I always thought finding your passion, your dream, was supposed to look like this: there is one thing you’re great at, that you love, and you run with it.
My problem was that I was good at a lot of things but not great at anything, and I loved too many things. So I spent time doing all of them.
How on earth was I supposed to find my passion like this?
Then a few years ago, my pastor asked me this question: where do you see yourself in 10 years?
For most of my life I knew where I wanted to be: married with kids in our own house and working in a job I loved (which I thought was zoology).
None of that had happened, though, and I was left with no idea where I saw myself in 10 years.
I told my pastor: I don’t know.
He said: You know, I get really worried when people can’t tell me where they’ll be in ten years because it means they don’t have a focus.
That hit hard. I didn’t want to wander aimlessly through life, but his words showed me that’s exactly what I was doing. I wanted a focus.
I told him: But there are too many things I love and too many things I want to do.
He basically said that to live any dream, sometimes you have to say no to other dreams. Not because those other dreams are bad, but because it splits your focus.
On his Storyline Blog, Donald Miller talks a lot about the importance of having a clear focus and purpose in life. It helps guide decisions and what you spend your time doing. It tells you what to say yes to and what to say no to.
I realized that by choosing to follow all my dreams, all I was really doing was choosing none of them.
I wanted to live a dream. One of them would be enough. So I went on a journey to find my one dream – my one passion – to focus on.
How did I find my passion? I looked back at my life and saw that there was one thing that has been a constant in my life: writing. It has always been a secret dream of mine to be a writer.
It took a bit of pain to follow this dream because it’s always hard to let go of things you love. But once I started focusing on this passion and following this dream, it feels freeing because it feels like I’m doing what I’m meant to do. I’m also seeing progress, which I wasn’t seeing before when my focus was split.
One of the best things I did was write a Writing Bucket List, so instead of dreaming about what I want to do, I actually do it.
It took me a lot of time and wrestling to come up with an answer, but my pastor’s question and advice was the catalyst that helped me find and follow my passion.
Side note: I didn’t stop doing all the things I love. I still draw, dance, and make time for music. It’s just that now I know writing is my focus and I can combine what I love with writing. I especially love combining writing with art. But if I had to choose between the two, writing gets my full attention. For example, I spend money on writing courses rather than art courses if money and time is tight.