Aaah passion. Everybody tells us to follow our heart, do what we love and that pursuing our passion is the best thing in life.
But how are we supposed to do that when we don’t know what our skills are?
It’s like having a roadmap without being able to move, pretty useful, but our main priority is still to start moving.
I’m in my twenties and it’s the time where, weirdly enough, parents and adults expect me to have my whole life figured out while they’re only starting to figure out theirs.
Study one specific thing you got interested in early in your life, get a “stable” job, and never oh never change that halfway through.
Now I know, most of them do that out of care and love, but that leads to a lot of pressure and fear for most young adults who’ve just learned about taxes.
I got the opportunity to do many different jobs as soon as I turned 18:
Online shop owner, translator, marketer, customer support, designer, photographer, content creator, …
And while most of them didn’t bring me much income, I still got to taste what was expected of me and what the job would look like.
Did I find out my unique skills and passions? Not really.
I know for a fact that I love creating things, but that’s something that I know as I know that I am terrible at maths, you know?
While I am saying that with humor, it is very frustrating and stressful to not know what my precise skills are. I would really like to present myself and proudly say who I am as a person because skills and passions are the foundations of who we are.
I end up playing video games, watching movies and series to experience this sense of purpose through the characters, seeing them having cool adventures, that’s inspiring.
But it’s only 5-minute inspiring.
I still go to sleep and wake up with no sense of purpose.
Easy Solution 1 — Become A Life Archeologist
Why can’t we find what we love? Is there a secret code hidden in a cereal box that lets us access that? How is it that some people have rock-solid passions and a burning life purpose while others are mere slims?
The first step to uncover your skills is to do like an archeologist. You find a block of dirt, slowly dig your way through it, and search for what you’re looking for: something rare.
Sometimes you won’t find anything, sometimes you will find something but not what you were expecting, and there will be this one time where you will find the gem you were looking for.
Now I get, I get it. I need to be more specific and action-oriented. Because I can hear you already thinking:
“Yeah, but how do I find this block of dirt?”
Here are a couple of questions, actually just 2 questions, you need to answer that will help you to find out where to start digging.
What do my friends and relatives call me to help them with?
- For me, that was English. If there is something that had to be done in English, then I was the one called. Which is how I decided to start translating.
What did you enjoy doing as a child?
- For me, it was creating things. I used to play a lot of music and I can’t count how much I have played Minecraft building things. And it might sound foolish to some of you but that’s a step closer to uncover your skills.
Your goal is to uncover your skills, meaning that they’re hidden. Mostly hidden in small habits and likings of yours that you take for granted or see as unimportant.
Easy Solution 2— Make A List, Yup
I have another solution for you, where it’s a little bit more straight forward but at the end of the day, it will still help you uncover your skills.
Simply make a list of everything that interests you in life.
No judgment here, it’s a judgment-free space! So just write what suddenly comes to your mind when I say “That’d be cool if I could […] for a living.”
Do that, and give your best for 3 months.
Make it challenging enough so it doesn’t become boring, but not too difficult so you don’t burn out.
If that doesn’t work out or you feel like it was closer to a hookup rather than a long-term relationship, move on to the second idea of the list.
For me, this solution was all I needed to start. I didn’t ask myself tons of questions, I just wrote what could be cool to do and I’ve tried them.
- Do I want to travel full-time? I went on a 9-month trip around Asia. Do I want to do it again? Heck yeah.
- Do I want to become a full-time translator? I translated as a freelancer for a year. Do I want to do it again? Not really.
The goal is to become the scientist of our own life: experimenting, creating hypotheses, and testing them to see if they work out.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you haven’t uncovered your skills yet, or you thought you did but, just like the archeologist example, it wasn’t exactly what you were looking for.
That’s fine. You don’t need to have your whole life figured out now.
But don’t let your feelings and thoughts dictate your future, you shouldn’t let yourself down and abandon because nobody will get you up.
I have burnt out feeling stressed about not having my life figured out and trying too much to rush things.
I have stopped working and being productive for days, weeks, and even months sometimes.
But I will never give up until I find what I am looking for because I am the mad scientist of my life, and you’re yours too.
For those of you who’re still reading, make the list if you haven’t done it already. Don’t keep this tab open thinking that you will come back on it tomorrow because you won’t.
You have the information you need to start, now start.