Are you unable to pinpoint what your interests are? Do you wish you could do more of the things you enjoy with your time? Have you lost your sense of wonder and excitement, while being bogged down with other responsibilities?
Here are 5 steps to uncovering your personal interests in life:
(Note: Interests may be anything from collecting shells to scuba diving to hosting parties. Nothing is off limits here!)
1. Follow Your Curiosities, Not Your Passion
Don’t you love it when somebody says, “Just follow your passion!” You’d be happy to, if you just knew what that was! Trying to follow your passion, when you have no idea what it may be, can weigh you down and leave you feeling more confused and lost than ever.
To find your passion, you must start by choosing activities and hobbies that you’re curious
about- ones that you feel a strong pull toward and want to know more about.
What’s intriguing to you? That is the real question.
2. Take Time to Reflect on Your Childhood
As children, we are very in-tuned to our personal preferences- interests, desires, likes and dislikes. Because of this, you will find some of the biggest clues in your childhood.
Take 20-30 minutes to reflect back to when you were a kid. What did you enjoy doing? Did you like playing indoors or outdoors? What were your favorite subjects? Your favorite toys? Your favorite games?
Bring these activities back into your adult life. I think you’ll be surprised at how intriguing these activities are today as they once were.
Personally, many of my interests in my adult life are the same ones I had growing up. Sure, there are a few newbies, but the majority were just buried treasures.
If you’re really stuck, use a list like these to get the wheels turning:
What sticks out to you?
3. Try on Different Hats
It’s OK to play around with different interests of yours. It’s OK if that thing you want to do doesn’t make you money. It’s OK if you want to take a single art class by day and climb a rock wall by night. This is the time to explore your interests, inside and out. What do you love about each one? The creative part or the rush of adrenaline? Working by yourself or as a team?
Ask yourself over and over again,“In this moment, what would feel great to do?” And go do that. It doesn’t have to be this gigantic commitment; in fact, I encourage you to take small steps. Remember, you’re just trying the hats on, not buying anything!
Don’t put any added pressure on yourself such as,“This may be it.” Just allow the activity to be as it is. Your calling will come as a result of doing the things you enjoy.
4. Remind Yourself that Your Interests Are Not Stupid or Silly
This is a trap that most of us fall into. Something feels interesting to us, but we quickly dismiss it because we convince ourselves that it’s too stupid, we’re too old, it’s not a moneymaker and blah blah blah. Why can’t we just let our curiosities be what they are, without the added commentary? Nothing that feels right to you is stupid, because it’s part of the truest expression of yourself. When you deny your interests, you are ultimately denying your soul of something it craves.
Be conscious of the stories you’re telling yourself because chances are, you’ve already come face first with some pretty cool interests. When your mind wants to put the brakes on something you desire, acknowledge it, but move forward anyway. Your soul will thank you.
5. Make the Time To Do Things You Enjoy
Once you’ve discovered some newfound interests and rediscovered some old ones, you must make the time to actually incorporate them into your life. It’s easy to give into the mindset of “I’m too busy” or “I have other important things that need to get done first.” But, ultimately, it’s your responsibility and yours only, to create the time. What’s more important than your happiness?
If you’re a planner, carve out specific times slots in your schedule. If an hour each weekday feels like too much, make it a weekend thing. Hire someone to do the things you don’t enjoy as much like laundry or grocery shopping to create the time or barter those things with a friend. Do what feels right to you, but just make the time.
A great future starts with a great present.
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