Helpful Tips For Turning Your Passion Into Your Profession

Let's set the scene: you've got the poster board, the glue sticks, and the magazines. You spend hours creating a picture-perfect vision board, packed with ambitions for the new year. When you look at your board and see your goals laid out in front of you, you feel a twinge of hope knowing that your passion can soon become your profession.

But what if you don't know where your passion lies, or how to find it? Well, when searching for your passion, it's easy to look for it with a worldly set of eyes, rather than your heart. Think about the following: "What personality test should I buy? What self-help book should I read next? What do my loved ones recommend I do?" Researchers (and yes, even gurus like Oprah) suggest taking action, big, yes, but even more importantly, small. Actions can include budgeting for your future restaurant property or researching your dream grad school programs. Just because it isn't a grandiose gesture, doesn't mean it's not passion-based. If you're excited or joyful from even these small acts, then chances are your passion is leading you exactly where you're meant to be.

Of course, everyone's journey is different. Regardless of where you are in your career or passion, it's healthy to acknowledge your strengths, weaknesses, personalities, and talents while also taking care of yourself mentally and physically in order to remain passionate. 

Get to know yourself

When turning a purpose into a career, it's good to be as honest as possible with yourself and ask the big questions, "what am I talented at," or "am I structurally or athletically built for something more?" Author and pastor. Rick Warren gives an example of such questions by referring to them as your "S.H.A.P.E" (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences). For example, a spiritual gift you might have is counseling, which is helpful in fields like psychiatry or health education.

Similar to spiritual gifts, how our hearts are shaped helps us know what we're emotionally drawn to. If you are an empath and genuinely love listening to and helping people, your heart may be in the right place for a counseling career. Abilities follow by tackling questions like, "what am I good at doing?" Again, if people naturally confide in you, or if you're good at comforting others, then a career in counseling may be a good fit.

Personality tackles specific thought processes or attitudes you have. Take someone in a counseling career: they might have a higher patience tolerance than others. This also ties into experience because you can use your day-to-day interactions or education to conclude the level of skill or knowledge you have about a career. Someone growing up with younger siblings may be more experienced in counseling than others, for instance.

Keep healthy

When we chase after a dream or fuse passion with a career, we tend to lay all of our cards on the table and give 100% of ourselves all of the time. While it's important to remain passionate, sometimes staying at a constant high of engagement while pursuing a career can be draining. When drained, we can't produce quality work and demonstrate the passion that we feel. It's a vicious cycle that takes and gives, and we risk losing our sense of purpose altogether. The New Yorker calls this efficiency crash "burnout." However, we can avoid burnout by incorporating some of the best ways to motivate ourselves into our daily routines. Sure cramming too much in a short period can cause stress, but prioritizing people, tasks, or activities can keep the commitment flowing smoothly.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle also cultivates the necessary energy, talent, and preparation needed to fuel our passion while pursuing a correlating career field. Try focusing on the big three: sleep, water, and diet. Aiming for eight hours of sleep a night, eight ounces of water daily, and whole balanced meals will help drastically boost productivity and maintain passion in our chosen careers.