How can I be happier? What am I supposed to do with my life? How do I follow my passion if I don’t know what it is?
Big questions. Common questions. And the answers might be hidden in our childhood.
Seeds are often planted in our childhood that serve as clues to what we’re supposed to spend our time doing as grown-ups. Sometimes we just need to engage in a little detective work to figure out what they mean.
I got an email recently from someone who was reading my first book and wrote to tell me her favorite part:
So far my favorite part is in Chapter 4, Live Passionately. You tell us to think back to what we wanted to be when we grew up. I stopped there and shook my head since I wanted to be a hotel maid in Florida. HAHA
You went on and said to think about the reason for having that passion. That was an eyeopener! A cleaned hotel room after playing all day in the hot sun gave me a peace and I wanted to share that feeling with others. So simple. Our desires as children tell us a lot more about ourselves than I realized.
Thanks ~ Elizabeth
In Elizabeth’s case, the lesson isn’t necessarily that she missed her calling as a hotel maid. It’s that deep down, she feels called to give people a feeling of peace. Of course, the grown-up version of her can probably think of a whole bunch of ways to do that beyond cleaning hotel rooms.
And I bet that any number of them could tap into that deep seated calling, and contribute to an uptick in happiness and fulfillment.
Likewise, if you wanted to be a superhero when you were a small fry, maybe the pull was because you wanted to help people who couldn’t help themselves. Or fight against injustice. Or solve problems. Or design avant garde fashion.
I’m all for following one’s passion, but I don’t think that passion has to be relegated to one specific occupation or even be a job at all. When we look deeper, it’s usually something that we can express in many different ways throughout our entire life.
Passion is not something you do, it’s something you live.
Sometimes we get so caught up looking for answers that we forget the best way to get them is by asking the right question.
If you’re wondering what might make you happier, or even what you might be called to do with your life, start by asking what your seven-year-old self wanted to be when you grew up.
Then follow it up with the million dollar question: