We feel the need for fulfillment in our lives, and often believe that it is to be found by following passion, or what is defined as a “strong and barely controllable emotion.” It almost seems like a paradox: we want control over our lives and destinies by seeking after the “barely controllable.”

Yet we continue to see success stories of people following their passions, chasing pipe dreams, and coming out on top. And we want in.

Following passion starts by first discovering what your passion is, and unfortunately that can be the most difficult step. Many never cross the threshold to success simply because they can’t discover what their passion is.

Should you find yourself in this predicament, consider these 3 helpful tips in finding your passion, specifically when you want it to lead to a successful business endeavor:

Make a list of what inspires and motivates you

A phrase commonly used to describe something inspiring is, “It makes me feel alive,” but I would build off of that. Find what in your life gives you that excitement and sense of meaning, but also find what makes you want to create. What makes you want to get off the couch and actually act?

We only decide to act when we yearn for something we don’t have. What’s that missing factor in your life that’s motivating and inspiring you? Write down those possibilities and come back to them often when you find yourself jumping around options of what to do with your life and your career.

Find where you could channel those motivations

Whatever the motivation, you’ll have to be even more creative to find an avenue for your passions. This is even more difficult if you find you have many different motivations and passions. What then?

Have you ever heard of the TV show Chopped? Like most shows on The Food Network, it is strangely addicting, even for someone who knows they’re never going to be the world’s next best chef. The contestants on the show are given various items in a basket that they are required to include in a recipe for an appetizer, main dish, or dessert. Some of these items go well together, like apples and a pie crust, others not so much (think about what concoction you would create with haggis, for instance). But somehow, each chef finds a different way to use all of their ingredients.

You also need to think outside the box to pursue a passion that isn’t going to backfire on you. Don’t limit yourself to just one business plan, but maneuver and adapt to whatever comes your way, always keeping in mind that initial motivation. As time goes on, and as you morph to overcome difficult situations, some passions will continue to be on the top of your priority list. Those are the passions you will know to pursue. But like with many things in life, it takes time and experimentation to get there.

Dream big, but also be reasonable

When finding your passion, again, don’t limit yourself, but look at your assets and what could logically be an option for you. If you’re deciding on going after one passion over another, look at what motivates you more, but also, what is a reasonable option.

Life happens, and we have to find out how to be happy even when the chips don’t fall the way we’d like. Sometimes that means giving up on one passion for something better. Don’t consider yourself a failure if one dream doesn’t work out. Somehow, you find a new dream, and that one’s even better than anything you had imagined before.

Explore and discover what your motivations are, experiment and don’t be afraid of failure, and go out with a plan to actually do something that inspires you. Building your business plans and goals around your motivations is only going to strengthen your company. Often, the passions that motivated you in the first place, are going to be what gets you through the day, so pick to follow the ones that truly motivate you now.
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