Who are you? Do you really know? How will you find out?
If you cannot answer the question “Who am I?” with some degree of certainty, then chances are you may not be able to find out who you are by continuing to do the very same things you have done up to this point in your life. There are many wonderful things to learn in life, but one of the most important learning experiences is the ongoing inquiry into knowledge of self. This knowledge of self will guide you in the pursuit of your passion.
Make a genuine effort to know yourself
If you do not know who you are, then whatever else you learn in life will be, to a considerable extent, irrelevant because you will have nothing to connect or anchor it to. Your greatest contribution to the world will be yourself: your best self. Find out who your best self is and what your best self really wants. This will place you on the path toward pursuing your passion.
Realize that you cannot truly know and genuinely relate to others until you begin to know yourself
When you do not know yourself, your relationships with others will not be centered in genuine reciprocity. They will be centered, instead, in the often misguided attempt to meet expectations. If you are not operating from centered self-knowledge, you are susceptible to being misguided and exploited. Even worse, you may unknowingly misguide or exploit others.
Own your passion
Popular culture often encourages us to seek our ‘passion’ within a relationship with someone else; the often unspoken assumption that informs this concept is that we will discover our ‘passion’ within another person. When, as must inevitably be the case, this pursuit results in disappointment, we often feel let down and misused, unaware that we have betrayed our own interests by failing to search for our passion where it truly lies: within ourselves.
Know that not every change begins externally
The popular idea of “pursuing your passion” is often presented as necessarily involving a good bit of drama, along with a hefty dose of drastic action. But genuine change begins as an internal process of creating and re-creating a worldview that originates from within your best self. Pursuing change as a solely external process, absent the effort of reflection and contemplation, can only lead to old life patterns played out on new stages with different casts of characters. It will be, in the end, the same old story.
Don’t abandon your best self in pursuit of your passion
Pursuing your passion does not require a lot of theatrics. It is not necessary to abandon genuine responsibilities in an effort to play to stereotypic pop-culture expectations around the idea of “pursuing your passion.” Remember, your genuine passion is intrinsically connected to your best self.
Encourage – rather than minimize – the creative person who lives within you
This creative person is part of your best self. We have learned to envision success as a process of following pre-established patterns; the person who follows the pattern mostly closely, we believe, is the person who will be most successful. This kind of thinking causes us to discount and devalue our own creativity, since creative thinking has a habit of leading us toward new approaches and strategies. Make friends with your creative self and discover where your passion truly lies.
Learn to view everything as an opportunity
We have been inculcated with fixed notions of bad and good. These inflexible ideas can cause us to overlook opportunities for genuine growth and self-discovery. But what if that awful experience turned out to be the catalyst for energizing your best self toward the recognition of your true passion? It could happen.
Think outside the stratosphere
Why settle for simply thinking outside the box? Give your creative self the space to expand and pursue new ideas. Let this more comprehensive mode of thinking guide you toward the discovery of your genuine passion.
Don’t let it be about the money
Some of the most creative people in the history of the world have pursued their passion despite every obstacle, from mind-numbing, mundane employment to excruciating poverty. Whatever their circumstances, they persevered because they were guided by the flame of their passion.
Remember: It’s not over until it’s over
Don’t give up on the pursuit of your passion. Your life is a continuing series of opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Look forward to more.
Yes, the world is waiting for you – but who are you? Find out. Discover your genuine self: this is what fuels the flame of your passion. Then pursue your passion with a sense of genuine responsibility for yourself. You are here to make a contribution toward a better world. Do it!