Type “how to find your passion” into Google and you’ll get 29.9M results in .9 seconds.
I’d argue “find your passion” is one of the most talked about yet most misunderstood terms out there. It’s constantly thrown around as a buzz phrase and it’s on the cover of countless self-help books, yet the search for passion never seems to end.
Pursuing your passion terrifies most people. It’s the proverbial fork in the road between following a dream or being “realistic.” However, science tells us that having a passion can increase our overall satisfaction with life, making us happier and less stressful people.
So why is passion so elusive?
I asked one-cofounder who seems to have the passion predicament sorted. He travels the world empowering disadvantaged youth with the tools to reach their full potential.
Meet Adam Rubin, the co-founder and executive director of Renew, an international nonprofit bringing personal development to adolescents around the world. Since Renew launched in Tanzania in 2013, it has reached thousands of students globally. Rubin’s mission through Renew is to give youth a transformational set of tools he wishes he had access to earlier in life—like learning to love yourself, overcoming limiting beliefs, and developing emotional intelligence.
This week on the Unconventional Life Podcast, Rubin shares how you can discover what your passions are so you can lead a more fulfilling life.
1. Expand Your Perspective. If you’re having difficulty connecting to your passion, it may be because you simply haven’t found it yet. One of the quickest ways to expand your horizons is to travel. Rubin says the inspiration for his company Renew was sparked from a volunteer trip he made to Tanzania as a 21-year-old in 2009. Plan a solo trip to a country you’ve always wanted to visit—travel can be the gateway to self-discovery, novel experiences, and seeing the world from a fresh perspective.
2. Let Your Pain Be Your Purpose. The things we have struggled with most can help give us insight into our purpose. “Your purpose lies directly next to your pain,” Rubin says. “Your greatest pain is always your greatest purpose.” Reflect on things in your life that you have struggled with and consider that your passion may be in alleviating the same struggles for others. Rubin says he founded Renew because he wanted to give young people the tools to better their lives that he wished he had access to at their age.
3. Take The Pressure Off. So often we try to put pressure on our passions to be our source of income. Rubin says, “Get out of the numbers, get out of your head and get into your heart.” If you didn’t need to put pressure on yourself to monetize your passions, what would you do? Give yourself permission to explore your passions without putting any expectation on them to perform for you, or for you to be good at them, or for you to need to showcase them to others.
4. Reconnect To Your Inner Child. One of Rubin’s foundational teachings is to reconnect to your inner child. “Go back in time and remember who you were when you were a kid, and remember that you are that same person now as an adult,” he says. Try to connect to the things you used to love to do when you were a child. How did you spend your time? What were your favorite activities and interests? Consider diving back into some of those same realms today.