Don’t Waste Time Looking For Your Passion–Do This Instead

Do you ever feel lost because you haven’t found your “thing” yet? You see people out there, determined to chase their passion, and you’d love to do the same: but you just can’t figure out exactly what your passion is. Everyone says “you’ll just know” when you find it, but you are interested in so many things. If you can’t imagine narrowing it down to just one passion, that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.

In fact, I think it’s time for you to abandon the search for your passion.

That’s right. There’s no need to obsess over finding the one perfect interest or hobby to pursue. There is no such thing as a single perfect path. So stop feeling stressed that you haven’t found one yet!

Instead, let your curiosity lead you. Dabble in this and that. Take an art class, try a new exercise class, check out a “how to” library book. With each venture into a new activity, you learn something about yourself: what you like, what you don’t. You get the benefit of a new experience. You might not have deep knowledge in one subject, but your knowledge will be wide, spanning lots of subjects, and that is valuable too. 

Everything is connected. It might take years to see how it all fits together, but one day you’ll realize that all the little bits and pieces of things you’ve tried over the years have brought you somewhere that investing in only one passion wouldn’t have.

Some people find their thing and run with it. They become devoted experts and evangelists — and we need them. They put in the hard work to become experts in their field, and that’s something to celebrate. 

But we need you, too. The person who has dabbled in this and that, and chased all kinds of ideas and interests. The person who can find connections and patterns between subjects that might seem unrelated at first glance, who can bring in new ideas and keep things fresh.

One day you’ll look up from the small business you created or the novel you are writing and you’ll realize that all those bits and pieces are exactly what got you to where you are.

Forget finding your passion; follow your curiosity instead.

4 Truths About Those Ideas You Don’t Act On

Do you have half-full notebooks or Google docs full of ideas gathering dust? Don’t be discouraged: not every idea is meant to be acted on. Brainstorming is valuable, whether or not you end up acting on all of the ideas, because creativity begets creativity. The more ideas you come up with, the better chance you’ll land on one (or more) that will work for you! 

It can be hard to determine which ideas to act on and which to leave for someone else. Here are a few reasons it’s okay to leave an idea alone.

Three reasons you shouldn’t act on an idea:

ONE // The idea requires more than you have to give right now. Knowing your capacity will help prevent you from getting overwhelmed. If you love an idea, but the thought of all the work it will take to make it happen fills you with a sense of dread instead of a feeling of anticipation—pay attention. This might be a sign that you are close to the limits of the capacity you have to give right now.

TWO // You’ve had an even better idea! It might be a brilliant idea: that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the idea for you. If you’ve thought of something incredible, but you know that it doesn’t fit your skill set, it’s okay to let that idea go—or to pass it on to someone else who does have the needed skill set.

THREE // Some ideas need a long time to germinate. A seed of an idea planted now may need time to grow before it’s time for you to act on it. If an idea isn’t right for this moment, that doesn’t mean it won’t come back to you later, at a better time. Allow space to see what takes root and what blows away on the wind.


And, one reason you should act on an idea:

Don’t let fear hold you back. Sometimes we have THE idea and we know it—but we are too paralyzed by fear to move forward. Ask yourself what’s holding you back. Be brutally honest: journal or mind-map the details of your idea and write down all your fears. Then talk yourself through them—and run with your big idea! 


Before you toss your ideas aside, ask yourself these four questions:

  • Do I have the capacity?
  • Is this my skill set?
  • Does this idea need time to grow?
  • Is fear holding me back? 

Your answers will help you determine which ideas to let go of and which to move forward with.

And when you are feeling stuck and looking for a new idea? Flip back through those notebooks and scroll through those Google docs—maybe you’ll stumble back across an idea that wasn’t right then, but is perfect right now.

5 Creative Ways to Monetize Your Passion

Side hustles. The gig economy. It seems like everyone is talking about ways to make money doing what you love these days. If you’ve been wanting to try and see if you, too, can make money off your passions, read on for 5 creative ideas!

Make a product: If you love to make things, consider selling them. Bake cupcakes, hand-pour candles, make small batch soap, or start painting–there are thousands of options! Think of ways you can put a little twist on your product to make it stand out from others: maybe each bar of soap has a prize inside or instead of painting on canvas you are painting tote bags or the covers of journals. Once you’ve determined your product and your creative twist,  start an Etsy shop or look around your town for somewhere where you can rent a booth or participate in pop-up markets.

