How To Discover and Reach Your Passion

It’s important to find your passion that drives you in life. Afrina Arfa shares how to find and follow it.

“Do what you love, love what you do.”

How many times have you heard this exact phrase and thought, “If only it were that easy?”

Oftentimes, we follow the path that has been curated by the adults in our life and this doesn't always match what we want to pursue in life.

“But what is it that I want to do anyway?”

“Do I really know better than them?”

If you're at the point where you're questioning the decisions you're making, I want to make it clear to you that: Nobody will ever know if they're doing the right thing or not. But what if there's something waiting for you out there that you’d love to do and that you know would be a success. Wouldn't you want to pursue that instead?

So to all of you wondering the same questions, clueless on where and how to start, here are 3 steps to discover your true passion.

1. Don't follow other people's footsteps

As young adults, we all have role models that we look up to. It could be someone successful or someone in your family that you've admired. But don't let this define how you become and what your career path should be because everyone's passions are different and there's no one-size-fits-all.

Finding your passion means thinking about what works for you instead of wondering if it'll be accepted by the norms of society. Because you’ll never be as good as someone who truly enjoys what they're doing.

2. Brainstorming

If I were to tell you that you'd be able to understand your passion in a magic minute, it wouldn't be realistic. Discovering what you like takes time

Instead, take out a piece of paper and jot down the things you enjoy doing. It could be as simple as drinking coffee in the morning or things that you love reading or studying about. Brainstorming doesn't have to be organised, you just have to pour your thoughts and you'll start to realise you've written things that are similar to each other, but in different words.

It's not going to be as straightforward as, "I want to be an astronaut!" but little sentences like "I like to read history books" or "I like to write poems". Though they may not immediately show what you should follow, they’ll definitely come in handy later on.

3. Differentiating between hobby and passion

Most people have a misconception that hobby and passion are the same thing. But what you like to do in your free time doesn’t necessarily mean that's your passion.

I'm not saying you can never develop your hobby into a career, but I'm asking you to carefully differentiate the two before you make a decision. Ever since I was young, I loved writing. I used to take inspiration from the books I read, the places I travelled to, and the people I met. I wrote poems, song lyrics, short stories, and articles.

And as much as I loved writing, my dream career that I wanted to spend my life doing wasn’t at all similar. So when you're posed with the idea of making a career out of something you love, sit down and think about whether you'd want to pursue it professionally, in the long term.

How To Discover and Reach Your Passion

How To Work Towards It

So, you've learned how to find your passion and differentiate between hobby and passion — now what?

Working towards your passion will be a rough road to drive through, but it'll be so much more worth it than a 9-to-5 job that you dread every morning. Here’s what you can do to brace yourself through that journey.

1. Investing in your skills

As Warren Buffet says, the best investment is an investment in yourself.

Pursuing your passion needs time, energy, and definitely the right skill set. No matter how much you enjoy working towards your passion, you must know how to improve your skills in the specific industry and be the best in what you're doing.

Always try to look for knowledge within books, articles, and journals related to your passion, or invest in workshops and courses. It may be pricey but it’s really priceless if it’s an important investment for your future.

2. Networking with people pursuing the same passion

The truth is, everybody needs support and encouragement when pursuing their goals. When you’re alone, you could spend years trying to complete a project which could’ve taken only a few months with the right people. 

When you’re constantly networking and building long term relationships, especially with those pursuing the same passion, you’d be able to have support from those more experienced who are willing to assist you through your journey.

Consider it as a stepping stone or a shortcut, when or if you’re trying to break into a new industry you’ve only figured out you wanted to pursue.

3. Don’t be afraid of trying

People often tuck their ideas and passions at the back of their heads, fearing the change. It seems as though staying in the current status quo provides more comfort and security than if they were to pursue their dreams. 

But sometimes, not acting on your passion could be riskier than the status quo itself. You’d be creating possible scenarios years into the future, wondering what could have happened if you followed your passion. 

Don’t be afraid of trying something new, for the sake of comfort. The reality is that you’ve only got two outcomes that can come from the choice you make — success or failure. 

And if you fail, you’re still one step ahead of where you were before you took the chance. Pick yourself back up, improve, and grow on what you’ve learned, because failure is still a step in the right direction.

How To Discover and Reach Your Passion

Passion isn’t going to be a straight A-Z path — and it’ll never be. You’re always going to be questioned by the people closest to you and sometimes even yourself. 

"Is this really worth it?"

"Is my passion good enough for society?"

"But the truth is, you’ll never know until you try."

So believe in yourself and your abilities no matter how long it takes you, because nobody knows you better than yourself and always work towards little progress every day.

Still figuring out what you should do next in your academic life? Talk to one of our counsellors to find out how you can prepare for your passion in life.

Afrina Arfa is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business (Hons) Finance and Economics at Taylor's University. She is currently an active member of Taylor’s Orientation Leaders and Taylor’s ETC Magazine Club.