Have you ever thought about how you want to find your passion?
What about how you want to create a life full of purpose?
The thing is, we’re so confused about what passion and purpose are, it’s not surprising that we’re not feeling passionate or living out our life’s purpose.
In this episode, I share exactly how you can create more passion in your life and choose the purpose that aligns with your deepest values and desires.
Here are resources to go along with this podcast episode:
- How To Find Your Passion And Purpose (blog post)
- Direction Vs. Intention (podcast)
- How To Predict Your Future (blog post)
- Dream Year: How To Accomplish Your #1 Goal This Year And Feel Good Doing It (book + workbook)
- Personal Development Free Course (free training)
- Personal Development For Her (course)
Full Episode Transcript
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey there. I hope you are having an amazing day so far. I have to tell you I am on fire today. I love a good Monday. My Mondays are my longest workdays. I kind of front load in the beginning of the week. Fridays I work the least amount of time and Mondays I just like crank out the productivity and normally the first thing I do is record this podcast.
But today I spent a lot of my morning coming up with processes so that I can delegate more and I just have to say that I loved every minute of it. But I also had like some growing pains in there and I know that so many people you know will email me and and kind of have this like it must be nice undertone and I just want to let you know that at every phase, at every season of life there is a new assignment as I like to call it.
And right now I have my assignment with scaling my business among other things in other areas of my life. And you know when you really clean up your mind you can make it so fun. Like it doesn’t have to be so challenging and such a negative experience. It can just be that this is the assignment for the day. Now I have to just say that Grow You, my new coaching program is blowing my mind. If you are in there, I just want to give you a special shout out because I feel like I am getting as much out of it as you are telling me that you’re getting out of it, which is super fun. It just feels so rewarding for me. I love it so much more than I even thought I could. And just to see the results of that, so many students are already having, I have this email that goes out to ask new members how it’s going and to ask them how they’re applying it to their lives.
And this past week I got so many emails about how new members are applying this content and this work to their lives and how it’s changing their lives and it’s not in ways that I ever could have imagined. And that’s the work of it. That’s why I am so proud of this and it’s been super fun and it really is such an honor to call this my job.
If you’re not in Grow You and you want to apply to become a member, we open up the membership periodically but you can get on the application list at NatalieBacon.com/ apply and you fill out a short five minute application and then the next time that we open up membership you will be notified and you’ll be able to join within a couple of days of that notification. And I just have to say that as rewarding as it is, I was talking to my brother the other day and he was saying how he was telling someone that his sister’s a life coach and he’s like, whenever I say that, you know, no one really knows what I’m talking about.
Like it’s very rare that they really understand it. And the shortest kind of explanation I gave him to explain in the future is that typically a therapist takes you from dysfunctional to functional and a life coach, a good life coach will take you from functional to exceptional.
So I come in when we’re talking about goal setting and all of that future focused work, whether it’s with your business, with your money, with your relationships, with your health, whatever it is. Um, and he really liked that analogy and explanation. So I offer it to you if that’s helpful. Of course that barely touches the surface and there are exceptions to every rule. But you know, a lot of times when you say life coach, people kind of look at you funny unless you’re in this space. So I find that that’s just like a really useful way to explain kind of what this even is.
All right. That is not even what we’re talking about today. Today we are going to be talking about how to find your passion. It is something that I hear so much from students. They are constantly asking me how to know what their passion is, how to find their passion, how to live their life on purpose, how to find their purpose. And before I dive into kind of all of the advice I have for you to identify what your passion is, I really want to take a step back and talk about why even have a passion at all. So a lot of times I see people wanting to have a passion and a purpose in order to make themselves more worthy. And I want to tell you that a passion does not make you more worthy. You are 100% worthy as a human, you’re not damaged.
That’s just something made up. You are a human being with thoughts, with feelings, with actions, and with results. Whatever you do or don’t do does not change your worthiness. This is absolute. You are complete right now. So you don’t need to make more money or get a better job or lose the weight or get in the best shape of your life or get married or have kids or have your house paid off or retire early or have these goals and dreams to make yourself more worthy. You don’t have to do any of it. Your life doesn’t have to look like some version of someone else’s ideals or you know, of happiness or whatever that is. Your worthiness does not come from completing things. What you do is not who you are and you don’t become a better person by accomplishing things. Okay? I really want you to understand this, especially for my high achievers out there doing more things, accomplishing more things, does not increase your worthiness.
