10 "Nobel Laureate Backed" Steps To Finding Your True Passion This Year (Even If You Have Way Too Many!)
@jay_yow07 asks an interesting question:
. . . . . .
"So, I am into different things, almost too many, and they change almost all the time!
So my question for you is, how do you find your passion? How do you know if that's your passion? And if it's a bad thing that you keep changing it?"
. . . . . .
I feel your pain.
And it just so happens that...
This is a subject which I have spent a lot of time studying, researching, and experimenting with over the last 20 years. Mostly because I had the same issues and "internal conflicts" long ago when I was first starting out.
"Why do I have so many passions? Why does the passion fizzle out after a while? Why does my passion keep on changing? What is my true passion?"
All of them were questions I at one time asked myself. Again and again. Day after day.
It was only after several years of "trial and error" and "mass knowledge acquisition" that I was finally able to find the answer to the puzzle and crack the code at last.
And the results have been life-changing.
So, shall we begin?
( *take note that... in this idea list, I use the words "passion" and "strength" interchangeably, because over the years I've found that... all a passion really is, is an "undeveloped strength" or "unrefined raw talent"... and as you refine and develop it, it changes from a conflicted passion into a reliable strength.)
1. The One Question You Must Answer If You Ever Want To Know What Your True Passion Really Is
My "career" has been fairly long and varied. It has spanned across multiple fields.
I am an artist, designer, engineer, scientist, programmer, doctor, chef, marketer, entrepreneur, musician, professional gamer, lean practitioner, and lots more.
When most people hear this, their eyes pop open wider than the doors of a Walmart on Black Friday.
But when I ask them this next question, the damage spreads from their eyes... all the way up to their brains:
"I do so many different things. Can you guess what my passion really is?"
Interesting question. With an interesting answer.
But to get to the answer, let's first delve into a little bit of history... about people with similar personality types as us... and how the "self help" field surrounding this group of people has developed over the years.
2. The Shocking Discovery An Anthropologist Made After Years Of Helping People Discover What They Love
In the 1980s and 90s:
There was a woman named Barbara Sher.
She was an anthropologist. And a career psychologist. She spent much of her life counselling and helping people discover what they really wanted. And coaching them on how they could get there. Fast.
Somewhere along the way...
She discovered something very interesting.
There was a small group of people who had a huge variety of interests. So huge that... they just couldn't stick to doing one thing... and were forced to bounce from career to career and hobby to hobby endlessly. Because if they ever settled on just one thing... it would cause them mental and emotional pain!
Just like her!
This was something she had experienced all her life. But she never thought that there were so many others like her who had it as well.
She named this group of people, "Scanners".
And she spent the latter part of her life and career... coaching, writing books and conducting seminars for Scanners. To teach them how they could live a rich, fulfilling life without "locking themselves into" one single, boring, lonely occupation for the rest of their lives.
Fast forward several years to the near present...
3. The "Monkey See Monkey Do" Reason Why Most Self-Help Books And Videos On Finding Your Passion Aren't Very Helpful
A couple of years back:
A lady named Emilie Wapnick (who studied Barbara Sher's work) decided to take the concept of Scanners and rebrand it.
This time, instead of calling them Scanners, she decided to call them, "Multipotentialites". And she did a TED Talk about the concept and published a book to get the word out.
Why people like to take the concepts of others, and rebrand it with their own fancy names and titles...? I really have no idea. But this is also why most books and courses on the topic of "passion" are just a waste of time.
Because most of them are just... another new person... taking someone else's old concept, and... putting their own name on it, while leaving everything else essentially the same!
Most of the time omitting a lot of the fine details while doing it too.
Is there any meaning to that?
Ah, well... That's how it is...
But let's forget all that for a second. Turns out that, even though it helped masses of people, there was a huge flaw with this approach of... simply identifying and labelling people as Scanners.
4. The "Disabled Chef's" Flawed Approach To Understanding Your Passions That You Should Never, Ever Use
It's good to know you're a Scanner or Multipotentialite and all. But the problem is... you have no idea why you're Scanner or Multipotentialite.
You can't stick to one field.
But why can't you stick to just one field? Why do you have to constantly migrate from one subject to another endlessly? And even more than that...
What type of Scanner are you anyway?
Let's just put it this way...
There are many possible combinations of "passion" themes that can make a person have a "Scanner" (or Multipotentialite, whatever) personality type. And all of those passion theme combinations are different.
And while Barbara Sher did some amazing stuff throughout her life working with Scanners... unfortunately, she didn't really get into all the possible factors or themes that make you a Scanner.
Why is this unfortunate?
Let's say you are a chef. And you specialize in making sushi. There's probably hundreds of different flavors of sushi out there. But for some reason, you were born with a disability, and you are only able to see any flavor of sushi as... sushi.
