how to find your passion, or there is no map for this fool’s journey

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If passion is “Passion is uncomfortable. Hot and bothered.” – how do you find it? Where do you look?

Finding your life’s passion – or passions – isn’t something I can fit into a neat tutorial. There is no “how to” for finding the thing that makes your world spin.

But I can assure you finding your passion is the ultimate DIY project.

Make a Break

I found my passion when I stopped trying to make other people's passions my own. - @moxiemanda

Amanda summed it up beautifully. Before we find what is ours – distinct, individual, remarkable – we try on other hats. We play different roles, we model different behaviors, we explore.

I can remember literally wanting to BE other people while I was growing up & striking out on my own.

I dressed like them, I talked like them, I listened to the same music. I tried to make their passion my own.

Looking back, I don’t think it was a bad thing. I learned a lot and I interacted with the world in different ways. I’m not sure you can really tell an 18 year old, “just be yourself.” Who is that?

But I didn’t get any traction – none – until I made a break from playing parts and started to write my own script.


I’m going to tell you something: you can’t actually DO anything while you’re reading blog posts, consuming “how tos,” or discussing the finer points of decoupage.

Experimenting. Doing stuff. Reassing. Doing more stuff. Experimenting --Tara Swiger

When I say you have to experiment to find your passion, I mean you literally have to give it a whirl.
Does that mean you might launch 3 businesses in the course of 3 months? Sure does. Does that mean that you might start & not finish your first blog post at 4 different blogs? You bet. Does that mean you might get half way down the rabbit hole before you realize the rabbit is scurrying around on ground level? Yup.

Here’s Goddess Leonie‘s story in 3 tweets:

Ooh! I found my passion when I stepped foot inside a womens circle when I was 21. I knew it was where I belonged…

And that I’d be doing it for the rest of my life. It’s been 7 years and it’s now my whole family’s job!!! Amazing!!!

& as to how I found it? I just followed interest after interest until I found one that really stuck and sung to me!

You see, we try – and try and try and try – to get things right. It’s the employee mindset. You show up, you do most things right, you get paid.

But whether you’re an employee, an aspiring business owner, or an entrepreneur, it’s a mindset worth breaking. You can’t get it right if you don’t try it to begin with.

Just as Goddess Leonie did, you can hop from interest to interest, idea to idea, but you have to start each one. You have to initiate, actualize, execute. If you don’t get started, you’ll never know what is truly penetrating your soul and which is merely foreplay.

I’ve jumped from music teacher to musician to pastor to theologian to manager to web designer to writer. At each stage of the game, I’ve done something to try them out. I taught music while I was still in high school, I was a youth pastor, I was a worship leader, I’ve built websites, I write daily.

Now, I do something a little different than I’ve ever done before but it drives me like nothing else before it. I’m dangerously – the good kind of danger – closer than I’ve ever been to that thing we call “passion.”

Drill Down

Drill down. The meaning of that phrase had always escaped me. It just didn’t compute.

That is until I really started unearthing my passion. With every unique iteration of my personal expression, I drilled down into the layers of my own interests.

Found true passion by following a minor passion. One led to another. -- Martha Winger

I discovered that anything that is layered over what truly makes you hot is not passion. It might be easier – and that’s fine – but it’s not passion.

Taking off those last few layers, drilling down to the core, you realize there is nothing to define you but the way you define yourself. All the comfortable labels, roles, and job descriptions no longer apply – there is only your self-actualization.

What is it about what you do know that gets you excited? Which part of your project is the one you hate to put down? What do your different life paths have in common? What is beneath your current desire?

Without doing, without experimenting, you don’t have a platform from which to drill down.

Never Assume Anything – Question Everything

At many points in my own passion journey, I’ve stopped questioning and started assuming.

For instance, I assumed that if I didn’t go to grad school, I wouldn’t be able to do anything with a BA & a concentration in contemporary religious thought. I assumed that if took a job that paid a little more per hour, I would be happier. I assumed that if I did something I liked but didn’t make a lot of money, that would be okay.

I forgot to ask the questions: How could I create a job description that used my obscure academic focus daily? Why do I love/hate the job that pays less? What about not making enough money to be comfortable is appealing? Actually – those are fairly obvious questions.

Passion asks harder questions. It assumes less.

Passion is about flipping convention on its head and running towards the unknown.

You can involve mentors, guides, texts, and practice – but you are the one that makes it real. Makes it tangible. Makes it irresistible.

Your passion is unknown because it is only you who can ask the questions & do the deeds it takes to make it known.

What are you going to do about it?

If your passion is waiting to be unearthed, if you’re waiting to act on a crazy idea, I wanna know: what are you going to do about it today?

Doing, acting, executing, realizing: these are some of my favorite words. I am an artist of action. I express myself through the actions I take and the products of my creation. I would very much like to help you do the same.

If you’ve ever wondered, “how do they do it?” I’ve got answers.

Today, I’m launching The Art of Action. It’s my brand new, premiere digital program that recognizes your big ideas for what they are: opportunities to act, do, and execute.

Want to know more? Get all the details right here.

8 thoughts on “how to find your passion, or there is no map for this fool’s journey

  1. So many good points Tara but then my passion is strong right now. I’d like to add that passion is something that waxes and wanes at times. I have just come out of a passion slumber, but it does not mean my passion was lost. Rather we sometimes need to rest and rejuvenate for the next round of amazing. I came to my true passion later in life I think because I’m from a generation that does not support blazing your own trail, but the story is not unlike yours. Many hats and roles were tried before I found myself and my passion. As you said there is no map, but the “fool” takes to the road anyhow, and we remember to pan for gold in the potholes :-)

  2. So glad I found you. This is an inspiring article and so true. For years I skipped around between many jobs, many industries and finally came to the conclusion that my passion is writing and creating. It doesn’t pay well but it delights me daily.

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