You don’t become better by doing more. I love the analogy, and I’ve talked about this before, but just as a reminder of the Tiffany’s diamond, it’s like, you know, pink Tiffany’s diamond and it’s worth $15 million, let’s say, and some people are just not going to like pink diamonds. They’re going to have an opinion about the diamond that’s like, eh, I don’t really like pink diamonds, but that doesn’t change the worthiness. That doesn’t change what the diamond is worth. The diamond is absolutely worth $15 million. So you as a human, me as a human, Oprah, as a human, the homeless person, as a human, the person who isn’t setting goals, the person who is just living, we are all 100% worthy as a human being. It’s a really important that you understand this because so often I think that we are looking for our purpose and our passion to make us feel better about our lives and that’s not how it works.
What you need to do is flip it. You need to feel better about your life and your existence and then pursue your passion and your purpose for fun because you want to experience life in that way. Do not think that doing more or accomplishing more makes you better than you are, right? Your only job is to exist and that’s even optional, right? People commit suicide. There is no requirement for you to do something in order for you to fulfill some to do list of your life. Okay? So I don’t want you to seek a passion or a purpose to feel more worthy. Mostly I don’t want you to do this, not because it’s just not true, but because it won’t work. And you know this. If you’ve tried a few things already and you’re like, Oh well I don’t feel better, right?
I got this question in Ask Natalie in Grow You where someone was saying, I keep going to different jobs and I just keep feeling unfulfilled. Well duh. And that’s going to keep happening because unfulfilled is a feeling, right that is caused by your thoughts. Something outside of you doesn’t create your feelings.
So when you’re thinking about your passion and your purpose, I want you to think about where you’re coming from and why you want to pursue your purpose and feel passion. Do not seek it to feel more worthy. It really, really won’t work. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t have a purpose or passion. We tend to think that there is something wrong with us and you don’t have to do any of it. And I just want you to relieve that pressure.
So the two main problems that I see the most is that people are trying to earn their worthiness and that they’re pressuring themselves to find this one purpose or passion for their lives. And both of these are huge problems because it doesn’t work. Neither of them works. So when you’re trying to earn your worthiness, you’re thinking that you’re supposed to get the A to graduate, to get married, to have kids, to pay off your debt, to do whatever it is, but it just never works. So you’re worthy as you exist.
And once you start to see the world this way, you’re going to be less judgmental of other humans and of yourself. And your entire experience of the world is just going to be better, right? And it’ll be more grounded and you will feel better. And then you can pursue your purpose. Just know that someone else who has achieved more isn’t better than you and you’re not better than someone else for having achieved more than them. We are all worthy of being here and so when we start from this place, we can feel whole and complete and then we can decide what do we want to feel passionate about?
What do we want our purpose to be? How do we want to experience this life without making it mean something about us as humans? And it’s so much more fun this way. I have to tell you that it’s so much more fun and when you are thinking about this in the second problem that comes up with respect to putting pressure on yourself, I want you to relieve yourself of that pressure. It’s so daunting to think that you have to find the one thing or the one passion or the one purpose for your life.
It’s like I heard on a Ted talk about this topic. It’s like picking a major for your life, right? It’s like very daunting and it makes me feel a lot of pressure when I think that and it creates the sense of worry that if you do it wrong, you’re going to like mess up your whole entire life.
And when you do it this way, what happens is you stay stuck. You don’t move forward and you miss out on opportunities. So it actually does the complete opposite of what you would want to do, which would be to move forward and find your purpose. And you proactively are not doing that by staying stuck. When I’m talking about passion and purpose and I up to this point in this episode, I’ve been kind of using them interchangeably, but I want you to think about them differently.
So passion is an emotion or feeling. I use those words interchangeably and passion, that feeling is created by what you think. So whatever you think about something is going to create the emotion. And if you want to feel passion, you have to think thoughts that create passion. You do this by practicing thoughts that make you feel the emotion of passion.
So look at your life. Is there anything that you feel passionate about? Right. I know for myself that I am easily excitable. I have practiced the emotion of excitement a lot. My mom is very bubbly and I think that I mimicked that and so I feel very excited. A lot. Same thing with passion. I’ve practiced that emotion so much that it’s second nature for me.
My brother on the other hand is not like this. So he’s an oculofacial plastic surgeon and he falls into what I would call the stereotypical surgeon personality traits and like I just don’t see a lot of oozing excitement or passion from him. So that’s not because you know we are having different career paths. It’s because we’re having different thoughts that generate different emotions for us. So for me, I could tell you that I’m passionate about a lot of things.
