If you find yourself sitting around bored, listless, and uninspired, don’t fret. There are ways you can figure out what you’re passionate about and the best part is, there’s no wrong answer. Passion comes from within – you just need to awaken it.

How do you discover your passion? You work it.

You don’t want to wake up every morning and regret not chasing a dream, or having regrets. There’s no sense in giving up when you have the world in front of you. Despite how difficult it may seem to discover your passion, know that you’re not alone and there are systematic ways to approach finding exactly what you’re passionate about.

Here are some systematic tools and frameworks that can help you get started:

Focus on Progress
Try to carve out some time every day to discovering your passion. Sitting around being inactive is counterproductive. Go out into the world to learn more about yourself. What you enjoy doing, places you enjoy going, anything that wakes you up inside. Again, it’s important to remember there is no wrong answer.

Start with Everything
Make a list of things you think you’d be even remotely interested in as a starting off point. Write down EVERYTHING and anything. You can eventually mark things off the list that you realize you aren’t as into as others.

Another way to approach finding your passion is to ask yourself two questions:
  A) what’s your passion in life?
  B) Do you see yourself being a doctor? (Y/N)

While you may not think so, question B is way easier to answer than question A. If you answered ‘yes’ to question B, that would prompt thought or discussion with someone where you could dig deeper into your answer and perhaps encourage you to learn more about the profession. If you answered ‘no’, then you can move on to the next question and replace doctor with a different job, career, or role.

Start (again) with Nothing
This is referred to as the ‘blank piece of paper approach.’ Though it may seem contradictory to the previous suggestion of starting with everything but they both approaches share the same objective. In this approach, make a list of 3-5 things you would absolutely love to do. Don’t hold back. If you want to be the President of the United States, write it down. If you want to cure cancer, write it down. No matter how impossible it may seem, write it down.

Once you’ve compiled your list, ask yourself why you’d want to do each of those things. If you want to be president because you believe you can change the world, ask yourself why you feel like you can change the world. The goal here is to ask why over and over again. If you’re comfortable, have a friend or family member ask you these questions. Incite conversation and repeat this process for each of the things your wrote down.

Make note of trends in your answers. Are you repeatedly mentioning giving back to the community? Wanting to work with technology? Work with children? These trends aren’t happening by accident. Make note of these things because they are clues to helping you find your passion.

Experiment More
If you’re unsure if you’ll enjoy something, test it out. Go into it as an experiment and keep in mind it might not turn out the way you had hoped or liked, but you gave it a shot and now you know you can cross something off your ‘Everything’ list.

In the end, know that most people don’t just wake up and realize what their passion is in life. More often than not, people work hard to figure out what they are truly passionate about. In the process you may struggle but eventually the hard work will pay off and you’ll find that passion you’ve been searching for.

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