Ask Maynard: How Do I Find What I’m Passionate About?

June 19th, 2015 / Comments Off on Ask Maynard: How Do I Find What I’m Passionate About?
What would you suggest to someone who doesn’t know what they want to do in their lives? Years pass by and I want to do something that I feel passionate about but nothing seems to like me that much. I don’t want to keep having jobs just to pass the time and give me some money while I find something I love. Thanks.  — Florencia Lasheras, Executive Secretary

Dear Florencia,

Thanks so much for your question.

A lot of people feel the way you do. In fact, way over half people in the U.S. feel disengaged in jobs. That is something that worries me. It’s such a waste!

All of us need to have meaningful work that we are passionate about. I ache for those of us who do not have it. I think work should be fun. Everyone does their best work when they are engaged and find passion in what they are doing — that’s when it is “soul food.” When it’s drudgery, it becomes “work.”

In looking at your background it’s obvious to me that you are a domain expert in what you do. I imagine this may have been soul food for you at some point, but it’s not any more. The conundrum is that you are now probably world-class at this job and therefore the world wants to keep you doing this because you’re so good at it. But at the same time, if it is not en route to fulfilling your purpose, you feel out of whack.

I do believe you can find your passion. You need to add new opportunities into your work life. Experiment by adding things and then decide what you like and what you don’t. I know this might sound overwhelming, but don’t be intimidated. It doesn’t have to be a career jump, and can happen over time. But you need to get to a place where you are challenged and passionate about what you are doing.

What will make you feel challenged or passionate? Only you can answer those things. Find a quiet spot to reflect and write down things you think you’d be passionate about. Getting this clarity is important. Don’t let the rush of day and the running list of things you have to get ahead of finding your purpose.

I encourage you to read a great book written by one of my best mentors, Gay Hendricks. It’s called The Big Leap and it speaks to this whole issue far better than I can. I think it can help you find your passion and deliver more energy to you as you gain clarity on what you are intended to do, on your purpose in life.

The good news is it’s totally in your control to find meaningful work. You deserve more and I believe you can achieve it! Good luck!

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