I was speaking with a former client yesterday.
He’s super smart, with a PhD in nanotechnology. He’s lived across Europe and Asia, and has a gift for connecting with people. He’s also a talented artist, whose work has been exhibited in public.
And yet, he’s feeling stuck. Bored even. He wants to find work he can feel passionate about, where he can be using his full potential. Should he move to China? Join his friend’s startup?
Maybe. But whatever he chooses will only be a temporary solution.
Because he’s fallen for a common misperception, that passion is specific to some external activity or circumstance, and we just need to figure out what it is.
In fact, passion is simply energy — a state of being — and we always have access to it, regardless of where we are in the world, who we’re with and what we’re doing. Our only work is to train our capacity to channel it.
How do you do that?
You can start by dialing up your feeling in the moment: e.g. If your current level of enthusiasm is at a 6, see if you can amp it up to a 7. Watch how this guy does it.
- If you’re studying, find one aspect of the subject that you can be passionately interested in.
- If you’re having a conversation at work, see if you can get passionately curious about the other person’s point of view.
- If you’re walking, get passionately observant of your surroundings (like the narrator on a BBC documentary).
Yes, it takes focus.
Yes, it’s easier to stay in autopilot.
Yes, there are life circumstances that can make it challenging.
No, you probably won’t be selling the screenplay to Hollywood.
But, little by little, you will be raising your passion set point and it’s your ability to do that that will transform your life.