What do you want to be when you grow up? My daughter was barely 4 years old the first time an adult asked her that. The quest for your life purpose starts young and continues throughout life. In this week’s guest blog, Maggie Steele shares a simple exercise for how to find your passion and choose what you want to be based on what you love, not on outside influence.
While many of us are blessed with the innate understanding of why we were put on this Earth, the vast majority of us are left grasping at ideas and notions of what it is we are meant to do with our lives. We listen to our parents, our friends, and our teachers, thinking that they are able to tell us exactly what to do. And while those close to us may certainly have good intentions, the truth is that no one knows you better than you.
Many of my clients come to me thinking that I, too, will be able to pinpoint exactly what it is that will make them happy and can tell them what they should do with the precious time they have been given. They soon discover, however, that a coach is not there to give you the answers but instead, there to shine a light on the answers that are already there. The very key these young adults so desperately seek has actually been with them the whole time.
Of course, it would be naive to say that once you find that passion, you’re all set! Our wants gradually change and our needs slowly shift as we develop and mature throughout our lives. The passion and zeal we have for something at 18 may not be as strong at 25 and the burning desire we have to do something else at 34 may not leave us fully satisfied at 67. The beauty of life is that we are constantly evolving and with each transformation, our passion can change and our purpose can grow even greater.
My job, as I see it, is to help young adults discover that particular thing that invigorates them, understand how that passion connects with their purpose, and then help them recognize the limiting beliefs and fears that can hold them back from realizing their dreams. And while many have come to me feeling lost and overwhelmed by the countless choices and possibilities that lay before them, the truth remains that every single one of us has a unique gift and an undeniable spark that ignites when we are being true to our hearts and living our soul’s purpose.
So how do you find your passion or rekindle that spark you think may have gone out? One of the first things you can do is to create a list of things that make you smile. Sit by yourself, close your eyes, and wait until you can’t help but smile. Sometimes the things we want to make us smile just don’t have the ability to do so and that is okay. Try not to judge your thoughts and focus solely on the ones that make your cheeks puff out and your eyes start to crinkle.
Once you have your list, continue to add on to it on a daily basis. Recognize the things that make you smile throughout your day. Maybe it’s the smell of your coffee or the quirky personality of a teacher. Maybe it’s a memory of a raucous party or a challenging game of chess. Recognize these precious moments that fill you with warmth and make you feel good. The key to finding your passion lies in the simplicity of this exercise. Pay attention to what makes you smile and things you never knew about yourself or had perhaps forgotten, will quickly start to surface.
Look at your list, pinpoint the feelings that accompany some of these things and ask yourself powerful questions. Dig deep and get to the root of the feeling. Questions like these can be very helpful and can guide you toward your purpose:
- What is it about _______ that makes me feel free?
- What is it about __________ that I enjoy?
- If __________ makes me feel __________ what else will make me feel _____?
- What would be possible if I woke up everyday feeling ______?
Don’t worry so much about the answers to your questions. Instead, focus on being authentic and honest with yourself. Get to know yourself and the things that make you feel good. Finding your passion and purpose doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It can actually be a hilarious and thrilling process if you let it. Jot down the things that make you smile, discover the things that make you tick, define your purpose and make today be the day you start living with intention.
The Life Coach for Teens and Young Adults
Maggie Steele is a life coach for teens and young adults and the author of How I Got My S!*t Together. She helps young people recognize their strengths and pinpoint their passion and purpose in life. Maggie is also an entertaining youth speaker and contributes inspirational articles to various magazines. www.TheLifeCoachForTeens.com