How many times have you heard (or said) “follow your passion”?
It’s a great idea in theory, but it’s about as effective as a New Year’s resolution to get healthy. What does that look like, exactly? And how do you get there?
That’s why I often recommend the book The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Destiny, the New York Times bestseller by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood.
A lot of people struggle to identify their passions or translate them into reality. The Passion Test does a great job of offering that starting point. The book requires you to identify your top 15 passions and write passion statements that explain what broad words such as “balance,” “creativity” and “learning” look like and mean to you.
Next comes the hard part: Just like an eye exam in which you have to decide whether lens A or lens B looks better (and they often look practically identical), you have to compare your top passions two at a time and choose which is more important than the other, eventually narrowing your choices to your top five.
Finally, with those top five passions in mind, you’re asked to identify how well you’re living them right now. And therein lies the gap that we work to close.
Combining The Passion Test with strategies from The Passion Planner (a separate planner) has given me a road map—with deadlines—for my goals. I believe it does the same thing for my clients.
Over time they’ve shared with me some of the discoveries they’ve made in working through The Passion Test:
- Thinking big enough is a challenge.
- It’s hard to honestly state one’s passions without feeling some judgment—choosing career over family or family over career, for example.
- Knowing your passions is one thing; aligning your life to your passions is another. You may need to step back and look at what activities others can do so that you can focus on your passions.
- At any moment you may have to pivot. And as your life changes, your passions may change.
- Done is better than perfect.
is a great way to identify just what your ideal might look like if it were tangible. And it helps you think through what you want it to look like. Even better, by using the planner with our career coaching at Merrfeld, you can schedule out the steps to get there.
Don’t treat your passion with the same vagueness or sense of “someday” that you afford your resolutions. Says Janet Bray Attwood, author of The Passion Test:
“Your future life will be the result of all the evolution and growth you have experienced between now and then.”
Where will your passion take you?