Follow your passion? This is one of Jillian’s least favorite pieces of advice. And that’s the discussion in today’s episode.
Why is this bad advice? It’s actually not very helpful at all. It’s like telling someone they need to be good at something without telling them how.
Often, we think that finding our passion is the first step in the journey–you go from not really knowing to having it all discovered and figured out. That’s just not how it works. The process is often a spectrum of trying things out and slowly learning what we like and what we’re good at. We discover our passions, and then they become part of our identity.
Start with this: What are you curious about? There’s a lot of people curious about a lot of things. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re passionate about them, but they’re interested and curious.
Jillian’s advice is to put yourself in situations that could lead you to curiosity. This could be a library; what books attract you the most? That’s a great way to start! Talking to other people and what their interests are, looking online, and asking yourself what things you used to be curious about is also a great way to get started.
The second step is to ask yourself what you’re interested in.
“An interest is like ten percent. If you’re interested in something, you know about 10% of that basic knowledge on a thing.”
This step takes a bit more time. It’s the next level of interest up from being curious. You’ve gone beyond acknowledgment and you’ve started researching the thing you’re curious about. It’s about going a little deeper without committing to a passion.
The third step in the journey is when your interest eventually develops into a passion. A passion, Jillian describes, is about fifty percent. You know about fifty percent of all the basic information. Depending on where you are in your life, you might have a few things you’re passionate about or several!
The final level includes the things that become integrated into your identity. They take up significant portions of your finances, time, and energy, and you’re proud of those things being part of who you are.
“Think about it as a funnel where each thing progresses to another, and you’re just going to take things to the next level.”
Jillian had a friend who was passionate about the guitar. It was part of his identity, and he took it with him everywhere. You can imagine how stressful it would be to try and know immediately what a passion like this is in only one step. Our passions take time and effort to discover and develop.