Work Where Your Passion Is

I’ve been doing quite a bit of introspection these days. It’s not that I’m narcissistic or anything. I just keep hearing folks say over and over again that you will be most successful career wise if you work where your passion is.

The part that I’m struggling with is the whole part about where my passion really lies. That may sound pretty dumb to most of you. But the truth is I am good at a bunch of different things. I enjoy a variety of stuff. And I tend to get passionate about things for relatively short bursts of time before I move onto the next thing.

I think my whole struggle drives my wife a bit nuts.

I can imagine her thinking, “Here we go again,” whenever I get on the topic. I mean just last night we had another one of those “I don’t know what I want be when I grow up” conversations. Oh, and I’m nearly 40. Sheesh!

The good news is there are some folks who are offering up some practical ideas and techniques to get through a barrier like mine. I thought I’d share a couple links that I’ve found that help me out since I’m struggling here. Who knows? Maybe some of you are struggling with this too.

So here are the links:

By far the most practical advice that lays out a step by step process to work through this that I’ve ever seen was laid out by Brian Kim in his post back in July called How to Find What You Love to Do. I just found the post a couple days ago and I am working through the steps he laid out now (I’ll let you know how it goes.)

Tony Clark over at Success From the Nest has some practical ideas on how to find something worth working for. Click through the link to the post at Lifehack on Why Work? It is definitely worth the time to read those questions and ponder them.

Oh, and it looks like Chris Johnston had an epiphany with his post The Paycheck vs The Life. Congratulations Chris! That’s the sort of thing we all could use in our own lives.

Ultimately we will achieve much more success when we work at something we are truly passionate about. Passion has the power to overcome any obstacle that life throws up in our way. Passion can fuel us to work harder than we ever thought we would and still leave us feeling like we hardly worked at all.

So many of the masses of mediocrity stay at jobs they hate just to get a pay check instead of doing the things they are most passionate about and were created to do. And then they wonder why they don’t ever see success.

Find your passion. Pour your all into it. Achieve ridiculous success!

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  1. Aloha Chris, thank you for these pointers. I’ve been to Tony’s place, and will be sure to read through the articles offered by Brian Kim and Chris Johnston too.

    I think you are very fortunate that you enjoy a variety of stuff and feel you are good at them; there’s an abundance factor in passion and no one says it need be directed to only one thing! I can see you are a talented writer, and a generous blogger, and I shall look forward to reading more of what you offer here; much passion on display!

    Chris I am quite confident that the work destined to rock your world will become known to you soon, for thus is the intention you are putting forth, and there is much to be said for that dliberance. And who knows, you may have already found the what it is, and just need to refine the how it’s best done at your terms.
    A hui hou, (Until the next time) Rosa

    • oh man, I have myself been a philosopher of this ideology since many years!! and I am so glad to see it here on your blog!! :)

      Its good that you have shared such great gems on the same topic!!

  2. Rosa, Your words are a cool breeze on a hot summer afternoon. Thanks so much for your encouragement. I think I may have to brush up on my Hawaiian, though! :)

  3. Hey Chris,

    The part that I’m struggling with is the whole part about where my passion really lies . . . the truth is . . . passionate about things for relatively short bursts of time before I move onto the next thing.

    Looks to me that your passion is a coat of may colors. You wear it well.


  4. many colors

  5. I don’t know, Carolyn. I kinda like “may colors”. ;)

    Now if I can just figure out how to turn my short attention span into a bankable asset!

  6. Hi Chris – The fact that you’re actively searching puts you laps ahead of many. Keep in mind – you don’t have to settle for one passion. I myself have a few. Maybe you’re what Barbara Sher call a Scanner (or a Renaissance man). Many great entrepreneurs are. It took me a while to embrace my short attention span as a strength, rather than fight it as a liability.

  7. Tony, I’m just working on a way to turn that short attention span into an asset. I tend to be extremely focused – until I move on to the next thing.