Share your expertise: What are you an expert in? Do you keep up with all the latest social media trends? Are you a stickler for grammar? Or is organizing closets and garages your idea of a perfect Saturday? These are all things people will pay you to do for them! You can use sites like Upwork or Fiverr to find virtual jobs, or local Facebook groups or NextDoor to find in-person opportunities.

Create content: It isn’t the fastest way to make money, but it can be lucrative for those who are able to find and connect with an audience. Consider starting a blog, podcast, or a YouTube channel to try out earning with advertising revenue. Or, if you have content you think people will pay directly for, perhaps setting up a Patreon account or creating a course to sell is the way to go. 

Print on Demand: If you love graphic design or art, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of an inventory-based business, consider uploading your designs to print-on-demand sites like Society 6 or Spoonflower. Your cut may be smaller than if you were handling the whole process, but once you get your art uploaded, it can be a relatively passive income stream.

Flip Items: If you can spend hours hunting for treasures at estate sales, yard sales, and thrift stores, consider flipping items. If you have a good eye for finding diamonds in the rough, you might be able to make some money turning one person’s trash into someone else’s treasure. Utilize Facebook’s Buy-Sell-Trade groups or Marketplace, apps like Poshmark, or if finding vintage knickknacks is your specialty, consider renting space in your local antique store. 


Don’t be discouraged if you don’t start making money right away; it can take time to build up a business. But with a little hard work and imagination, you can move some of your favorite activities from hobby to money-making venture. 

Do you have an experience monetizing your passions? If you have creative money-making tips or ideas of your own, drop them in the comments!

How to Deal With Conflicting Advice Online

 

Have you ever gone searching for advice on the internet? You find a great article or blog post, read it enthusiastically, taking note of all you need to do. Then… you click to another post you’d bookmarked. When you start reading, you realize that the advice is exactly the opposite of what you just read. 

What to do?

First—do a gut check. Does one set of advice resonate with you more strongly? If you have an “off” feeling about what you are being told to do, there’s a reason… trust your instinct. There is lots of great information online… but there are also a lot of people out there trying to scam you, seeing if they can make a “get rich quick” scheme work for them, or just spreading misinformation. Pay attention to whose advice you are trusting and how it makes you feel. 

Second—remember that you are a unique individual. The exact way someone else does things probably isn’t going to be the exact best way for you to work. It’s okay to mix and match advice. Following someone else’s path isn’t the key to your success. Discern which advice is going to work for you and your lifestyle. If you are waking up with young kids throughout the night, an early morning power work session might not work for you—no matter how easy that blogger or influencer makes it look. 

Finally—trial and error is okay! It’s a great way to learn. If you see something you get really excited about, and try it out only to realize it’s not for you… no problem. Consider it a learning experience and move on to the next thing. 

Assess. 

Mix and match. 

Try and see. Before long you’ll be ready to give your own advice on the internet—just remember that it won’t be the right advice for everyone!

Top 5 Books for Multi-Passionate Creatives

 

Do you have stacks of books waiting to be read piled around your home? Do your stacks range wildly in subject because there are so many different things you are interested in and want to learn about? Books are a great way to expand your horizons but it’s not uncommon for multi-passionate creatives to get overwhelmed by their many interests, ideas, and passions. 

If you are an overwhelmed creative, consider moving these five books to the top of your TBR pile. Written by authors who understand multi-passionate personalities, these books will give you better insight into your personality type, as well as advice and inspiration from authors who are a little further along in their journey.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

THE RENAISSANCE SOUL by Margaret Lobenstine

Subtitled “Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One” this book defines a Renaissance Soul as someone who is constantly seeking new challenges and has expressed interest in a wide variety of areas. In other words: a multi-passionate creative! Packed full of tips, you’ll get fresh advice for those who don’t do well with standard time-management advice and career ideas to help you discover your own unique path. Plus, there are exercises to help you learn to narrow your focus and give higher quality attention to your current top interests. This book lives up to its promise to help you design a life you love!

REFUSE TO CHOOSE by Barbara Sher

Barbara Sher coined the term “Scanners”–a personality type of people who want to do it all and have trouble focusing on just one thing at a time. In this book, she walks through the nine different types of scanners, devoting a chapter to each type. The book also includes career ideas for each scanner type and practical tips and tools to help you explore your interests. If you need validation that it’s okay to have multiple interests and feel like you could use an instruction manual to live your life the way you want, this thought-provoking book should be your next read!

