“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
What do you like to do? Have you been asked that question before? Do you know the answer? It’s okay if you don’t have an answer but it’s important to find one. Why?
Because finding your passion can help you determine what paths in life you want to take.
Passions don’t have to be exciting to other people. Just you! Finding a passion doesn’t have to be blockbuster, over the top, or in everyone’s face. Passions can quiet and solitary like reading or writing or painting. My husband loves playing music – when he was a kid he spent hours practicing in the basement while others gathered in the town parks to cruise.
Passions can lead to opportunities, careers and classes to take in high school or college. Passions can carry us through rough spots when it feels as if nothing is working. So think about what it is that excites you. The next step is to think about ways that might translate into a career path. Better to do something you love than something you hate or don’t care about at all. Jot down some ideas that you come up with and see if Google can provide information.
Not sure what excites you or how that can translate into a career? There’s help for that. Visit a local career center at your school or in your community and see if they have any interest inventories that you can take. Most of those will then provide a way to look at career or education.
Here’s a free one online you can use. http//:www.actprofile.org.
Once you’ve taken an interest inventory, think about what you can do to build expertise in that area. Are there clubs or volunteer work available? Can you meet people in your community who work in that field and ask about their jobs? Can you find a way to gain more information about those career or paths of study that lead to jobs in your passion area? If this feels like work, what you’ve identified likely isn’t a passion. If learning more about it does excite you, you’ve found a passion.
What did you find out? What’s your passion? How can you translate that into a career?
Last weekend I visited a friend in Dallas. She’s closer to eighty than seventy and still camps out, putting up her own tent, and sleeping on the ground for eighteen days of a music festival. She’s tough and wise, a master gardener and retired teacher. She’s compassionate, kind, smart, and stern. She’s provided refuge to friends, been an adopted mother to many, and now plays the role of adopted grandmother. She shares her camp with young adults, provides counsel, and doesn’t judge.
My friend has been working with one girl for several years at her camp. The girl moved in with my friend when she needed a change from living in her small town – she moved to Dallas to experience city life and turned twenty. The girl who lived in the cottage located in the back yard. I had known the girl before she was in her teens but not well.
Beautiful, bored and brilliant, during her senior year of high school, I once again talked with the girl about college. Her red curls turned darker and her eyes scorched with disdain. College didn’t interest her. She didn’t want to listen to advice. My words likely sounded like blah, blah, blah. Bored in high school, she pulled the grades without effort. She’s an artist and adrift.
She represents many. She’s the unsure of life and next steps. She’s one of millions with unlimited potential without a clue. She’s the person I write to influence. College can be different from high school. When I write the word college, I mean a few classes, a certificate, or a degree. College includes seat time, on-line, informal, and/or competency-based, demonstrate knowledge and receive credit. When I write about college, I see a variety of options unavailable even ten years ago and new options opening faster each year. There is something for this girl – even if she doesn’t know it.
This girl, turning twenty, is poised on the edge of adulthood. Her possibilities are limited only by imagine of what she can accomplish and the desire to follow through. For her, as for each person choosing to go to college, I see a path that each can build that uniquely suits individual need. The options are as never have been before in postsecondary education. It’s an exciting time to help people on their path.