Tips to help find your true passion

I by no means purchased any books on passion or took any exams. For those who suppose that’ll help, I say go for it—however I’ve a hunch that you simply already know what your passion is. Possibly you simply can’t entry or settle for it fairly but, since you’ve had years—many years—of individuals, lecturers, dad and mom, associates, and so forth., signaling or straight up telling you what they need you to do. Your ideas and your emotions are twisted, and you’ll’t inform which is what.

The reality is, although, I can solely inform you how I discovered my passion for writing in hindsight. There was no “aha!” second. However trying again, it was equal elements apparent and inevitable. And I’ll inform you how I figured it out.


Sherry Turkle suggests in The Empathy Diaries, “To be good at a job, you had to love the objects related to that job.” I feel that’s a stable method to find the job you’re keen on, too.

It’s like Kanye West once said, “For those who don’t make Christmas presents, which means making one thing that’s so emotionally linked to folks, don’t speak to me.” The objects that encompass me—stationary, index playing cards, expertise—all spark pleasure. Each object and interface is a valuable talisman for me, one which unlocks one thing I didn’t find out about myself.

Once you see life like this, every part you do turns into extra essential. You maintain your self to the next commonplace, as a result of you understand any individual out there may be going to be utilizing the factor that you simply’re engaged on.

So in case you’re about to stop your job and go YOLO, and also you need to know what to do with all your time and determine how to make which means or have enjoyable, go search for the objects and interfaces that pull you in. Spend time with them. And look again in your personal life—perhaps your teenage years, or the stuff you did for enjoyable as a 12-year-old—and the objects that these recollections concerned. For me, listed here are some clues that I actually appreciated writing and expertise:

Exhibit 1: I actually beloved books

My dad and mom and I shopped at Payless most of my childhood. However they gave me $50 for guide gala’s and Scholastic guide orders. I’d purchase books on how to draw manga, I’d purchase Gordon Korman books, and I’d purchase Goosebumps.

My dad and mom would additionally drive me to Chapters and Indigo on the weekends, and I’d sit on the ground and browse a whole Animorphs guide. I’d borrow 50 books at a time from the library. For just a few years after faculty, I purchased each guide that I used to be enthusiastic about as a result of that wasn’t a luxurious I had as a child. After I have a look at my bookshelves, I nonetheless really feel like one million bucks.

After all, my dad was {an electrical} engineer, so tried getting me enthusiastic about that too. As soon as, he purchased a circuit board and he and I made a radio out of it. But it surely by no means caught me the best way books did. Regardless of loving my dad and mom and wanting to just like the circuit board, I didn’t. However I beloved books.


Exhibit 2: I actually appreciated English class

In Ali Wong’s memoir, Pricey Ladies, she writes on p. 158 about her experiences at UCLA, the place she “noticed Asian American folks enterprise extraordinarily creative and artistic endeavors.” I lived close to a public highschool with an artwork program, so I went there.

The place I studied, there have been tons of scholars who appeared like me, and lots of of them had been unimaginable at artwork. Principally in visible artwork, music, and fewer in dance and drama. Possibly if there was a writing program, I might’ve given it a shot. Alas, I attempted my hand at visible artwork, and after a semester coping with clay and kiln, I gave it up. I didn’t love the smells, the textures, and the very tedious strategy of sculpture.

It’s not a stretch to say my distaste for the fabric largely closed off any path I might’ve had as an artist. However I received fortunate. In my remaining yr, I had a terrific English instructor who taught the category the significance of perspective, and a Philosophy instructor who taught the significance of authenticity. With out these two insights, I most likely wouldn’t be writing proper now.

Exhibit 3: I attempted a lot software program

One among my cousins constructed his first web site—perhaps even his first laptop—earlier than he received out of elementary college. I wasn’t that enthusiastic about all that, however I actually appreciated software program and interfaces. I spent numerous hours after college on HoFo attempting to get my Sony Ericsson w600i’s icons to animate just like the w900.

I’d plug it into my laptop and flash the firmware. In a while, I’d do the identical with attempting to get my Home windows XP to look extra like a Mac with Steve Sinchak’s Hacking Windows XP book. I by no means received round to making a Hackintosh, I couldn’t danger it with my solely laptop, however the first time I noticed one at my good friend’s place, my thoughts was blown.

After I received entry to the Home windows Longhorn beta, I impulsively spent $100+ getting the software program to burn the .iso to a disc, partitioned my arduous drive, all on a faculty night time, so I might simply get a brand new interface. I’d go to Kanye UniverseCity on a regular basis, so after I made The World In accordance to Kanye a decade later, it felt like a passion.

For those who linger round my first weblog, you’ll see critiques of 3D desktops on Home windows (together with one which was funded by my future employers), you’ll see me write about overview samples I received independently like mechanical keyboards and stuff.

I did all of this for enjoyable, and I had a lot enjoyable operating down reminiscence lane simply now. It makes good sense that I went into tech advertising and began my editorial studio Wonder Shuttle—I appreciated expertise, however I didn’t like programming or {hardware}. I simply appreciated attempting new issues and speaking about them.

Record your favourite objects and instruments

After I speak about passion, I’m speaking about my love for the craft and vocation of writing. That doesn’t imply that it’s a viable way of making a career. I’m undecided I’ll ever select to be a full-time writer, however I depend myself fortunate to have the ability to do it as a lot as I do lately. I would’ve been in a position to purchase a home just a few years sooner, however as a substitute, I get to do the factor I like daily.

I’ll inform you one factor: I positively didn’t begin writing due to the cash. For those who ask most different writers, they’ll most likely inform you an identical factor. They did it as a result of they love books, libraries, and bookstores. They did it as a result of they needed to be on a first-name foundation with tales and phrases.

So if you need to find your passion, make a list of the objects you’re keen on and ask your self what all of them have in frequent. Or simply begin making issues like these objects. And also you’ll begin getting nearer and nearer to realizing what your “real” passion is.


This article initially appeared on Herbert Lui’s blog and is reprinted with permission.