Updated: Aug 18, 2020
When someone asks you… “Hey what’s your passion in life?” How do you respond? What do you feel in your body before you physically say something to that person?
I don’t know about you, but my throat tightens and I feel this weight in my chest. I start to do that squirrel brain thing where I rapidly jump from one thought to the next. I start to think about all the things I like to do and enjoy reading about, but I can’t stand firmly with ONE topic as my PASSION. That’s a lot of pressure!
I was finally validated in my feelings behind passions when I heard about the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, shifting her stance on passions. Liz Gilbert now says, “Stop trying to follow your passion. Instead, explore your curiosities.” This happened after years of preaching about passions until a disgruntled fan sent her a sternly worded letter about her frustration with passions as well.
Exploring curiosities can still be a bit much. Especially if you’re anything like me, and genuinely love so many things. That’s the Enneagram 7 in me! Here are two tips for clarifying and focusing those curiosities.
TIP: 20 Words or Less
Think of something you are curious about. A project. A person. A task. Anything! Then, using 20 words or less, describe that curiosity to yourself. It helps me to write it down on paper. This strategy intentionally limits and forces you to not overthink your curiosities.
This is best done when your mind is not cluttered with ideas relating to progressing what you already have in the works. Why? You want to eliminate any tendencies to overthink things. Personally, I’m the queen of overthinking! An ideal time to do this is when you are bored and not distracted by external stimuli like your phone or the TV.
TIP: Create a Vision Board
First off, don’t panic if you’re not a vision board, craft type of person. I’m not either! You can use Canva, Google Slides, or anything that works for you!
Think of everything you are curious about. What inspires and motivates you? The purpose of your vision board is to bring everything to life. Using the topics, people, etc. that you’re curious about, think about what you want to include on your vision board.
As you dive in you’ll notice that what you want to focus on expands. You'll be amazed at how things start popping up all over the place once you set the intention for what you want and how you want to feel.
Set the mood. Turn off the TV and turn on some relaxing music. Light a candle and clear your space. When it comes to putting your stuff on the board, how do you want it to feel? Are you a person that likes space and order, or do you prefer overlap and closeness?
If you’re doing an old school board, lay everything out before you start pinning and gluing. What you’re curious about may shift as you start exploring different things.
As I started exploring and clarifying my own curiosities I started with 20 Words or Less, and then I made a Vision Board. I found that my 20 Words or Less changed after I made my board. I noticed patterns that virtually jumped off the page!
With that said, do these exercises in whatever way serves you. It’s okay to come back and modify things. Curiosities are dynamic. That’s also why I appreciate the freedom that comes with exploring your curiosity rather than following your passion.
Want a playlist to listen to as you’re creating your vision board? Joel created a beautiful regrounding playlist on Spotify. If you want something more upbeat he also made a vitality playlist as well. Enjoy!