How to Find Passion Outside of the Workplace


There’s no way I‘m coming back.

This one thought echoed at the end of my 2021–2022 school year, and it continues to reverberate even today. That year had been the worst year of my life when it came to being in the classroom.

I didn’t have another year in me.

It wasn’t until later that I realized teaching pays incredibly well compared to a lot of other entry-level jobs, and we weren’t in any financial position to quit.

In other words, enduring another year or two or three of this job needed to happen until I found something that worked better for me.

Until I found passion.

Passion Outside the Workplace

Being passionate doesn’t start with your career. Most people aren’t passionate about their career at all.

You might meet a few people who absolutely love what they do as a hired employee, but most of us could care less about the job we have.

The truth is that passion was never meant to be found at work.

And if our passions are meant to be outside of the job we have, how do we find them? My wife and I have struggled with this these last few years, but here’s what has helped the most.

Crack One Open

Reading has been an escape in so many ways.

When I was a kid, I’d imagine myself in the books that I’d read, becoming a superhero or riding a dragon or traveling on the Hogwarts Express. We use books to escape the very okay world around us.

But why does that stop after we become adults? Why are adults only allowed to read nonfiction and figure out who they are and how to start a business once they’re done with childhood?

That’s why BookTok has taken off so epicly. People are sick of the place they find themselves stuck in on earth and they need an escape found only inside of narrative.

Reading gives us both hobby and community. My wife started a new book series and author based on a recommendation from her friend and now her and that friend get to read and reflect together.

Can nonfiction still create that strike of lightning needed to revive passion? Yes.

I recently listened to Eric Thomas’ You Owe You on Audible and it was all the encouragement I needed to keep on writing and not give up. I owe it to myself to do so. At least, that’s what the book convinced me of.

All books shine hope, even inside of our sometimes mediocre jobs.

Slowly Unravel

Sometimes escapism doesn’t work though. It’s only temporary and we need something that is a permanent fix to the fact that our boss doesn’t care about us.

I’ve found it helps to share my struggles with someone else.

This doesn’t mean just gripe and complain. It means unloading and unraveling yourself so that someone else can help you put the pieces of your puzzle together.

It goes without saying that you should only do this with someone you trust. A parent, a partner, a close friend, a therapist. But the premise is to go into the conversation saying that you’re feeling stuck and talk through possible ideas of how to get unstuck.

Often with me, when I stop writing, there’s a block outside of writing that’s stopping me. I might be feeling overwhelmed about the state of the house or disappointed in my progress or worried about a project at work.

Ultimately, it isn’t my passion that’s stopping me from pursuing it–the source lies elsewhere.

And when my wife notices me in a funk, talking through my emotions helps me regain focus and allows my passion to spring up like a shot of bamboo.

Dive Into the Deep End

As someone in their mid-20’s, it surprises me how many people lack real passion. They just stumble through each day desperate to make it to the next in one piece.

People need to dive into hobbies that bring them back to a point of exploration and happiness.

For me, that can mean diving into my writing, but it can also mean diving into a new game with puzzles to unravel and levels to beat.

Find a hobby worth your time and create fun in your bland world.

Hobbies allow us to be the boss in our own lives. You’re in control of how much fun you have and how much energy you bring to the table.

However, hobbies come with an unexpected piece–they can sometimes be frustrating and costly.

My advice is to find something you’re interested in or always wanted to do, do some research, and start small.

For example, if you want to learn to play the guitar and you’ve never done it before, start off by renting a guitar for a fee, or buying a cheaper one.

Buying a $1,200 guitar that sits in the corner of your closet when you realize gaining calluses is a part of learning to play is a future you don’t want a part in.

Start a reasonable (and reasonably priced) hobby and when that works out, consider upgrading when it’s time.

How About Making Money?

There are a lot of people that try to turn their passion into money.

In fact, there are plenty of people on the internet who will convince you that you should be trying to make money with whatever you do on the side. I used to be one of them.

Until I realized that sometimes you just need a passion and it doesn’t need to make you money, at least in the beginning.

Making money is a natural occurrence over time. Take crocheting as an example. Some people start crocheting for fun, just to have something to do in their spare time outside of work. But maybe you crochet a hat for a family member and other family members are interested.

You realize you have a talent at this thing you’ve just been doing on the side for kicks and then, because you want to get some kind of reward for all of your hard work, you start to ask for payment. Now you crochet hats on the side and make a few hundred dollars a month.

Natural progression. Forcing this natural progression will cause you to immediately lose interest in your passion project and turn against it.

Don’t let that happen. Have fun. Let the money come later.

Passion is a Fire

I’ve heard it said that passion is like a fire because it needs to be cared for in order to grow. In that case, it’s like a lot of things: a puppy, a plant, or a Tamagotchi.

Care for your passions. Don’t allow the initial spark to go out. Don’t give up on your passion because it isn’t as easy as you thought. Look for ways to care for it as if you’re growing a plant. And over time, you’ll find yourself in awe by how much it has grown.

And maybe, just maybe, you use that passion to start making a little extra cash. But if you don’t, at least you have a fire inside of you that no dull job could ever put out. And to me, that’s worth a little more than money.

For more ways to reignite passion in your life as a busy professional, sign up to receive weekly tips every Saturday by clicking here.

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