Once our basic needs are satiated, we look for meaning. This can lead us to seek out interesting pursuits that will captivate us and lend a sense of purpose.
Due diligence is where most start: surveying the landscape. This takes shape in looking at others’ lives and then imagining ourselves within them. While this approach may seem sensible, it is in fact deeply flawed. We lack objectivity, and therefore only witness the rewards reaped by others, failing to recognize the practice and sacrifice involved.
If you want to find something you love, you may need to change your search criteria.
Finding an endeavor that fulfills you, is like finding a good friend or life-partner. It doesn’t “happen” to you, nor does it arrive with an announcement. Instead, it presents itself quietly and develops over time.
Think of your closest friends. At the beginning, you probably didn’t know they’d turn out to be great comrades; instead, you noted some common interests, visited a little, and slowly built a relationship. Life passions are like this too. It’s rare for them to be clear to us early in life, but can seem more obvious as we grow older.
Your passion may be found as a filmmaker, mother, or while trekking in foreign lands. The important note here is that you find your passion, even if it makes little sense to others. There are builders, nurturers, explorers… just to scratch the surface. Measuring your passions against those of others is a wasted exercise, akin to comparing a boat to a chicken.
The shortest path to finding one’s passion, is to look close to home. Consider what you do already—particularly the activities you gravitate to with no sense of payoff or external reward. Do this more, and see how it feels. It won’t be easy or perfect; then of course, nothing is. That said, should you find yourself “lost in it” at times, you may be on fertile ground.
It’s improbable that you are destined to do any one thing. There are a multitude of options from which you may choose. Choose you must, though. Not doing so will leave you bouncing from one thing to the next, leaving you with only surface level experiences.