  8. Tony: great idea to work with it rather than fight it. Fight what, again?

    Chris: if I’d written that comment as a poem, ‘may colors’ would have fit perfectly.

  9. I share your pain brother. I know everyday what it feels like and my wife reacts the same way. I was reading the e-book “Inside Facebook” and there was link to the blog that the original post I referenced in “The Paycheck vs Your Life” was on. I suddenly realized where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. I also know that I may realize something different a few months from now. I also deep in my heart have a burning urge to go to Law School. This is not just a passing fad but a deep burning desire. I know most people hate lawyers, that is until they need one and then they want the best one. I might just go to law school at the same time. Or go earn so much in the next five years that I am retired at 39 and I can go to law school with no pressure.

    Thanks again for the reference and I’ve added you to my blogroll.

  10. Chris, I entertained the idea of law school – very briefly. I liked the possibility of a lucrative career. But not much else. It was sort of like my time in the Navy. I mostly liked the flying part.

    Like Tony said in his post today us multi-passionate Chris’ just need

    to capitalize on our talent for learning and mastering a bunch of different things.

  11. Chris-n-Chris, I’ve found Jim Stockdale’s advice for surviving in the “Hanoi Hilton” in Vietnam to be most effective in dealing with the passion-less day job. He said, “You must never confuse the faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

    For me, the brutal facts of reality our my financial responsibilities to my family. I no longer speak out loud in my home of ideas and desires to work at something I love, with passion. I had transcended from the wife rolling her eyes to the wife packing weapons due to foolish attempts to escape from the day job that thru our family into financial hardship. But I’ll never give up trying and believing it can happen!

  12. Dave, I agree that it can happen. I’m kinda coming out of a place near where it sounds like you are at. I found that changing the way I framed my thoughts and my words on the subject has helped me a lot.

    Now instead of wishing I could find something to work at that I was passionate about I started asking myself questions. How can I find work that I’m passionate about? What could I do that I’d feel passion for? And the kicker, What am I passionate about?

    I figure by refining and working in the direction of my passions, the money will follow eventually. Obviously I haven’t quit my day job while I work through this! :) My wife would not appreciate the bills not getting paid!

  13. I agree. I think everybody needs to find what they can be obsessed about, and if you can make a career out of it, you’re one of the lucky ones.


  14. Kind words can make a difference. Flowers can make an impact.

  15. Thanks for sharing and keep it up.

  16. Okay, here is my issue, one of many according to my wife.:

    I actually found what I loved to do about 5 years ago and I am considered an expert on the subject. I have been working on my websites as a hobby since that time but went full time Jan 08.

    My problem is, my passion is Mortgages, and my spin off is credit cards. Now I have to find a whole new “passion”. The only other passion that I can think of is football … I just dont know how to crack this vertical … any ideas?

  17. Aubrey, That’s a really good question. I’m thinking that with al the upheaval and uncertainty that’s going on in the mortgage business right now your passion and expertise in that area will be all the more in demand. When there is increased uncertainty people usually want even more information, right?

    When times get tough most folks hunker down. But the businesses that position themselves so they can expand during the lean times are already geared up and moving forward as things improve. By the time the bunker people can react to a more optimistic business environment the businesses that chose to grow during the lean times are passing them by.

    Not sure exactly how that applies to you. But I’m guessing that if you gave it some thought you mgiht find some competitive advantages now while most of your industry is running scared.

  18. Thanks Chris,

    I thought that exact thought, and my main website (lendfast dot com) actually picked up traffic since the turmoil started. My problem is, my main monetization for the website was referrals to the mortgage companies, lending tree, quicken and so on.

    Since then 30 dollar referrals have turned int $3 – $7 dollar referrals and the apps dropped off 75%.

    So, in an attempt to zig as the market zagged I started a “mortgage assurance program”. Which paid me a couple of a hundred bucks when customers hired me to beat the snott out of their mortgage company to get a better deal. This worked ok, the problem is, most of these people cant get loans at all.

