As I (slowly) approach mid-life I’ve come face to face again with a question that’s not really new to me but just an iteration of what I’ve been asking myself at various points of my life. Now, however, I could sense a bit more urgency in my questioning and I really can’t help asking myself:
“Hey, you’re halfway there. How are you going to spend the rest of it?”
What I’m really asking myself here is about finally finding and pursuing my passion. At times I can’t help thinking that maybe I’m the only one going through this dilemma. Then again, if you Google “finding your passion” there are many articles and blog posts that would come up.
If no one is interested in this subject, there wouldn’t be anybody talking about finding and pursuing passion or publishing self-help books on this topic.
At the time of writing this blog post, I searched the keyword “passion” in Amazon under the category Self-help books and even if we narrow it down to those relating to Personal Transformation, there are still more than 700 books on this topic. That’s a lot of books trying to help you and I find our passion!
Then, there will be those other times when I would hear stories of others who are in the same situation, and it really hits home. I can’t help thinking about the people who I know or those whom I’ve met, who’s also searching and/or trying to find a way to pursue their own passions. If you’re in the same position, I’d like to share with you four (4) lessons that I’ve learned in trying to find and pursue my passion.
1. It’s not passion you’re after; it’s your North Star.
One book that really had a great impact on me was Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck.
You may now have passion for cooking or finance but for most of us, our passions are ever-changing and would make a shift even before we could turn into the next Iron Chef or Warren Buffett. More likely than not, if you are an Iron Chef or is Warren Buffett, more likely than not you have already found what you’re meant to be. Instead of trying to find your passion, try finding your North Star.
You can think of your North Star as your guide (much like how the Polaris, or North Star, is used by navigators to find true north) to achieve your life’s purpose.
Martha Beck’s book will walk you through on how you can find your own North Star and includes case studies and questionnaires that will really help you reconnect with yourself. I have learned a lot from this book and I highly recommend it as your next read.
2. Others can help you find your North Star, on a caveat that there has to be no judgment.
This is one of the lessons that I have applied as soon as I finished reading Martha Beck’s book Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live.
There is great value in being able to talk to somebody that you trust, as you search for your own North Star, whether it’s a family member or a friend. However, to be able to speak knowing that there will be no judgment gives us much greater freedom to discuss what’s in our hearts and minds.
Sometimes though, if you are having difficulty identifying a person in your life that you can speak to devoid of judgment, you can always get help from a licensed professional such as a licensed clinical psychologist.
3. You may have found your North Star already but just ignored it.
You might be one of those who were interested in something as a child; however, as a grown up, you may have decided not to continue pursuing this interest as you have to make practical choices in your career. Perhaps, you’re very good in something but have only considered this talent as a hobby. Most of us have dreams and what if you’ve always wanted to pursue this dream but never got the opportunity?
All of these could possibly have been your North Stars.
As a child during the 1980’s, I was crazy about being a detective like Remington Steele/Laura Holt from the TV show Remington Steele. As I thought about how to find my North Star, for a second I did consider the possibility of being a real-life detective.
But then I started thinking about dealing with real crimes and guns, my knees weakened. I’m sure reality is not even close to what amateur sleuth and classic mystery book heroine Nancy Drew have to deal with on a daily basis. Despite being a young mystery solver, Nancy Drew was even used to being around guns. I just know I don’t have the personality that would fit this type of work.
However, it may be different for you. It is worth revisiting all those things that we were interested in as a child, our talents, and dreams. You never know, your North Star might just be there around the corner.
4. To find your North Star, you just have to try to do it.
You can spend countless hours researching and thinking about how you can find your North Star but sometimes, you just have to try to do it. I too have spent countless hours listening to audio books on the topic, reflecting and dreaming about finding my North Star. At some point, we have to face our fears and live our lives.
Remember lesson #3? Although I realized that living my childhood aspiration to be a detective is not really what I would like to do, I did also think about my other dreams and aspirations. I have always dreamt of one day publishing a book. About what? I don’t know yet. But then, I realized, I have to take it one step at a time. How could I write a book if I do not know how to write well?
So I am taking a leap now by starting the Life Notes to File blog. I have spent a good part of my life doing what I should be doing. I have also spent a good part of my life trying to find what I’m meant to do. So here I am taking my first step.
What about you, have you found your North Star?
Beck, Martha. Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live. Tantor Audio, 2016. Audiobook.