You can't differentiate a California Roll from a Maki Roll.
Every type of sushi that enters your eyes, your brain processes it as... sushi.
And you only know how to make one type of sushi. Even though there are so many different types of sushi out there.
But you're not ever going to be a great chef until you understand the different types of sushi, and what makes up the other different types of sushi.
The terms "Scanner" and "Multipotentialite" are just a label for people who can't stick to doing one thing. But they'll never tell you the reasons why you can't stick to doing only one thing, or the "passions" that are causing you to act that way.
It's better than nothing. At least you can hang out with people with a similar personality type.
But it's only by understanding the entire combination of your dominant "passion" themes that we can truly understand what our true passions and strengths are, and the exact reason why we're switching from field to field and subject to subject.
Let's get into the concept of "passion" or "strength" themes a bit more:
5. The Truth About Passion, Why Most People Will Spend All Their Lives Never Finding It, And How You Can Finally Open Your Eyes To Find It With Ease
Want to know the truth about passion?
Contrary to what most people think, a passion isn't really a subject or occupation. This is where people get confused. And they spend their whole life searching for a passion that doesn't exist.
A passion is not a job. Or a subject. Or a hobby.
A passion is a way of thinking.
For example, let's say you believe you're passionate about playing chess:
Which part of playing chess are you passionate about? Are you passionate about the analysis part of chess, where you analyze moves? Or perhaps you're passionate about the strategic part of chess, where you identify multiple possible future outcomes?
Maybe you are just passionate about the competitiveness of chess, and enjoy the thrill of victory. Or maybe you're more on the social aspect, and just enjoy chess because you get to meet new people.
Each of those examples relates to the same subject - chess.
All of them are different "themes" of passion. One is passionate about analysis, another about strategy, another about competition and victory, another about meeting new people. And we cannot label them all as the same passion. They might be passionate about chess, but they are all passionate about different aspects of chess.
Like I said before, it'll help you most if you think of it this way...
Passion is not a subject or occupation.
It's a way of thinking.
And once you discover which way of thinking it is that you're truly passionate about, the doors will slam wide open.
For example, let's say you discover that your passion is not just in chess, but in the analytical side of chess. You'd likely be equally passionate about other activities that make use of your analytical brain. Activities like programming, or data analysis, or even engineering.
Once you start to see "passion" from this point of view, life gets a whole lot easier.
You'll no longer limit yourself to this job or that job, this topic or that topic. Any job or topic that involves you using the "thinking patterns" of your "passion" or "strength" themes is something you would truly enjoy doing.
... every person is made up of multiple "passion" themes. Not just one. And it is the combination of those themes that determine what you'll be passionate about.
Just like how... even if you know you have a "Scanner" attribute, it is your passion themes that will determine what type of Scanner you are.
6. The Father Of Modern Management's Little-Known Secret To Discovering Your Passions And Strengths With 100% Accuracy
How do you discover your dominant "passion" themes?
There's this guy. His name was Peter Drucker. They called him the Father of Modern Management. And he once wrote a short book called "Managing Oneself".
In the book:
He talks about how important it is for you to manage yourself first, before you manage others. But most people can't manage themselves. Because they don't understand themselves. They don't even understand what they're passionate about, or what they're good at.
He gives a very simple approach that he calls "Feedback Analysis". Here's how it works:
You do something for 18 months. But before you do it... you try to predict what your results will be, and how you'll feel, after 18 months of doing that thing.
After 18 months:
You look back. And you see whether how you're feeling and the results you're getting are the same as what you thought before you started that activity. In other words, you are getting feedback by actually running real life experiments. And using that to come to conclusions on your personal passions, strengths and talents.
This is the absolute, most accurate way to discover your "passion" or "strength" themes. Bar none.
7. The Simple Passion-Finding Shortcut That Boils Down 18 Months Of Waste Down To Just 1 Hour's Work
It takes time.
18 months doing something just to test it out.
And if it turns out you don't like doing that thing, or you're no good at it, you have to repeat the process all over again with something new for another 18 months. Until you find what you're passionate about or good at.
This method is accurate...? Yes.
Gets you the results you want...? Yes.
Backed by one of the greatest Management minds of all time...? Yes.
Easy to do and learn from...? No.
It's extremely time consuming. And can be painful. Especially if you don't like experimenting all that much. But what else can you do?
Over the years, I have experimented with various "personality assessments" for finding my strengths and passions. And I compared the results of these assessments with the results from my own personal "Feedback Analysis".
I've tried everything from Myers-Briggs, to HEXACO, to Kolbe, and much more.
And I found one that beats all the others when it comes to accurately predicting your passions and strengths. What's more... it only takes about an hour of your time to do. And it gives you your full spectrum of themes, from highest "passion" and "strength" affinity, down to the lowest, and everything in between.
