You've spent hundreds of hours trying to find your calling, your one-passion-to-rule-them-all, the single thing that you're best at but you just can't seem to get it right.
But, have you considered that you just simply might not be a "single-faceted" person?
Combining your passion with work can be a great source of fulfillment and job satisfaction. However, the prevailing myth of finding your calling, somehow be able to successfully monetize it and "you won't have to work another day in your life" has become such a common narrative that for many people, working in anything less than their absolute passion feels like a waste of time and potential.
In fact, there is a whole industry built upon this very notion: from self-help books to coaching packages and tons of social media content from influencers that "made it". They all promise to help you dig out that single, obscure passion that is hiding somewhere deep inside your unused potential and turn it into a cash cow.
As a career coach, it is part of my job to help clients discover what their strengths, drives and skills are and apply it to work in a way that feels meaningful and motivating. It's also part of my job to help them bust the myths and narratives that keep them stuck in a state of dissatisfaction and disappointment.
Often times, what holds them back is that exact notion of being unsuccessful in finding the single thing that they truly shine in or gives them lifelong purpose.
So, I put together this list of realizations around finding your one true passion that has helped my clients shift their mindset:
Most people are multi-faceted: they have a variety of interests, passions and talents. For some people, certain passions are constant but for others, it's mostly about the thrill of exploration and learning something new that gets them in a flow state of mind. Emilie Wapnick coined the term "multipotentiality" and created a whole community of thousands of people with multiple interests and creative pursuits - so you're definitely not alone in this!
Part of self-growth is discovering new passions: the whole point of learning and developing as a person is to discover new things that make you tick. You might have been very passionate about ballet or racing as a kid but it is highly unlikely that you will feel the same about those things in your 30s.
Your curiosity is a strength: being open to new experiences and inquisitive about what more the world around you has to offer is a great asset that keeps your mind active and young.
Not every passion needs to be monetized: if you are familiar with the concept of ikigai and have tried to apply it to work, good for you! It's a wonderful idea that can indeed lead to long-term fulfillment in your work life. Having said that, not every passion has to bring in cash in order for it to be enjoyable, meaningful or even useful. Your passions and interests will push you to gain new skills that you may or may not use at work. But they will definitely make you much more open-minded and interesting to talk to.
Your sense of purpose can come from multiple sources: a lot of people look for purpose at work while for others, purpose is more tightly connected to family values or their endeavors outside of work such as volunteering. Finding your purpose can be a complex and extremely personal journey but it most likely won't come from a single source. Trying to fit passion, purpose and work into a neat narrative can be stressful, unproductive and not applicable to most.
In the tapestry of our lives and careers, the threads of passion are diverse and multicolored, weaving through the various experiences and interests that shape our journeys.
Why be confined by the limits of a single passion instead of embracing the vastness of your potential? In celebrating our multifaceted selves, we not only find fulfillment but also contribute uniquely to the future of our workplaces and communities.