For him I doubt he would really describe anything he does as having great passion for it. This is because we have different thoughts. So I just want to offer to you that if you want to find your passion, you need to practice feeling passionate and stop expecting it to be something outside of you. So I think this can be something really small that you kind of look at in your life and decide that you want to practice the emotion of passion and kind of ask your brain, Hey, what could I feel passion for today? Right? It can be very little.
I have recently been looking for little moments of joy in my day to day, which is like sitting outside and having a cup of coffee. Or when I go walk around my neighborhood, I see all these cute little puppies that are just amazing and have these moments of joy.
So what have you just looked for? Moments of passion and you memorize that emotion and you practice it, right? And then it’s internal and then you’re becoming someone with an identity of someone who is passionate and you can decide what you want to feel passion for. Now, passion is very different than purpose. Purpose is what you want to dedicate your life to. It’s how you want to contribute to the world and it’s very primal as humans to want to give back. Think about so many people when they describe what they want to do, they want to feel like they are making a difference. They want to feel like they’re helping people. They want to feel like they’re giving back. It’s like, why I love Grow You and all of this work and my business so much. I really feel like I am changing people’s lives because they tell me I am and I’m doing it because this work has changed my life so much and I feel like I am living my purpose and I memorize the feeling of passion and it’s aligned with my purpose.
Some people will just know exactly what their purpose is right away and for the 99.9% of everyone else, it’s okay that you don’t know what your purpose is. Remember, you don’t seek your purpose to be more worthy. Just know that your brain naturally wants you to have a purpose and I’m going to give you some steps to figure out what it is. Before I give you those steps, I want to talk a little bit about when you are feeling stuck and you don’t know what you want your purpose to be or how to feel that passion because I think that’s where most people come to me in or what they’re experiencing and it’s kind of like before they do this work, they are sitting in this spinning of, I don’t know, it’s like I don’t know what my passion is. I don’t know what my purpose is.
I’m feeling stuck. I’m very confused. I thought I wanted to do this and everything I do isn’t working. And these are all thoughts. So people present these to me as facts. But remember your little brain is playing tricks on you and it is giving you thoughts that are causing you to feel emotions that are likely not useful. If you’re thinking any of the thoughts I just mentioned, so you’ll probably feel confusion. You’ll feel very stuck and you’ll be thinking thoughts like you just don’t know. Like as if someone is going to knock on your door and hand you a passion and purpose on a silver platter and say now, go forth with this passion and purpose, right? Wouldn’t that be nice? That’s not how it works. So as long as you keep doing the same things that you’ve always done and thinking the same thoughts and feeling the same feelings, you’re going to get the same results.
So pay attention to your brain. Notice if you’re thinking thoughts like, I don’t know what to do and I want to offer it to you that instead of thinking that thought, add on there the word yet, I don’t know yet what my purpose is or I’m figuring it out. Notice that by just changing those words, you’re being more proactive and you’re taking responsibility in that it’s your job to figure it out and to decide. It’s not the man’s job at the door with a silver platter. It’s always on you. I recently had someone I know really well, hear me talk about having some of my virtual assistants do some work and she kind of under her breath said that, Oh, I didn’t know there was an opportunity there to work for you and I know that she said multiple times to me, she doesn’t really like her job and this has been ongoing for years.
She’s definitely in her words stuck. She doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t really like it and then you know, she all of a sudden said, I didn’t know that there was an opportunity to work for you. And she kind of just kind of went along. She didn’t ask me more about it, but I was thinking it was so interesting that she thought that opportunity would just like come to her and sometimes it does, but most of the time it doesn’t. You have to go out and get it.
Okay. I started a blog with six figure student loan debt. No one was like, Hey, here’s an idea. Go be a seven figure life coach, go side hustle and pay off student loan debt and create a six figure blog. There is opportunity everywhere. You have to open your eyes to it. Go find the opportunity.
So if you’re sitting around and you’re having these thoughts about not having a passion and feeling stuck, you’re going to miss the opportunity that is right in front of you because you can try something. Anything, any movement forward in the direction that you might want to go is better than staying stuck because that movement will move you forward. And then you can pivot if you need to pivot. But staying in motion is key. So I always wanted to be a lawyer. I always believed in fairness and righteousness and I was very much kind of in this place where I had a lot of doctors in my family and I wasn’t smart enough to go to medical school. And I always knew that like it just didn’t fit me. I didn’t really want to do that. So I wanted to be a lawyer and then I was a lawyer and it was not great at all.
