Five Ways To Find Your Passion

⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten 

Passion is intertwined within my DNA. I’ve been very fortunate in my 30 years on this earth because I knew early on that I was passionate about storytelling through the written word. That has shaped my career and will continue to do so. My innate love of writing has allowed me to cultivate a successful public relations career, write a first draft of an 85,000+ word novel and tell thousands of others’ stories since I was a 14-year-old student journalist. My passion gives me confidence and fervor on low-energy and caffeine-fueled days.

Some of us, however, may struggle to realize our passions. We know we have likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and more, but we may not know how to leverage that in our personal and professional lives. In some cases, we may not even know we have a particular passion or could decide to build upon a childhood daydream.

Here are five ways you can help build your passion:

Do an experience inventory.

We inventory how many items we have on hand, so why not do an experience inventory? Reflect on your journey and assess positive and negative experiences. Do you see trends? You could notice that you enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together. That could lead you to an engineer or general contractor position -- or perhaps something else. In your mind, go back all of the way to childhood. Wade through the memories of timeouts and summer nights to see if your passion showed through even then.

Volunteer your time at a local nonprofit organization.

Nonprofit work is near and dear to my heart. I began my public relations career in community relations, and I still love helping nonprofits reach their contribution and awareness goals and objectives. If you’re in a passion rut, volunteer at a nonprofit organization near you. Whether it’s a direct service organization like a homeless shelter or a hub of resource opportunities like your local United Way, find something that piques your interest. You never know… you could volunteer your time and it can change the road to your passion.

Find your skill set and run with it.

Whether you love crunching numbers and developing balance sheets or you create watercolor works of art on the weekends, use your skills to light your way. A small skill, such as enjoying talking with people, can open doors for new experiences and passions. Always learn about new ways to reach results. A constant state of learning will strengthen your current passions and help you find new ones.

Do what comes naturally.

This goes hand in hand with the experience inventory. This time, focus on your immediate surroundings. What feels right to you at the moment? This is a more spontaneous line of thinking. What are your current interests? What is needed NOW in your community? Use what you do in your career to aid you during your passionate discovery. Go with your gut and what fits your personality. Your intuition will serve you well.

Find something that upsets you -- and do something about it.

All of us get aggravated about micro and macro events surrounding us. This could be a political, social, religious or another item on a roster that gets underneath your skin. When this happens, use it to your advantage. You can use that passion to make a difference in a cause. Advocating for change is a powerful way to use a newly developed or long-standing passion to make a clear difference in your career, community and beyond.

Here’s a *very* brief list of my general passions:

  • Helping others

  • Teaching others

  • Local causes

  • Traveling

  • Telling and reading/listening to stories

  • Communications career fields

  • Popular culture

  • Mental health issues

  • Photography

  • My loved ones

Create your own list and see what happens!

Copyright © MMXVIII Hourglass Media, LLC

Kaylin R. Staten, APR is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer. She owns Hourglass Media, a consulting company based in Huntington, WV. 

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