Career Hack #4
Finding Your Passion
Michael Becker, Co-founder & Managing Partner at The Connected Marketer Institute, an mCordis initiative
Finding your passion, and staying true to it, may very well be your life’s greatest personal achievement, for once you’ve found it you’ll have the roadmap, focus, energy and fortitude to accomplish nearly anything.
Some people have the passion to transform physical objects, like taking raw materials and creating a building. Some people are driven to excel at sport, while others are chefs, doctors, fireman and engineers. Some have a passion to draw, mediate, practice Yoga, travel, garden, listen to music, take long walks or stomp in puddles. Others have the passion to transform the mind and spirit through teaching. And, like me, some have the passion for marketing and business, an increasingly complex social science that helps fulfill the needs of society and shape the world (as demonstrated by the recent launch of The Connected Marketer).
There are as many passions as there are people. Your passion is not a physical object, something that can be picked up off the ground and quietly slipped into your pocket, found in the back of a closet or tucked away in a safety deposit box for safe keeping.
Your passion is the essence of what makes you who you are. It defines you. It is what you want to be. It is what you want to stand and be known for. It is an intangible, internal force that we already individually posses. It is the source of your joy and the happiness that you can project and share with others. Your passion is a river of internal energy that you can access to power and propel you through life. It will be the force behind your beliefs, intentions, thoughts, actions, and the results and contributions you make to society.
Your passion is not a passing fad, a temporary like or dislike. Your doctor cannot prescribe a passion to you. Your parents cannot hand it down or tell you what it is or should be. Your friends and colleagues cannot dictate it to you. Although all these people and everyone and everything you encounter though life, either in person or virtually, can help you identify, refine and nurture it.
When I was five my mom suggested that I pay attention to what makes you happy and follow where it takes me. So, I started selling rocks door to door and learned that I loved to sell and be with people. At eight I decided I wanted to be an international medical equipment sales representative (a long story), and at thirteen I recognized that I wanted to teach business and share my experiences. Fortunately, I’ve been able to do all this and look to do so much more. Immediately upon graduating from college I moved to Tokyo, Japan, and sold medical products to Western Europe. Later I found myself working for and with companies throughout the world. I’ve had the opportunity to start and run my own business, write articles and books, to teach (with a lot of support from Marketing EDGE) and support the growth of an entire global industry—mobile marketing.
I’ve been very fortunate and am grateful for all that I have accomplished and will. Finding your passion starts with gratitude and requires a persistent and conscious effort. You need to experiment with your life. Go to school, read books, talk to everyone around you and while self-reflecting, listen and feel for those things that give you joy. Once you identify these you can cultivate them and build pathways to access the energy that is produced by accessing your passion.
I readily admit, however, that this is so much easier said than done. As you look to find and cultivate your passion you’ll find that you’re faced with many obstacles, fears, doubts and anxieties. Success is found in the process of overcoming obstacles and not be being stopped by them. You can find your passion; you just need to work at it.
Oh, and one last thing: It is also important to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy in order to find and retain your passion. You need to exercise, eat right, take a break every once and a while and experience joy; otherwise, you won’t have the capacity to follow and fulfill your passion and provide your unique contribution to the world. But if you stay healthy, stay true to your passion, practice and nurture your life/passion you can be a positive force in the world to all those you can encounter. Good luck!
Read more career advice in Career Hack #5!