There’s countless quotes and people in our lives telling us to follow our passions. But what if you don’t even know what your passion are? And if they’re such an integral part of who we are, how are we supposed to be ourselves when we don’t even know who that is?
Well in today’s post there isn’t going to be any quick fix, but there sure are going to be rock-solid principles you can live by that can land you in a better place of knowing yourself and working for causes that matter to you.
Counterintuitively, the way to finding your passions isn’t to do more, it’s to do less.
It’s when we start cutting the lesser things out of our lives where we can finally further experience and put more energy into what really matters.
Before you start cutting things or even people out of your life you need to know two IMPORTANT rules:
Rule 1: Only cut things out at natural stopping points. These natural stopping points are things like the end of the season, the end of the school year, once your subscription ends, etc. If you get in the habbit of just quitting whenever you feel like it:
- You won’t be sure if you’re quitting because it’s hard or because it’s not right for you.
- You might pass by on something that is right for you, it just needed more time.
Rule 2: When cutting large things/people out of your life get Godly and wise counsel first. This is so underrated but it has saved me a lot.
Perfect. Now that we know the guidelines let’s dive right in!
Quality > Quantity
Here it’s all about building up that quality and simulataneously decreasing that quantity. So if you have the means to, try cutting out:
- What doesn’t interest you. What do you find boring?
- What doesn’t impact the world. Is what you’re working on making a difference? Or atleast growing you into the type of person who can make a difference?
- What doesn’t help you build meaningful connections. Are you meeting potential mentors? Awesome friends? People with similar interests? Or just really interesting and passionate people? If not it might be time to quit.
- What doesn’t bring you to places and environments that interest you. Even if you don’t like the job itself or the work itself but you really like the school you’re at or the city you’re in, it’s still providing value.
- What doesn’t help you grow more independent. And independent here means financially, socially, etc.
- What doesn’t help you express yourself. Sometimes things that are a true expression of yourself don’t have to explained. You don’t have to justify loving what you love if it doesn’t hurt anyone.
- What doesn’t give you a plain old good time. A good time is important! Pay attention to what makes you so happy in those good times. While happiness isn’t as deep as joy, it’s so important.
- What keeps you inside your comfort zone. You’ll know when you’re rationalizing yourself out of moving past your comfort zone.
- What is subconsciously sucking your time, energy, or attention. These are one of the most effective things to cut out! Unfortunately we’re not always aware of these suckers because they’re unconscious so tracking your time can definitely help with this.
- What makes you think about low-quality topics. You get to define low-quality, but we can almost always improve the quality of our thoughts. And I think the single biggest factor in doing that is just pruning who you let influence you.
- What drains you of health. Things that don’t add value to your life generally drain your health and energy.
- What doesn’t glorify God. As Christians this is our ultimate purpose so it should also be our ultimate filter. I’ll be the first to admit that filtering by this is hard and unnatural sometimes, but it is definitely practical! In my own life I’ve found that what doesn’t glorify God usually also hurts me in other ways so it’s only a matter of time before some signal gets through my head and I cut it out.
After going through this list I hope you set yourself free or ask for help in starting that process. But also cut out the good things. The good things?! Yeah, it’s really tough cutting out good things in life but we need to make room for the great and best things.
And this was a bit of a downer post because I listed a lot of negative things to cut out instead of positive things to add into your life, but I’m here to provide real value to your life. And in my experience cutting out the negative has almost always been essential for creating enough room for the positive.
All in all, it’s much easier to find and cut out what you think is boring than to put the pressure on yourself of discovering what you find incredible passion for.
And at the end of the day, I do think passion is a little overrated. It’s something we find yes, but something we develop too. And life doesn’t start when all your efforts line up towards a single goal and you do some huge things, life starts right now when you decide to live it.