People spend their whole lives searching for their true passion. Most of us are still searching, reading books and blogs identifying shortcuts to age-old quandaries. Whether this is an innately placed question or a modern-day invention, we all want to know, and more importantly, live out our deepest passions. In business, this mentality is actually made more apparent in how we invest our time and money, as well as how we lead others.
Without living passionately, we find ourselves struggling to find worth at work. As business leaders, we must first discover our passion so we can better lead our employees to do the same. A passionate workforce is a productive workforce. And with productivity at the forefront in business, let’s dive into how to help our true passions surface, fight through the urge to suppress them, and use the revelation to our advantage.
What Lies Beneath
Popular belief tells us you need to go out and “find” your so-called passions. But, I feel as though our passions are within, waiting to surface. And in many ways, they have already manifested themselves to others around you. The simplest way to get cracking on this case is to ask your friends and family if they have noticed certain things your conversation and attention gravitate toward. Sometimes, we already know what we are passionate about, but just don’t realize it. What we enjoy discussing and what makes us excited are sure leads for discovering our passion.
Hobbies are a great clue as well. When we lose track of time working in our garage or reading up on politics, we find that these are places we feel in the zone. If you dissect these hobbies, you find deeper interests you can apply at work. For instance, if you enjoy fixing up cars we can assume you like fixing problems and seeing them resolved. Also, if you are interested in politics, maybe you enjoy mediating between disgruntled employees and coming to a compromise. Analyzing our interests is an effective way to understanding the passions that lie within them.
Keeping Our Desires at Bay
The problem that keeps our passions suppressed is that there are issues constantly combating with us. And deeper down, these issues are controlled by fear. “I’d love to be an entrepreneur, but I’m afraid my parents won’t approve.” Or – “I’d go into that venture if I knew it would be successful.” Even yet – “I would love to try this out, but I don’t want to fail.” Fear of criticism, the unknown, or failure paralyzes us as individuals. In order to let our natural passions reveal themselves, we must fight the fear.
The famous “fear itself” quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt is followed by the lesser known definition of that fear: “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes the needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” There is no greater accomplishment than facing fear, yet persevering. Having an enjoyable work life is only possible by knowingly going into uncharted territory and reversing your retreat into unbridled advancement.
OK, So Now What
We have an idea as to what we may be passionate about and are aware of what has been keeping us from pursing it, but how do we implement it in our daily lives. The best way to pursue our passions isn’t to quit and look for a different job, but to make your job what you want it to be. There are several great ways to integrate your hobbies into the workplace. For example, if you are passionate about a cause, like healthy living, set up a “biggest loser” campaign in your department. Besides the obvious advantages of company unity, you soon start to see your desires manifest in your office.
One of the fears we discussed earlier is that of criticism. When we are in a discouraging atmosphere, we have a hard time stepping out and pursuing a passion. As a person in management, you can establish a creative environment by celebrating your employees’ talents and interests. If you have heard people talk about a certain subject a lot, encourage your employees to start a club and meet during lunch or after work to further hone certain skills. And once a month, have a “club day” at the office to display everyone’s gifts.
So no, there isn’t an easy way to discover your passion. In a lot of ways, it is a lifelong search. But if you focus on implementing interests and hobbies into the workplace, you can ensure this discovery is right around the corner.