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Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.”
 Marian Wright Edelman


How many times have you been told to “follow your passion”? We’re told this time and time again throughout life. While the path to find your passion is entirely subjective, some things do help navigate this age old buzz phrase.  

What has me excited about this time is how people are positively pivoting in all sorts of ways to make the best of a not-so-ideal time. There is so much innovation going on all around us that I feel I am witnessing the industrial revolution right before my eyes (one of my favorite topics as a Modern European Historian). I am someone who sees that there is a positivity in covidity. I have been continuously impressed with what people are doing to move through, and how driven they are to succeed, during a time of uncertainty.  

Over the past twenty-five years in my career and life, I have worked with many solopreneurs, small businesses, and professionals, who at some point, sense a creeping malaise in their chosen work. What I am seeing all around me is how many have reignited their passions. But still, the question for many remains: How do we pursue our passion?

Passion is not something one finds, but rather,it is something to be developed. 

What I once loved to do isn’t what I love anymore. What I had thought was my interest and expertise is not something I want to do anymore. Now what? 

Let’s face it, after 10, 20, 30 years of all-too-familiar work: you’re good at your job. However, you might not feel challenged or particularly satisfied. Bosses can be unpleasant, your favorite project is scuttled, and work starts to stagnate.

Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed because running your own business is a lot of work: covering for employees who don’t show up, functioning for managers who don’t have all of the skills honed in, etc. You may feel like you’ve been reduced to reports, meetings or are experiencing Zoom fatigue. You are, subsequently, living a little less because of it all.

When your job is no longer enjoyable or meaningful, your energy sags, motivation lags, tasks go undone, and you make mistakes. You think about switching jobs – about how your passion would be a great business plan. These thoughts are scary and risky and are often shoved under the rug, but on the quest for passion, a common misconception is that it is fixed. Passion is not something we discover or happen upon; instead, it is something that takes time to develop, along with skills, confidence, and relationships. 

If you’re one of those who quickly dismiss creeping stagnation, pay attention. The longer you ignore the warning hints that your career lacks passion, the worse it can get. Reemerge and reignite your energy.  

Coaching for passion
Staying in a job that’s going nowhere, filled with mind-numbing work, can mean resigning yourself to a lack of growth and meaning. It doesn’t have to be that way. Not if you’re working with a coach. It may be time to explore work/life issues of purpose and meaning. Loss of passion is one of the primary reasons to utilize a coach’s perspective. 

Most coaches will advise you to look inward before making a drastic decision to change your career or business path. What if the problem lies — along with solutions — somewhere inside you? If so, you can change your thinking, beliefs, or engagement level as you strive to make work more meaningful.

Now is an excellent time to review your values and purpose with your coach. You may be surprised by your answers to simple questions such as: “How did work used to excited you?” and “Identify your core values”. Tap back into your early enthusiasm. Rekindle your drive to reignite your energy. 

Know your strengths
Few people are well aware of their strengths. With a coach, you can take advantage of the opportunity to take some assessments. Assessments provide a snapshot to see where your pulse is, identify and apply your greatest strengths, and elevate your energy around what you do or want to do. The wisest people use their feelings of malaise to find out what drives them, their strengths and use coaching to rekindle their spirits. 

Learn about your strengths through feedback from others. Spend the most energy on developing strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses. The key to knowing yourself well is to receive feedback from peers, formal assessments, or a mentor or coach. Self-knowledge is essential. In business, nobody will manage your career if you don’t.
How can you rekindle the passion for the work you do and/or the business you run? Try to connect with your values and highest purpose every time you walk into the office, chat with a client or coworker, and even complete routine tasks like paperwork. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a zombie-like routine and forget what you love doing and are good at making happen. Reignite your energy and remind yourself: This is why I’m here.

In an ideal world, we’d all be working with passion in jobs that bring out our strengths and talents to achieve the greatest good in organizations and the world. But that doesn’t always happen the way we envision. Ultimately, it’s up to each of us to go where we can develop and express our strengths if we genuinely want to make a difference.Being aware of this and talking with your coach before you conclude that you need to redesign your career, change fields, or pursue reduced workloads is essential. Try to find your passion, doing work that is truly meaningful and satisfying.

Does passion make you fearful? It’s easier to talk about what you want to do than actually do it. We can plan for an endless amount of hypothetical ideas, but unless we take action, its all pointless.

What do you need to pursue your passion?

Keep making it happen,
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