Do you ever feel like sometimes you’re just existing? Going through the motions of daily life – getting up, going to work, coming home, watching Netflix, going to bed? Living each day as if on autopilot? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Sad to say, a significantly large number of people feel the same way. With some feeling this way for years. Others for almost a lifetime.
From my experience, there are generally two types of people stuck in this rut. Those who believe this is what life is meant to be. Who, forced into a position of no choice, numb themselves out to the pain of not really living. Going through life in a trance. Remaining asleep until the day they die.
Then there are those who are stuck, but consciously aware something is missing. They’re experiencing some level of pain – frustration, stress, resentment, demotivation or even depression. They know something isn’t right and have an underlying feeling there must be more to life. The problem is they don’t know what. Or if they do, they don’t know how to get it. Or believe they don’t deserve it.
In most cases, the missing key ingredient is passion. Passion or love. Life has become dull. Routine. Perhaps even lonely. The distinct lack of passion has led to a lack of fulfillment. And a feeling of just existing – not really living.
For many, the major obstacle is not knowing what they are passionate about. We chase jobs and activities that look good rather than focusing on finding something we enjoy. We care more about what society thinks about us, than what we think of ourselves. We forget who we are and instead, morph into the person we think we should be. Not who we want to be. We lose sight of what we love. What we enjoy. What we value. What excites us. What we’re passionate about. And in living a life not true to ourselves, we move through it unfulfilled and feeling empty.
Finding a new hobby is a great way to inject some passion into your life. And who knows – it could even turn into a new career. A word of caution – having to make money from something you love, day in day out, could take the shine off it a little. It can be stressful. Exhausting. And at times you might resent it. It might also become routine – and you could get bored.
If you are looking at a hobby as a potential career – my recommendation is to find something you enjoy and are good at. But don’t make passion the purpose of the job. Because as soon as it gets hard, the passion might dwindle. Find a purpose for the job that you can get passionate about. Your ‘why?’. For that is where true motivation will come from.
To give you an example. Coaching is my job. The purpose of my job is two-fold. First, to inspire and motivate others to believe in themselves and create the life they want. Second to earn enough money that I can take time off work and dedicate it to volunteering and alleviating poverty. Two things I am absolutely passionate about. And so when I’m exhausted after a hard week at work. Or having a day where I feel a bit ‘meh’. I remember WHY I am coaching. The purpose of the coaching. And that’s what keeps me going when times get tough.
If you’d like to have a hobby, or a career you enjoy, but have no idea what you’re passionate about – here are some tips to help get those cogs turning:
1) What is the purpose of the hobby?
There are literally hundreds of different hobbies out there to choose from. The idea behind this question is to help you set some criteria for the hobby – allowing you to narrow down the options. Is it to explore your creative side? Or to test your physical limits? To help you grow as a person – professionally, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally? Have time alone? Relax? Have fun? Make friends? Build relationships with like-minded people? To figure out a potential career? To have quality time with your partner or spouse?
After this also consider what time and budget you want to allocate to it. This will again help you to narrow down your options.
2) Where do you currently spend your time and money?
If you spend your time reading home décor magazines, then maybe doing an interior design course might be a good way to pass the time. If you spend your money on health food and supplements, then perhaps choosing a hobby or course around health and fitness could be a solid option. Also consider – what do you spend your time day-dreaming about? Have a look for clues already in your life and think about what you could turn into a potential hobby.
3) Say yes – to every opportunity
Have you seen the Jim Carey film ‘Yes Man’? Essentially he plays a man that challenges himself to say yes to everything for an entire year. Why not do the same? The more experiences you have and the more things you do, the more likely you will find something you are passionate about!
4) Get out of your comfort zone
Last year, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I did a charity skydive and tried snowboarding for the first time. Needless to say, skydiving probably isn’t going to become a hobby of mine any time soon. However, the snowboarding I loved and I plan to turn it into monthly hobby this year. You might think you’re going to be scared of something but until you actually try it, you’ll never know. Go on. Take a chance. You might love it.
5) Look for inspiration
People often have a misconception that inspiration is something that just hits you. Like a lightening bolt. While you’re sitting on the sofa binge watching box sets on Netflix. Unfortunately, in most cases, inspiration doesn’t happen that way. To find out what inspires you, you have to go out and look for it. Browse the sections in a bookstore. Read a variety of magazines. Google ‘popular hobbies’. Talk to friends and ask them what they do with their time. As the saying goes – seek and ye shall find.
6) Go back to your childhood
Quite often we spend time searching for our passion outside of us – when it’s actually already inside of us. We’ve just forgotten about it. Think about what you enjoyed as a kid. When you were happiest. What was present that enhanced the experience. What you enjoyed reading about. What you found interesting or liked to research. What you loved talking about with your friends. What you were good at. What people said you had a talent for. If you enjoyed playing in the woods (like I did) then perhaps trekking or hiking could be a good hobby. If you loved playing with paper and glue, then arts and crafts might be a winner.
I knew I had a calling to help people from a very young age. I was the one that wanted to comfort the crying kid in the playground. It’s why I did my degree in Psychology. I fell off track after university – choosing the wrong job for the wrong reasons. But eventually I did a full circle. I re-found my passion(s), found a career more in line with who I am and am now clearer on my purpose.
7) Be persistent
The key thing is to keep trying new things until you find something you enjoy. You might not find something first time. But keep at it. The law of probability is on your side.
For more information or guidance on how to find your passion, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.zetayarwood.com
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About the Author
Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.