    Dont get me wrong, I’m a “glass is full” type of guy. I’m just looking for a recession proof vertical. One idea wev’e kicked around is the wedding niche, my wife is a semi-pro wedding planner. I have NO passion for the subject, but she does. Any thought there.

  19. “Find your passion. Pour your all into it. Achieve ridiculous success!”

    I love your quotes, because it works to me. I did a life changing decision end of the last year. I was struggling on my acedemic life – research… PhD…I have completely lost my interest on research. So, do you know what my department head’s advise was? “Follow your passion”, yes I stopped and thought, what is my passion…, today I am incredibly happy on what i am doing. I know the success is not far..

  20. If that’s the case than I want to work in writing. Perhaps blogging, writings books or news papers… something like that. I hope you can help me succeed with what you’ve written.

  21. It is important that you do the things in which you have intrest. If you keep on doing things just for profit then you will lose the steam after some time and fail. However if you keep on doing the things that you like you wont be bored with it

  22. passion means everything to me in my life. without passion I just can not make any accoplishment , without passion I will not keep loving that guy. without passion I can nor do anything at all. human also use passion to creat miracle .

  23. Finding what you have a passion for can be very aggravating because the longer it takes you to figure out what u want to do, the most annoying it becomes because it seems like everybody knows what they want to do except for you.

  24. Thanks for the post, I like to find inspiring ideas and practical knowledge to help bolster my own awareness for web design and development in general. Blogs like yours are a great source of inspiration for me and I will keep an eye open (on your rss feed) for more of your brilliant posts. Cheers!

  25. bhupendra pratap singh says:

    Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri – Stress – Kill it before it kills you
    Arindam Chaudhuri. Passion at work … Your wife is planning to leave you, or, for that matter, your girl friend wants to get married to you! …

  26. Ichan - batam, indonesia says:

    hi, Chris it’s been almost 6 years after you wrote this article. it also happen to me now. I’m 38 years old, and still trying to find the passion of mine. i like to know what’s your job in 2006, and what are you doing now for living. Did you make that big step in 2006 or in years after? Thanks for open my mind.

    • Heya Ichan! That’s a fantastic question. If you take a look around this site you’ll see that it is no longer a blog about self improvement. Much has happened since 2006 when I wrote this post.

      In 2007 I formed a company and called it SuccessCREEations, Inc. At the end of that year I left my job to launch my business. It’s been a bumpy ride at times but now, over 4 years later my business is still going strong. In fact this past summer we relocated to Colorado from Savannah, GA and are looking at expanding in a big way this year.

      Our focus is WordPress and related services. We build websites, create custom themes, do troubleshooting and support for WordPress sites. We offer domains. And we have a couple of different hosting solutions. One is for faith related websites at EmmanuelPress and another for business at WP Annex.

      And it all started with a little blog here years ago. :)


  1. [...] Chris Cree over at SuccessCREEations brought up this really great point in his comment on Friday’s post, and in his follow-up post on his site: The part that I’m struggling with is the whole part about where my passion really lies. That may sound pretty dumb to most of you. But the truth is I am good at a bunch of different things. I enjoy a variety of stuff. And I tend to get passionate about things for relatively short bursts of time before I move onto the next thing. [...]

  2. [...] I think my column fell short last week for you, and I need to thank Tony Clark and Chris Cree for the help they gave me in salvaging it. —Tony wrote: What are you Working For? and —Chris wrote: Work Where Your Passion Is, and then —Tony wrote: Why Settle for Just One Path? which (I’m guessing) may have inspired —Chris to do this: Contemplating a Bit of a Course Change [...]

  3. [...] Things really started to come together a couple weeks back when I wrote Work Where Your Passion Is. The resources I had found, and the discussion that post generated was really a catalyst for change here. [...]

  4. [...] Because if you Work Where Your Passion is, it will feel a little less like work, and your motivation will be higher even when you are burning the midnight oil that is often required to achieve success. [...]

  5. work place motivation…

    I found it very useful. Thanks for the knowledge. I am personally trying to follow the advice & try to be independent….

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