life – and what I spent most time dreaming about. Somehow drawing, writing, photography, films – they had always been there throughout my life. I just hadn’t paid enough attention to my passions because I was always busy doing what I thought was right. Going after a career as a lawyer. But that wasn’t my life goal at all – that I knew. When I was able to admit that (which took me long enough), I was able to look into my passions again.

3. Taking the plunge

The previous step is the hardest and it will take the longest time to find out. But when you do, even if it’s just an inkling of a feeling, go back to the first step of looking at your life’s line. Where do you see it happening? How long do you think it will take for you to master your craft? According to Malcolm Gladwell (in the Outliers), you’ll need at least 10,000 hours of practicing before you become skillful at anything. Taking this into account (at 8 hours daily) it’ll take you three to four years to become accomplished.

So, how about taking that plunge now?!