Finding Your Passion

While in Italy this past week, I had a great talk with Gary Zelesky. Gary Z is known as the Passion Doctor, and he is an expert at helping people find what they were born to do in life. (Be sure to listen to this week’s podcast for our discussion on finding your passion.) There are a lot of people who don’t know what they were created to do. They do not know why they are here, and they don’t know what they should do with their lives. In our conversation, Gary Z shared the following wisdom about how to find what you were born to do.

How do I discover my passion?

The first way that you discover your passion is to find out what scares you the most. What is the one thing that creates fear in you? Fear has a lot to do with the concept of passion. Many times, people avoid going after their passion because they are afraid. They are afraid of failure, they are afraid of rejection of some kind, or they listen to the voices of many other people. All of these play a role in keeping them from discovering what that one thing is they were created to do. So think of it this way, whatever you fear might be a great clue about the very thing that you are supposed to be doing.

So, if I’m trying to figure out my passion, maybe I should start looking for things that cause me to be afraid?

That is absolutely a great place to start. For instance, my passion is speaking, but my biggest fear is rejection. It is the sense of not being accepted. The irony is the two are really linked. Sometimes the thing that makes you a little afraid, the thing that makes you uncomfortable, may be closer to your passion than you realized.

If I have a fear that is holding me back from my passion how do I get past it?

The only way you break through fear is by knowing what you’re breaking to. Most people don’t break through their fear because they don’t know exactly what the goal is on the other side of that fear. That’s why it’s so important to really know what your passion is.

What is the one thing you would do every single day of your life if you never got paid a dime? What is the thing that fuels you? What is the thing that brings you the greatest joy? I’m not saying ‘happiness’; I’m saying joy because happiness is a result of happeningsJoy is that thing inside of you. It’s not explainable. It’s that time when you have a smile on your face, and you don’t even know why. You need to find out what is the one thing that really fuels you. Define that, go after it, and write it down. Discover what it is, and then begin to pursue it. That action is what moves you through your fear.

If you are undefined in your passion, you are undefined in so many other ways. Business owners frequently try to motivate people through bonuses or a variety of different things. They don’t understand that you can motivate people by the thing that’s inside of them. If you are an owner of a business, understand this. People care about things that they know you care about. So when you care about your employees in a way that’s amazing they’re going to start caring about the things that you care about.

You challenge people to write down 10 things to get them started in the right direction. Why is that?

Most people don’t take the time to write. They don’t understand that once you write something, you can revisit that something. How can you revisit something you’ve never written?

Once you write it, then you revisit it.
Once you revisit it, then you can retool it.
Once you retool it, it can cause a renaissance.

The importance of writing your passions down is that it will give you tremendous focus.

When you start writing, you may have doubts; you may question everything you write. But do it anyway. Once you write these ten things down, let it simmer. Give it a day, and then go back and revisit that list of things that you are passionate about, the things that make you come alive. Then narrow it. Go back and erase, maybe take off five things. When you begin to narrow and define your list, you will be surprised. You will discover some things you never thought were inside of you, but you will know they create a interest for you and a response in you because you wrote them, and you can actually see them on a piece of paper. It is an extraordinary exercise, and will help you discover your own passions.

Many times we don’t even know the passions of the people closest to us. Writing them down as a family, as a team, or as a company can be transforming. It ignites something within us. It helps us visualize our dreams and creates a desire to do something to move us toward those passions.

So use these tips to find your passion, then go out there and do something about it. Just get started. And remember, passion doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be performed.

For more information or to contact Gary Z, visit his website at

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