When Joel and I first discussed this idea of reclaiming your curiosity I wasn't lit up with excitement. However, when he shared something Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love, Big Magic, and City of Girls) said in an interview with Oprah, I was hooked.
She said, “Stop trying to find your passion.”
What??? That’s the opposite of what I’ve been hearing my whole life. I thought you were supposed to find your passion and follow it ruthlessly. If you do that you’ll live a fulfilled life for sure. Has anyone else heard this spiel??
Here’s the kicker. She used to preach the “find your passion bit” until she got a letter from a disgruntled fan. Here’s the paraphrased version of that letter.
I came to your talk so invigorated and ready to change my view of the world and my place within it. I sat in my chair, and I listened. And I listened. And I listened. I listened to you drag on about how you have to find your passion, you have to do what you love, and you have to make that your one thing. The worst part is, you spoke about it as if it were the easiest thing to do in the world!
Well, Liz, I am a very intelligent person, I have multiple degrees, and I am traditionally successful. However you want to define that word, I am confident enough to say that if there were something in my life that was so abundantly clear, that I was so enthralled by, something that you describe as a passion, then I would be smart enough to know what it was!
But I do not have one. I do not have a passion.
Walking away from your speech was actually the worst I have ever felt. I felt like there was something wrong with me for not being able to understand the feeling that you were talking about on stage. Searching for this passion has caused me more stress and anxiety than anything else in my life.
Sorry for this rant, I am sure you are a very nice person and didn’t mean to personally offend me! Thanks, and have a great night!
Well, people, Elizabeth Gilbert re-evaluated her stance on passion. Matter of fact she completely agreed with the fan. I completely agree with her fan too! There are so many things I’ve been passionate about, but it seems like so much pressure to call them my passions. What if I change my mind??
Elizabeth Gilbert’s new message became, “Stop trying to follow your passion. Instead, explore your curiosity.”
My tune on reclaiming my curiosity has shifted, and here are 3 challenges or tasks to help you hone in on your curiosities.
3 Mini-Challenges To Reclaim Your Curiosity
Let’s define curiosity first. Curiosity is when something gives you this feeling, that you just want to lean in a little bit closer, dive a little bit deeper, or learn a little bit more. This is when you have found something that truly piques your interest.
What articles, activities, videos, or people grab your attention? Make a list and start to notice any common themes or topics. Don’t overthink it!
What would you like to do more of? This question comes from an asset-based approach. Rather than focusing on what you are missing or what you don’t have, focus on what you do have.
If you think about everything you do in your life, and you ask yourself, ‘What do I really want to do more of?’ Then you will begin to realize what it is that needs to be implemented into your day-to-day life.
If you had zero preparation and had to talk about a topic for 30-minutes, what topic would you choose? What energizes you? What can you talk about for hours and hours while losing track of time? What do you talk about with your friends that you don’t even think about as a passion or purpose?
That’s it! I always recommend to write this stuff down. Whenever I put pen to paper it seems to stick more than if I just think about it. There’s power in writing!
Now my last little bit on curiosity… it’s okay to change! A few years ago my curiosity was yoga and meditation through and through. I still love yoga and meditation, but it doesn’t make my head tilt the same way. Now, I can’t get enough information on sustainable living and current events that have happened almost exactly the same way in history. Listen to the Throughline Podcast if you’re not sure what I mean.
Would you like to explore your curiosity alongside Joel and me? Listen to The Marigold Force Podcast! Start with Season 2 Episode 1 - Reclaim Your Curiosity. We go through each of the challenges above over 3 weeks. There are also a few other tips packed in there that align with curiosity.
Now get out there and find those topics, people, and hobbies you love! Go find your passion. JUST KIDDING! Chase your curiosities!