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10 Steps to Find and Pursue Your Passion for Career and Life Success

In a recent interview, comedian Conan O'Brien shared his challenging journey to success in the entertainment industry. Despite facing numerous obstacles such as driving a broken-down car, living in a tiny apartment without air conditioning, and performing in obscure venues, O'Brien expressed profound happiness in doing what he loved. The key phrase here is ‘doing what he loved”.

He said something that made me pause. Even in the midst of having little in terms of the worlds standard of success, he stated, "I would do this even if it leads no-where.” That right there is a great litmus test.

When working with clients on business and career development, this is a great place to start. It’s been said that if you do what you love for a living you’ll never work a day in your life. This inspiring statement prompts us to reflect on our own pursuits and find the true essence of our passion.

Here are 10 steps that will lead you into defining the significance of pursuing your passion and provide guidance on leveraging it for personal and professional fulfillment. 1. Recognize the Value of Doing What You Love. O'Brien's experience highlights the importance of finding joy in your work. When you genuinely enjoy what you do, it transcends mere employment and becomes a source of fulfillment. Recognize the intrinsic value of pursuing your passion and the potential for long-term happiness it can bring. Now you can add purpose to the equation. When you combine purpose with passion that will equal value. Your inner potential will begin to rise to the surface. This is a vital first step to self-discovery and aids to a successful pursuit. 2. Identify Your Passion. Begin by reflecting on your interests, talents, and activities that sparks joy! Yes, I went there. Marie Kondo them. “Discard anything that doesn't spark joy.” This will help you to sort through the “I don’t want to do that”, leaving on the table the things that you do want to do. Consider what energizes and motivates you, as well as the skills you naturally excel in. Your passion can be anything from a creative pursuit like writing or painting to a specific field like technology or healthcare. When I sit down with a new client who expresses they don't know what their passion is, I ask them what their passion isn't. Then we pursue from there. Take the time to identify your true passion—it will serve as the foundation for your future endeavors. 3. Set Clear Goals. Once you have identified your passion, set clear goals to guide your journey. Determine what you want to achieve in your chosen field and break it down into actionable steps. I encourage my clients to break down the large goals into micro-goals. So much more palpable. Achieving those smaller milestones is crucial for avoiding stagnation and propelling progress. Goals hold significant importance as they provide direction and purpose. Without them, it's akin to having numerous dangling participles, resulting in unfinished sentences and a lack of fulfillment.

Whether it's performing on stage, starting a business, or excelling in a particular career, having well-defined goals will help you stay focused and motivated. Shift your mindset to view these goals as achievable and manageable tasks, rather than as overwhelming monsters that threaten to overwhelm you. This perspective empowers you to continue pursuing and accomplishing them. 4. Cultivate Resilience. You know, similar to O'Brien's experience, you're bound to face obstacles and setbacks on your own journey. But here's the thing; it's crucial to cultivate resilience and adopt a mindset that sees these challenges as chances for personal and business growth. I like to think of setbacks as temporary inconveniences that lead to permanent improvements. So, when you keep pushing forward, even in the face of setbacks, they become just that – temporary. Failure is actually a natural part of the whole journey, and each experience teaches you something valuable. Take those setbacks and let them fuel your determination to persevere and keep moving ahead.

5. Seek Opportunities for Growth. It's important to actively seek out opportunities for growth. Don't be afraid to take on projects that align with your passion, even if they don't immediately bring fame or recognition. These experiences will help you gain valuable skills, expand your network, and broaden your horizons. Consider exploring internships, apprenticeships, volunteering, or working on passion projects to gain insights and exposure. Remember, passion projects often lead to more passion projects, which is a great way to keep your fire burning.

While it's important to keep boundaries in place and not say yes to everything, it's equally vital to keep your passion fueled. Let me give you an example: Currently, I'm working as the Creative Director for an Enneagram group for practitioners. I genuinely believe in this tool and love finding new ways to utilize it. My passion lies in helping people understand why they act, react, and respond the way they do. It feels like I have superpowers, revealing the secret to flying. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. I’m experiencing growth and helping people along the way. Passion being utilized.

6. Embrace Continuous Learning. Never stop learning and improving your craft. Seek out mentors, industry professionals, or experts who can guide you on your path. Take courses, attend workshops, read books, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in your field. Embracing continuous learning will not only enhance your skills but also provide a competitive edge. In an 1817 letter to George Ticknor, Thomas Jefferson equated knowledge with power, safety, and happiness. He mentioned this time and again when establishing a state university in Virginia. Knowledge will definitely give you that ‘leg up’.

7. Network and Build Relationships. Networking plays a vital role in any career. Connect with like-minded individuals, attend industry events, and engage with professional communities. Building relationships can lead to valuable opportunities, collaborations, and mentorship. Seek feedback from others in your field to gain different perspectives and refine your skills. Treasure your relationships. They can be worth more than gold. 8. Embrace the Process. Remember that success is a journey, and it takes time to reach your goals. Embrace the process and find joy in the day-to-day efforts. Enjoy the small victories along the way and celebrate your progress. It's the passion and love for what you do that will sustain you through the challenges and keep you motivated. 9. Stay True to Yourself. As you navigate your path, it's crucial to stay true to yourself and your vision. Avoid compromising your values or changing your passion to fit societal expectations or trends. Authenticity is key to building a fulfilling career. Trust your instincts, embrace your unique voice, and let your passion shine through in everything you do. 10. Adapt, Evolve, and grab a good Coach. Finally, be open to adaptation and evolution. Industries change, and opportunities arise unexpectedly. We’ve seen that truth happen in the past couple of years. Stay flexible and willing. Be willing to punt. To redirect yourself. Hiring a great business coach will help you to laser focus what you can do, what you want to do, and more than anything to shed light on possibilities that may be hidden within you. We weren’t created to create alone.

With Vizion,


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