And I started my blog and I worked part time blogging and I worked as a lawyer. And what most people don’t know is that my blog, my personal finance blog at the time helped me land what was then my dream lawyer job. I transitioned from corporate law to becoming a private equity and deals lawyer. I was a corporate lawyer and it was going to be a lot of finance and deals and MNA mergers and acquisitions and private equity. And I was really excited about it and I was planning on acquitting my blog. I was like, this is it. This is my new dream, this is my new purpose. And it’s just funny because six months later I redecided that, Oh, that job was not what I actually wanted. I’m going to actually go into financial planning and see if that is going to be my purpose.
So I’m constantly looking for ways for me to live my purpose based on what I’ve decided, knowing that I can change it at any time. So what I want to offer to you is this five step process for you to use to find your purpose and to be passionate about.
And it starts with step one, which is to stop believing that your purpose and that passion exists outside of you. So people will say like, Oh, if it finds me or Oh, if I find something I’m passionate about or you know, I need to discover it as if it exists outside of you. That is not the case. You create it. So instead of thinking that it’s going to find you, you need to become the person who creates that emotion of passion, who decides on purpose, what you want to try to create to be your purpose.
And it’s totally okay if you’re wrong, but the first step here is to just stop believing that it exists outside of you. I think about this person who I know and how she’s unhappy in her job, and she just really yearns for passion and purpose, thinking that this opportunity is going to just present itself. And the truth is you become that person. You become the person who’s passionate, you create the opportunity and then you go try a bunch of things to see what you want to do and how you want to contribute in this life. And you do it from a place of wholeness and worthiness knowing that it’s totally up to you.
So I want you to stop focusing on this passion outside of you and your purpose outside of you and start focusing on who you want to be as a person. And then kind of like what you want to do and you can think about who you are, what you’re good at, what you think your ideal workday would look like, and all of those things.
And then I want you to do step two, which is to make a list of things that you want to try for the things that you want in your life for what you intend to do. Do you want to get married? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to have kids? Do you want to become a public speaker? Do you want to start an online business? Do you want to lose weight? Whatever it is that you want to do for your life. Kind of like do a massive list of all the things that you want to try and it doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe you want to be a fitness instructor. Maybe you want to be someone who’s debt free, so you need to start a side hustle, right? Take ownership of this.
Think about how you want to contribute to make that list that step number two and then I want you to do step number three, which is to try a bunch of things. I kind of like this analogy that I heard in another Ted talk, which was like dating around, so you’re just starting off with figuring out what your passion is going to be for your purpose, how you’re going to feel passion towards your purpose. You have all these ideas of what you might want to do, but you have no experience. It’s like dating for the first time. You think you know what you want in a partner and you have all these ideas, but until you go out and actually date, you might find that you were, you know, have having no idea what you’re talking about. So go out and date around in your career, in your work and your side hustle. In your hobbies. You know, take some exercise classes, take a dance class, start a website, start a side hustle, become a, you know, a speaker by attending some speaking events and seeing how people get hired.
Whatever it is, I want you to take action. This is so, so important. Like so many people sit around and think that the passion and the purpose is coming to you and it’s not. It’s not at all. So I want you to try a bunch of things.
And then step four is I want you to commit to one thing for a period of time. So let’s say you come up with three to five ideas and you kind of dabble in these things for like a month. Maybe you take a dance class, maybe you take a course on starting an online business. And you decide that you’re really drawn to starting the online business. The step four is I want you to commit to doing this for a period of time. It needs to be at least six months. I prefer 12 months because I think it takes a full year for you to really like dive into this work and see if it’s something you want to do for the rest of your life or for another period of your life, five years or something.
And also because if you just try a bunch of things like in step three and you’re waiting for something to be super easy, I’m like just popping off your vision board and feeling so aligned. You’re doing it wrong. Your brain is going to freak out. Your primitive brain wants you to stay inside and watch Netflix all day so you stay alive. It thinks that any emotional fear is real fear, like being attacked by a lion, so it would prefer that you don’t try something new because new means maybe you’ll die. Of course this isn’t true. This is just your primitive brain and how it’s evolved, so you can’t just try a bunch of things and then choose you need to commit after you’ve tried a bunch of things to one thing for a specific period of time, that six months or that 12 months and then reevaluate and the reason that this works is because when you commit for a period of time, you are saying that you’re going to go all in, you are going to show up, you’re going to do the hard things and you’re going to see if it’s a good fit for you.
