This post originally posted at the BrandYourself.com Blog.
Do you know what you are passionate about? Even if you do, maybe there are some things to add to the list, or maybe you need to find out what you are most passionate about. Last week, I wrote about why passion is important, and now it is time to talk about how you can reach your potential by identifying and working with your passion portfolio.
- Identify passion areas
There are a number of great posts on how to find your passions and I would like to share two that I find very useful: The Short but Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion by Leo Babauta and How to Find Your Passion for Anything by Scott Young. Find a place where you are at ease, light some candles, make sure you will not be interrupted and read the printout of the two posts. Take an hour or two to read and reflect, it’s important not to rush.
- Ask “Why?”
“Why” is an extremely powerful word. When working with your personal development, always ask yourself the question “why?” at least three times. Let me give you an example: I am passionate about personal branding.Why personal branding? I love to help people to reach their potential.Why do I want people to reach their potential? Because I have seen so much waste of great talent and hard work, where the problem really is in the person’s self beliefs and inability to communicate their value clearly.Why is this my responsibility? Because one of my most powerful core values is to “Be a support and help my fellow humans.”
Answering levels of “why” questions will hopefully give you a purpose for what you are doing. If not, maybe you have not accurately identified your true passions. In this case, I found the trigger value for my passion for Personal Branding. I am a strong believer in the power of choice, and I think that you can choose to be passionate about an area. But even if you can choose to be passionate about something, for that choice to be empowered, it has to be aligned with your core values.
- Build and work on your Passion Portfolio
Write down the passion areas you have identified and the purpose for why you are passionate about those specific areas. Put it where you will see it every day, and add to each passion what your next action is for that passion area. It could look something like this:
Passion: Business networking
Purpose: I am a strong believer in helping others, and that my generosity will be reciprocated
Next action: Form a small business network with a clear structure for business value.
Do this for every passion area, or at least your top 10. Work with your action items every week. Personally, I like to add “Next Desired Outcome” before defining the next action point and writing it down as well. It is important to link actions to outcomes, both for future planning and retrospective evaluation.
What to do after identifying the areas which excite you the most? Follow these steps to turn thoughts into actions, and eventually tangible results.
- Connect you work description to your passions
In your current job, take a look at the work description and identify what areas are aligned with your passion portfolio. If you do not have a job, look for alignment with job ads. Take a moment to brainstorm around projects, tasks and outcomes that you can initiate or suggest to the management within your passion areas. When you work with these areas, you will most likely do a great job and over time you can steer your work to be more and more within your passion areas.
- Help your team
Include your team in your projects, show that you are passionate about it and spread the increased energy to them as well. You will be more appreciated and you will build a brand where your team will know you for delivering excellence in the area of your passion. Teach them how to tap into their passion and they will look at you as a natural leader.
- Promote the results
When doing evaluations, talking about what you do, writing reports, your resume, etc., promote the job you have been doing in your passion areas. Over time you will see that your manager, co-worker, family and friends will change the way they perceive you. They will see a more passionate person with a clearer purpose and direction.
- Find ways to develop your passions (and yourself)
Review your passions, find new areas of passion and work with your purpose, desired outcomes and tasks. Do this every week or every two weeks to keep this way of thinking fresh in mind at all times. When reviewing, spend equal amounts of time focusing on the future as well as on the past. I usually take half an hour for each task after breakfast on Sundays since that is a time I can have for myself without interruptions.
How do you work with your passions?