Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Two Most Important Questions for Finding Your Passion

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with my sister who is going through a major life transition right now: college graduation. I remember being equally freaked out when I graduated but with the "economy" these days, I'm sure she is really be feeling the pressure.

Just to tell you a little about my sister. She started of her college career on a business/hospitality track. She got tons of industry experience and had she stayed on that track would probably not be as concerned but she got to a point where she realized that she just didn't enjoy it. I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm sure she probably came to dread it: the classes and the work got really boring and servile and so she decided to find something new.

My sister, has always enjoyed history and some time in high school started to enjoy art history and so more than halfway through her college career decided to do a complete 180 and switched her major to that. Not any easy path and probably not the easiest job market to break into but she likes it and when you find a passion for something you just gotta stick with it. So she has volunteered at galleries and will be spending time abroad and has done all the things that art history majors do, but now she has to make the leap to applying all of that to a career.

When she called me yesterday asking for career advice, all I kept hearing her say was that she was afraid to do this or do that and she was scared because she didn't have any job prospects, etc. So I asked her two questions.

1. What are you afraid of?
She finally deduced that she is concerned about having the money to go and do.

2. If [your fear here] was not an issue then what would you do?
She realized that she wants to travel and 100% that would be at the top of her list.

So I told her, that is where your starting point needs to be. Once you sit down and say to yourself, this is what I'm going to do, then you can brainstorm around that; then you can tackle the money, then you can tackle how to manage taking time away from the job hunt, then you can tackle the details. Any obstacle can be overcome with a little creativity, but first, you have to commit 100% to what you are going to do.

I have to really give the credit back to my goal setting with Lululemon because the session leader said "what would you do if you could remove all of your obstacles?" Which is basically saying the same thing in one question, but that's not how the conversation with my sister went, and I think the issue is more two-fold.

I think these questions can easily be applied to any career breaker. However, as SAHMs we truly have the advantage because we are forced to take the long view. Many of us know we are going to be out of work for a few years, and so we can take the time to truly find our passion.

So Moms, seriously, "what are you afraid?" and "what would you do if [your fear here] was a non-issue?"


1 comment:

  1. Great post, Jordan. I think these two questions can apply to a lot of situations both big and small. Deciding what to do with a career, how to spend a weekend, having a conversation with someone about a high-pressure issue, whether or not to make a big purchase or move or take a new job, etc.