So many people, because of the way that we talk about it in society, are really afraid of choosing wrong, right? It’s like how much pressure can we put on ourselves to choose your purpose? It’s like the purpose of your life and if you choose wrong, you’re like frowned upon or something like that. If you’ve had seven jobs on your resume, who cares? People are like, Oh, I don’t want to be a job hopper. Why not? If you know that you show up and you over-deliver and you are someone who gives a value in whatever you do and you become this person who honors your commitments, it doesn’t matter how many jobs you’ve had, right? That’s just a limiting belief. I have no doubt in my mind that I could go get a job doing whatever I put my mind to just, I’ve always felt that way.
I’ve always believed that. So it’s always been a reality. I didn’t have a job right out of law school and I never doubted for one second that I would be able to get a law firm job and so what I do, I went and got a law firm job, which is a little bit more unusual just for the those non-lawyers out there. Usually you get a law firm job if you’ve worked as a summer associate there during law school.
So anyways, what I want you to do is commit for a period of time, six to 12 months and expect it to be difficult, but know that you’re going to redecide in six to 12 months. Don’t let your brain freak out or when it does freak out, just say, I know brain, I know this is hard. I know you know I’m unsure about this, but I’m going to redecide in six to 12 months and then step five, right?
So step four was commit. Step five is to actually redecide, when the six months comes. So for me, I was a lawyer for four and a half years. Then I was a CFP for about three years. So at each phase I decided to transition, but it kept me moving forward and now I’m deciding to be a life coach, right? It keeps me moving forward. It’s totally okay that my vision for my life has changed. The key is to not change it on like a daily or monthly basis because you’ll never get results and you’ll never know if this is actually what you want to do. Don’t believe that it’s going to be easy. I have the days a lot of the time where it’s very challenging, but I never question my purpose and my passion for this.
So 10 years ago, my vision was to be a partner at a law firm in the next 10 years. Five years ago, my vision was just about to be, you know, a blogger or make side income or a full time blogger. And then today, my five year vision is to be the seven figure life coach. If you would’ve told me 10 years ago that my vision was going to be to be a seven figure life coach, I would’ve thought you were nuts. And that’s okay. I give myself permission to change course. I just make sure that I do it from my prefrontal cortex, which means I’m doing it from a very rational place after I’ve had a lot of experience. It’s like the dating analogy. It’s like you don’t know what you want until you date around a little bit.
So again, the steps that I want you to do is step one. I want you to stop believing that your purpose exists outside of you. I want you to make a list of things that you want to try and then I want you to step three, try a bunch of things. Step four, I want you to commit to one thing to do for a period of time, six to 12 months and step five, I kind of want you to have this on your calendar in six to 12 months. I want you to redecide and give yourself permission to change course. I did that after thinking that my dream lawyer job was the best thing. After six months I was like, this is not for me. I redecided that my new vision was going to be as a certified financial planner. Then three years later I redecided that my vision was going to be to own my business full time and that’s where I’m at right now and I can’t imagine changing it, but it’s okay if I change it.
No, I’m not going to change it on a daily basis. I’m going to be very intentional about creating my kind of five year and 10 year plans as well as my one year plan. So I think there’s tremendous value in thinking about the big dreams and the vision that you want in 10 years or in five years. And then also setting like one year goals cause the one year goal will keep you in the how. You’ll have to do all these tactics, but the fiber, the 10 year vision, you don’t have to worry about the how. You can just make sure that your one year goal is kind of on track to move you toward that vision. So I give myself permission and I want that for you. This is going to change your life if you do it. And I want you to just along the way beyond to your brain, it’s always going to be looking for what’s wrong.
It’s always going to be stuck in confusion. It’s always uncomfortable doing something new and different and I want you to plan for this and expect it. I am living my dream. I’m filled with this emotion of passion because on a daily basis I choose passion. I’m uncomfortable on a daily basis, but I never question my purpose because I’ve decided. Give yourself the gift of making a decision. I love this from Brooke Castillo. Make the decision. It’s a gift to yourself sitting in, I don’t know, and feeling stuck will keep you repeating your past. You’re literally procrastinating your life and your future when you do this. All right, so I want you to practice feeling passion. Use this five step process to discover your purpose. Start today and I will talk to you next week.
Thank you for listening to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. Subscribe to the podcast to get the latest episodes sent directly to you. To learn more about designing your dream life visit NatalieBacon.com.