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Nov 06, 2016 09:09 AM EST

Career Advice: Don’t Be Lost , Find Your True Passion

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For some, it's easy. They already know what they want. For others, it isn't so. Sometimes, we go through life not knowing what we really want. We go through each step getting by and not really living life the way we intended it to be.

Finding your passion is hard and pursuing it is even harder.

One author from Australia knows exactly how it feels like and shares her journey to finding her passion, taking a risk and quitting a job that pays for all her needs was necessary to finding out what it is that really sets her soul on fire.

When she was younger, Zahra Campbell-Avenell had no problem doing what she really wanted. As children we know what we wanted to be when we grow up and we had no qualms about declaring it and asking our parents what we need to do to become what we wanted.

Fast forward: we grew up, life got in the way and the next thing you know you're caught up doing something that you really don't care about. You're happy the job you have takes care of everything, everything but your fulfillment or happiness.

Zahra suggested these steps to finding your true passion and advices you write them down and revisit and reflect on them:

If money was not a problem...

Complete that statement and be honest. While we know that money is a necessity, working for money alone will not give you the fulfillment of doing that something you're passionate about.

List the things that you love

If you don't know yet what you're really passionate about this is one exercise that might help you get things in perspective. Listing all of them will help you identify which makes you excited the most and makes you lose track of time when you're doing it.

What are you good at?

That one thing that don't require much effort or thinking on your part or the things friends and family always ask your help or opinion on is something that helps you feel useful and accomplished when you get the chance to help them. You might be gravitating towards that but unconsciously.

What did you want to be when you grow up?

This might make you laugh and you might even think it's silly but sometimes, we already know what we really wanted when we're younger, we just never gave ourselves a chance to give it a shot. Well, whatever it is, if you think that's your thing, then don't wait till you're 65 to get it done. Give it a try, you deserve it.

The thing that inspires and motivates you the most

These are the things that makes you feel good and positive. Things you look forward to doing and will never get tired of doing, the stuff that will make up your ideal day where you'd feel content and happy.

Your life flashes right before you on your deathbed, any regrets?

There's been plenty of research on things that older people regret and one of them includes not being true to themselves and chasing their passions. Failure is scary but don't let it scare you out of trying to live your life the way you wanted.

Leave a legacy

A high paying job can buy many things but remember that things can be sold and they wither and rot over time but a legacy is something you leave behind that people will remember you for, how do you want to be remembered? What do you want others to remember you for?

It's now time to shortlist: pick up the top 3 activities that bring you joy and start there and follow the steps below:

Test the waters

You will never know if you never try, so go ahead. Yes, it's scary and it can be uncomfortable but research shows trying new things makes us happier by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. Go out there and give it a try, if it doesn't feel as right as you thought, you can always set it aside and try something else.

Reach out to your network

Get in touch with friends or colleagues who are already doing what you like to do. Pick their brains. Ask them questions why and how they got started, ask them for ideas. Learn from them. What challenges they had to face, the changes they had to make and the people who mentored them along the way. This will help you be more objective and realistic about your personal goals.

Expand and invest in yourself

Go out there, meet new people and make new friends. Take that trip or enroll in that class, learn the tricks of the trade, pick up new skills, get new tools or equipment. Pursuing your passion might mean a lot of hard work and giving up some of the little luxuries you've gotten used to but that will all be worth it when you realize that you've gotten where you always wanted to be.

Quit comparing

Don't make the mistake of comparing yourself to others. We all have different passions so there's no universal gauge that will measure success equally. If you've already had a job that pays well but left you feeling empty, then you should know that money is not the answer.

No good at it, no problem

When you've tried and found out that you're exactly not as good as you thought on what you're passionate about, don't lose hope. Consider if this is something you can learn - if you love music or painting, you can get more training on that. If you're passion is a craft or sport, practice some more and get a coach. Just because you don't have the professional skills to make it work, it doesn't mean you can't make it a hobby.

It's not about you

While we're talking about finding your passion, it doesn't mean it's all about you alone. Thinking of giving back or doing something to help others can also give you an overwhelming sense of fulfillment. If you already know what you're good at, try teaching it to others.

Get into action

Now that you've narrow your list down to a few set of activities that you really love, you can start putting it to work. Look for career or community centers where you can put your skills to action - coach or teach your local kids in sport, music or acting...or if you're not good at them yet, look for schools that offer classes after your work hours, join a team or find a coach.

If it means so much to you, be relentless in pursuit of your passion.

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