Pursuing Multiple Passions: 6 Steps to Help Guide Your Vision
“Find that one thing you enjoy doing, get good at doing it, then make a living doing it professionally.”
How often have we heard this preached to us in one form or another? Though it sounds like solid advice, what happens when your passion and expertise lie in more than one area? When you have multiple interests and strengths, and feel drawn to excel in multiple fields?
Well, if you're like me, this article’s for you. This article's also for anyone convinced that pursuing multiple passions is the perfect equation for chaos — hear me out on this one!
I’ve found it challenging over the years to narrow my dream career to just one —constantly finding myself gravitating towards different interests, social circles, and opportunities that seem to have no clear or coherent connection to one another. Frustrated from feeling like I was doing the whole career selection thing wrong, I started seriously reflecting and asking myself important questions like, "What do I see myself doing? What makes me feel fulfilled? What do I have to offer the world?"
I admit I haven't figured out all the answers. However, asking questions like these made me realize my frustrations were stemming from trying to live out my dreams the way society has mapped out the course. Finish high school, go to college or university, earn a diploma or degree, find a good paying job, gain enough work experience before settling into the career of my choice — or at least that's how it's projected.
Life doesn't often follow that route, though. If you can relate, I encourage you to see that you're not alone. It's okay to go against the grain, to go down the road less travelled. With age, I've managed to shift my perspective on this. I'm learning to truly trust and follow my heart, and the endless examples of people who've successfully done the same have helped make journeys like mine less rugged. So, don't count your enthusiasm to pursue multiple passions as a risk, a weakness, a loss of focus, or misdirection. Continue asking yourself the necessary questions and trust the process.
Here are 6 guiding steps to fall back on when you find yourself second-guessing if you're making the choice that's right for you:
1. Surround yourself with positive support systems.
It's not easy living out your dreams. Constantly being in the company of negative people with a lack of positive supports can make this process much more challenging when you're making important life choices.
It pays off to dedicate time towards identifying the people you trust will be there to support you best at whatever stage you're at. It can be a family member or a friend, a teacher, a pastor, a mentor, or an organization. You name it! If you don't know who or what your supports look like, do your research. Find people who are pursuing careers in the same areas of your interests. Learn from their successes and their failures. Watch interviews, read articles, attend workshops, events, and conferences that'll give you insight and connect you with the people, information, and resources that can equip, aid, and direct you.
2. Invest in self-care.
Self-care is vital. It's impossible to build a secure future without looking out for you. While working towards building your dreams, it becomes easy to get caught up in caring for everything and everyone other than yourself. Demanding work schedules and a tonne of responsibilities coming from managing several pursuits, can prevent you from crafting out time to take care of you.
What self-care looks like varies from person to person. For some, it might mean booking an appointment at a plush beauty bar for a monthly glow up. While for others, self-care might be as simple as taking a walk first thing in the morning to de-stress. Whether you choose to do it big or keep it simple, investing in you goes a long way.
Ultimately, self-care has greater effects on your overall health and wellness, so it's important to make it priority. Abandon any idea in your mind that says self-care is egotistical.
3. Silence the voices of naysayers.
When you're trying to gain focus and work towards a dream or goal, people seem to voluntarily show up in your life and go out of their way to offer "friendly" advice, share their experiences, or "direct" you...
"Maybe you should try getting into this program. Or, maybe you should try becoming a doctor, that's where the real money's at."
"Actually, teaching doesn't seem like a field that you'll grow in, you'd make a great realtor, though!"
...Thanks. But no thanks!
Too many negative and biased opinions can stop you from attending to your main focus, which is doing what you feel called to do. Whether or not the intention behind someone else's input or advice is good or bad, one thing to be cautious of is how much influence you allow naysayers to have in shaping your choices, decisions, and actions. Seeking advice from anyone who wants to chime in is a big NO, NO, because not everyone has your best interest in mind. Even the ones who do, won't know entirely what's ultimately best for you. You need as much clarity as you can get when it comes to finding this out. Too much unnecessary input can leave you confused, distracted, and discouraged, and you definitely want to be in a healthy state of mind when figuring out your life's purpose.
4. Get organized and prioritize.
If you see yourself pursuing multiple passions, you definitely need to be prepared to multitask, which requires you getting organized. Knowing what's priority on your to-do list will save you from additional stress.
If you haven't yet mastered this skillset, there's lots of room for you to learn and grow. There are a lot of great free apps and resources that'll help you get the job done if you use them effectively. Making sure your meeting times don't conflict with your work hours and determining how much time, money, and resources will go into your products and services are parts of your role that need to be documented.
Knowing where to place your time is crucial.
Life happens, but planning ahead will make a difference that gives you a strategic advantage in the long run.
5. Trust your heart
This is another simple yet very essential step. Many of us know ourselves enough to know when our heart is leading us to act or not act on a thought, belief, or emotion. Our minds can get us into the habit of doubting, trying to make logical decisions, to come up with solutions, and understand everything. It's not always easy to remind ourselves to trust our heart. In connection to my faith, I've found it helpful to check in with myself, and turn to scriptures that speak to my heart like Proverbs 3:5-6, which says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."
6. Just do it!
Most of us are familiar with the ever so popular Nike slogan, “Just do it.” The act of just doing sounds simple. However, the process isn't quite so, if you know what I mean. Things like doubt, uncertainty, fear, and circumstances can get in the way of progress. There'll be times when you don't feel ready, but it’s just a matter of following through with the first step and moving forward from there.
There's no solid blueprint or error-free formula that I can share to get you from point A to point B, and that's okay. It's okay for you to not know, and it's okay for you to make mistakes along the way, as long as you don't allow the fear of moving forward to stop you from reaching your goals. You might find it helpful to write down the goals that support your dreams, that way you have a tangible point of reference. Share it with people you love and trust, those who can support you and encourage you when you need that extra push or caring ear to listen.
#ElevatedExpressions: Don't put a cap on your dreams or derail your destiny by settling for what you see everyone else around you doing.
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