HOW TO BE EVERYTHING by Emilie Wapnick

Subtitled “A guide for those who (still) don’t know what they want to be when they grow up,” this is the book for those who have never been able to answer the question of what, exactly, they want to do with their life. Based on the author’s TED talk, the book is full of advice and activities to help you build a framework that allows you to design your life and career around all your skills and interests. Tackling everything from dealing with insecurity to establishing a career, this book is sure to give you a boost of confidence as you pursue your unique path.

EVERYTHING IS FIGUREOUTABLE by Marie Forleo

If you are in need of a pep talk to tell you that you can figure out how to live the life you want, start reading this book immediately! Both engaging and entertaining, this book will help you shift your mindset to one of confidence. If you feel stuck, the author shares strategies to help you “retrain your brain” and get moving again. Writing prompts throughout the book will help you as you figure things out so you can start achieving your goals.

A LIFE AT WORK by Thomas Moore

This book serves as a guide to discovering your purpose and understanding how all of the work you do throughout your life shapes your journey. If you are feeling a disconnect between your job and your calling, this book will help you discover how to close that gap. If you are considering making big changes in your life, read this book first to gain perspective and find tools for uncovering what really matters to you.


Fellow multi-passionates, I’d love to know: have you read any of these? Are there any other books that should be on this list?

Help! I’m Afraid of Failure, But I Want an Exciting Life!

You’ve got all the ideas, but instead of getting out there and putting them into action, you are stuck at your nine-to-five job that pays the bills. You spend your days dreaming about what life could be like—if only you weren’t terrified of failing. If this is you, I’ve got good news: having an exciting life doesn’t mean you have to quit your job, sell all your stuff, and pack up to start travelling the world today. A few small steps can move your daily daydream out of the dream world and into reality.

First: make a dream list. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be? Don’t think about practicality here, just write down all the ideas that come to mind. Have you always wanted to be an artist? A Rockette? A scuba diver? No idea is too crazy to write down—this is a dream list, so let yourself dream big. Don’t worry about constraints like money, time, or responsibilities. Just write down everything that sounds interesting to you. 

Hold onto your list for a week or two. Read through your list a few different times. Set aside thirty minutes dedicated to daydreaming or journaling about your list. Once you’ve spent some time thinking about these dreams, identify the one thing that keeps floating to the surface, an idea you just can’t get out of your mind.

Next, talk through that idea. Coaching would be a great place to do this. You could also ask a supportive friend to meet you for coffee to talk this over—or even have a coffee date with yourself and your journal. However you choose to do it, answer the following four questions:

  1. What is the thing I really want?
  2. What am I most scared of? 
  3. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
  4. What’s a small change I can make to turn that dream into a reality?

Here are two examples of what answering these questions might look like: 

  • I want to be an artist. I’m terrified my friends will laugh at me and I won’t be any good. The worst thing that can happen is I find out I’m not great—but I could take art classes to get better. If my friends laugh, maybe they weren’t that great of friends to begin with. I can’t quit my job today to pursue art full time, but I can take a class at the community center or buy some watercolors and find a YouTube tutorial.
  • I always wanted to be a Rockette. That’s the thing I dreamed of as a little girl. I really love to dance, but I gave it up because I was scared I would never be good enough to “make it.” Now I’m well past the window where I could have auditioned and given it a shot… but that doesn’t mean I can’t dance anymore. What if I signed up for a dance class at a local studio? It’s been twenty years since my last class and I’m out of shape. I don’t know if I’d be able to keep up. But… I could probably find a low-key class with other people who just want to dance for fun. Maybe it would help me get back in shape, maybe I’d meet a few friends. If I hate it, I don’t have to go back. And no, I wouldn’t be able to go audition for the Rockettes—but maybe I could audition for a local theater performance if I really want to be on stage. 

Once you’ve answered these questions, pick one step to take towards your dream. Write it down with a deadline or ask a friend to hold you accountable. Then celebrate when you buy the watercolors or sign up for the dance class. You are making progress on having a more exciting life! 

Finally, work on flipping your mindset. You can learn from failure. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to achieve your dream—it just means you have more work to do. Failure is part of the journey. The more you fail, the better you’ll get at it, and the easier it will be to pick yourself up and keep moving.  

Keep your list—once you’ve made a little progress on the first item, you might be ready to start working towards another!

An exciting life means spending time on the things you love. Taking those first steps towards your dreams can make you see everything else in your life in a new light—no packing or plane tickets required.