8. The Online Tool That Has Revealed The Passions Of Over 25 Million People Around The World And How You Can Use To Discover Yours As Well
There was this psychologist named Dr. Don Clifton.
He is widely regarded as "The Father of Strengths-Based Psychology" and "The Grandfather of Positive Psychology". And he spent much of his life studying passion, strength, talent and engagement.
In the end, with the support of his research company, Gallup, he determined that there were a total of 34 different "passion" or "strength" themes. And he developed a simple 1 hour question and answer assessment that anyone can complete online and discover their passion profile. Instantly.
It's called the Clifton StrengthsFinder.
And it's a tool that the Gallup organization has been honing over the last few decades, assessing the strengths and passions of over 25 million people across the globe, with the backing of various Nobel Laureates in their payroll who help oversee their research, like Daniel Kahneman (author of 'Thinking Fast and Slow'), Angus Deaton, etc.
And it's the tool that I've found most accurately replicates the results of the super accurate "Feedback Analysis" method as described by Peter Drucker... without actually having to do years of Feedback Analysis yourself.
It tells you what the themes you are most passionate about are (The Top 5 or 10), and it tells you what the themes you are least passionate about are (The Bottom 25 to 34).
9. The Answer To The First Question - The Key To Knowing What Your Passions Are And Why You Keep Switching Across Multiple Fields
Going back to the question of...
"I am a designer, artist, engineer, scientist, programmer, doctor, chef, marketer, entrepreneur, musician, lean practitioner, professional gamer, and more. I do so many things. Can you guess what I am really passionate about?"
From my results with the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment (which are exactly the same as the results I got from several years of Peter Drucker's Feedback Analysis) I know that my dominant passion theme is called "Learner".
People with the Learner theme are basically passionate about... learning curves.
They love the experience of learning something new. And the experience of climbing up steep learning curves. The moment they get over the learning curve, they get bored. And they seek for new learning curves.
This actually goes much deeper (and is much more specific) than the concept of "Scanner" or "Multipotentialite".
Both of those labels only tell you that you can't stick to one field, and you enjoy going into multiple different fields, and switching all the time.
But they don't tell you why.
And they don't tell you what type of fields you would most likely prefer.
For me, I know that I have a "Learner" passion theme, and I am passionate about new Learning Curves and the experience of "learning" itself. That's why I'm constantly learning new things and entering new fields.
For other Scanners, maybe they keep switching because they have an "Activator" passion theme, and they are passionate about activating and starting new things. Not necessarily for learning purposes. Or maybe they have an "Input" passion theme and they are not really passionate about learning, but are more passionate about collecting information.
Regardless, if you keep switching from field to field and subject to subject and can't settle down... without knowing your "passion" or "strength" themes, I may be able to label you as a "Multipotentialite" but I will never know the exact reason why you're a "Multipotentialite".
Want to know what your true passion is?
Take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. And watch all the interviews they have on their YouTube channel with other people who have similar "passion" and "strength" themes as you have.
Like I mentioned before, I don't just know one of my dominant themes. I know all of my dominant themes.
For example, I also know that "Maximizer" is one of my dominant passion themes. Which means that I'm passionate about mastering every field I enter. Which also contributes to why I keep switching fields. Because once I master a field, I'm bored so I go into another one and master it.
But I also know that I have a dominant "Analytical" passion theme. Which means I am passionate about analyzing and simplifying stuff. So I know that I will be more passionate in any field or subject that involves a lot of thinking and analysis, like Chess or Programming.
10. The Tell-Tale Signs Of A True Passion
So, one of your questions was:
How do you know if something is your passion?
Well, from many years of experience, I can tell you that when you're using your passion, there are several tell-tale signs...
The first sign is that it gives you energy. If you're doing something you're passionate about, the more you do it, the more energetic you get. On the contrary, if you do something you're not passionate about, the more you do it, the more tired you get.
I can sit down and read a book cover to cover (several books actually) on a new subject from morning till night (for several weeks) without getting out of my bed. The more I read, the more energetic I feel. Of course, I may get sleepy from sitting on my bed, but... overall I feel more and more energetic as the day goes by.
That's just a characteristic of having a "Learner" passion theme.
Another tell-tale sign that you're doing something you're passionate about is...
You just do it. Whenever you have time. You don't need someone to tell you to do it. Or you don't need to plan to do it. You just know you want to do it. And you do it.
I hope this idea list is helpful.
One of my mentors once said... "The worst thing in life is: going through your whole life and finally discovering at the end that you got good at the wrong thing."
Knowing what your "passion" themes are is just the first step.
After that comes the step of developing and polishing your passions into a reliable and powerful strength. In other words, actually getting good at it. But most people never even reach the stage of knowing what their passions are, much less spending the time to get good at them and turning them into deep-rooted strengths...