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How To Follow Your Passion

“Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” This is all very well, but what if you don’t know what it is you love?

I have heard so many people say that they’re not engaged with their jobs, live for the weekends and simply don’t have a ‘passion.’

Before searching for a new career option, I argue that it would be best to establish where your personal strengths lie, and how they may be translated into a pastime you’re enthusiastic about. Studies at the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania have found that the most satisfied and upbeat people are those who have discovered and utilised their unique set of virtues. The VIA Institute on Character offers a free personality survey that takes ten minutes to complete and lists all your character strengths in order from most to least salient. Together with resources on how best to use the information, this might be a good place to start.

Then, examine yourself. You loved finger painting as a child? Join an art class. Going on holidays is your favourite thing? Learn a language and bring the culture to you. You love tinkering in the shed? Try woodwork. Time flies when you’re reading about Ancient Rome? Enrol in an online university course. Yoga classes have changed your life? Dig deeper and learn about the philosophy behind it.

I daresay that if you engage in something that interests you outside work (and during the week, so you’re not just waiting for weekends) then life will start to feel fuller, with more meaning. At the very least it will change your perspective and shift your focus from the bad things about your job to the choices you make outside it. If down the track it points you in the direction of something else you want to be doing, that’s great too.

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Rose Pennington