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Feeling Lost? Here's How to Find Your Passion

For some people they know exactly what they want, have known since a young age, and have been on a path fueled by inspiration ever since. While all of that is wonderful, the majority of us don’t have it figured out. Life pulls us in so many different directions, throws us curveballs, and has now tossed a pandemic into the mix. Have you found the past 3 months to be a time alone with your thoughts, wondering perhaps what path you will take now? Understandably this crisis has created a whole atmosphere of chaos, and for many of those that are about to go out into the world, it begs the question, “Where will I go from here?”

However, this time is a potential door opener… it is attitude that matters.

After doing research, I found that “finding your passion” could be broken down into two theories: Ideas and interests are either fixed (fixed theory) or developed (growth theory) (1). Those who support the fixed theory were shown to be more likely to disregard the possible ideas outside of their existing interests, and anticipated “boundless motivation when passions were found, not anticipating the possible difficulties.” As hardships arise, those with this mindset experience doubt; studies show a steep decline in interest as the individuals come to consensus that this may not be their passion (1). A fixed mindset basically assumes one’s potential intelligence, creativity, and capabilities are limiting factors. Success is measured by outside affirmation and determined by avoiding failure at all costs (3). In contrast the growth theory, or growth mindset, states that interests are developed over time, not revealed in full form. This way, difficulties are further expected, and interest is more likely sustained when faced with adversity (1).

If that last paragraph made you stop and consider that you have been a past proponent of the fixed theory, do not worry! Countless have fallen right into the same pattern. It is easy to find something you’re interested in, but it is hard to keep that same passion once obstacles start getting in the way.

Since we live in an age where we have the whole world at our fingertips, any knowledge we would like to know is all right there. This makes finding new habits and challenging our philosophies more accessible:

1. Start with a pen and pencil, this is a major time to reflect, name all of the things/ activities that make you happy or bring you joy/interest.

2. Take into consideration the “growth theory.” According to Maria Popova (3) the most sustainable way to identify and pursue a passion over time, something where your love for this hobby, vocation, or life goal grows as you understand it and its complexities more, means realizing a passion is usually not something you immediately see in its full form or master overnight. Rather finding your passion is an evolving relationship with a beginning, middle, and end, much like a life story.

3. Use this time that we have during quarantine to do some research and use the answers from point #1 as a guide.

- Once you start to see jobs/ideas that interest you, start cold calling or reaching out to people in your network, or organizations that interest you. Try to attain an informational interview (10-15 mins of time with an employee or employer of the organization or in your field of interest).


As always, good things take time. Put in the work to research and look deep within yourself on who you are, your life goals, and consider what verse you will contribute to the powerful play we are all a part of in life (contributions to Flipturn, “Churches”).



Still have questions and want to learn more? During the pandemic, access to consulting advice and coaching services for you virtually is now an option. Click here to book an appointment with Danielle Feerst, OTR/L and coach for help and guidance.




Sources:

(1) Sage journals: Implicit Theories of Interest: Finding Your Passion or Developing It? 2018. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797618780643?casa_

(2) Perceiving, Behaving, Becoming. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED096575.pdf#page=42

(3) Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives. https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/

Written by Caroline Campione, Summer 2020 Intern

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