What do Elon Musk, Tom Brady, & Beyoncé all have in common?
They are completely obsessed with their field of study.
They are amongst the most successful and passionate people in the world. Elon Musk is the richest man in the world, Tom Brady has the most Superbowl wins of any quarterback in the NFL, and Beyoncé has 28 Grammys for her brilliant music (the most of any female artist).
Wouldn’t it be nice to have that level of passion in your life? or at least have half the amount of passion that they have?
What if I said there was a way for you to find something that you loved just as much as they do…
And it boils down to this simple equation:
The Power of Intuition
Intuition is like your own internal homing beacon. It lets you know when you’re going in the right direction and when you’re veering off course. It’s that feeling inside that tells you “hmm, yes I like this” or “uhhh, maybe not this”
Some may call this your gut, or following your heart. I simply call it intuition…
Just like a homing beacon, intuition lets you know when you’re going in the wrong direction by giving you an icky or bad feeling. And lets you know when you’re going in the right direction by giving you a peaceful and content feeling.
This should be your guide for searching for your passion.
This manifests itself as you liking or disliking something.
Take Action From Your Intuition
When you like something or are interested by it, pursue it! Take action towards it. This really couldn’t get more simple.
It doesn’t matter if it turns out to be a dead end. Learning more about what you might be fascinated by is never a waste of time.
By embracing your failures you find out what you don’t want, which is crucially important to finding what it is you do want.
Remember that you were built with an internal homing beacon. You will be steered back to where you’re meant to be just by following that little guiding force. So don’t let the fear of a dead end stop you from taking action.
The Trap of a “Safe” Career
Many people in your life will want to throw their opinion into the ring. They may have good intentions and want the best for you, but you must realize who is coming from a place of fear and who is coming from a place of abundance.
Those who are coming from fear will never want you to take risks and follow your heart because they’re too busy thinking of all the ways you will fail.
Do you remember Elon Musk from earlier? Do you think he knew he’d be successful following his intuition? No, he knew the risks, he had his share of failures, and look where he is!
You will NOT have a passionate life if you constantly take the safest route.
Failure is part of the procedure. It is absolutely necessary to fail to discover what you love.
Successful people have a high tolerance for failure. No matter how many times you fail, if you love it enough, you will plow forward.
If you choose safety when you know there’s something more for you, you will know in your heart that you settled. You can try and hide this fact from yourself, but it will manifest itself later as dissatisfaction and disappointment.
You must realize that a “safe” career isn’t without risks either. You may lose that job too. So if there’s no guarantee you won’t fail, you might as well follow your heart anyways.
Exploration Then Commitment
I’m not telling you to go in without a plan, just saying, “f*ck it”. What I am saying is don’t let fear hold you back from a passionate life.
You want to be strategic.
You want to go about finding your passion in a 2 stage process…
- Exploring all the possibilities, with intuition as your guide.
- Committing to what you love and becoming obsessed with it.
This graph comes from a well researched and accepted psychological model: Marcia’s theory of Identity Development
There are 4 categories you can fall into:
- Identity Diffusion – Low commitment and low exploration. Identity diffusion is when someone doesn’t know what they want from life but doesn’t care enough to explore and find out
- Foreclosure – High commitment and low exploration. This is when you’ve committed without giving it much thought. Most “safe” careers fall under this category. It’s not really what you want to do, but you’re too scared to pursue anything else.
- Moratorium – Low commitment and high exploration. This is all about exploring the possibilities of life. If you’re at this stage you don’t want to commit to any career yet, and you’re excited by all the options.
- Identity Achievement – High commitment and high exploration. The identity achievement stage is where you’ve found what you love, and you’re dedicated to exploring it deeply.
Options 1 and 2 will lead to a miserable and dissatisfied life. We’re concerned with numbers 3 and 4.
It’s important to explore all your options before deciding on something. This should start with exploring what you know you like, and letting that internal homing beacon steer you towards new things that pique your interest.
It’s important to stay open minded through this phase and not commit to something until you know you really love it.
Although eventually when you do find what you love, the commitment will come naturally. Pursuing anything else but this thing you’ve found would be crazy to you. If you don’t feel totally content with where you’re at, keep an open mind to new possibilities.
The goal is to get to number 4 on the graph, Identity Achievement. This is where the passionate life develops. You’re heavily committed and deeply excited to explore the area you’ve chosen.
At some point it isn’t a choice anymore for you to pursue whatever it is you’ve found that you love. It’s where you find the meaning in life. You can’t help but keep learning more, building onto this area of your life, and diving deeper.
Elon Musk, the CEO of 4 separate companies, has been observed working 120 hours a week. He is so obsessed with creating the best electric cars and sending rockets into space, that he works 120 hours a week!
To him, there is no other way to live life. This is his passion.
This is ultimately the way your life could end up. And you’ll love it.
How Following Your Passion Could Make You Rich
If you become an expert in anything, you will be compensated for it in one way or another. But when I say expert, I really mean being in the elite of your school of thought. The top 1%! Though even being in the top 5% will make you incredibly valuable.
Let’s take for example, photography.
You’ve found that capturing the most amazing images in the world is what lights you on fire. You dedicate your life to perfecting this and documenting the most amazing things there are to be photographed.
If you really get amazing at photography over many years and build a reputation for it, people will want you. If you are in the top 1% of photographers and you market yourself as such, you will be hearing from some very wealthy people.
Why? Because the top 1% want to be photographed by the top 1%. Everyone wants the best! And that’s what you’ve become.
Replace “Photographer” with anything, and the same still applies…
- Meditation Instructor
- Game Designer
The important thing is that you are seriously passionate about whatever it is you want to do with your life. The wealth will come as a bonus.
Summing It Up
The simple recipe for a passionate life is as follows:
Intuition + Action = Passion
Every one of us has an intuitive homing beacon guiding us towards where we want to be in life. Use it as a guide and take action towards it!
Realize that failure is inevitable. Failure is part of the process and will help you succeed in the long wrong. Don’t let it stop you from pursuing something amazing.
Explore like crazy until you find something you love. Once you find it, you won’t want to stop. You’ll fall into the Identity Achievement phase of Marcia’s Identity Theory when you find it.
Become obsessed with what you’re passionate about and the money will follow later. Don’t let money or lack of money deter you into a “safe” career.
Above all, listen to your intuition. It’s your one true guide.