This is week seven in the getting to know yourself series. This week, we’re going to talk about getting to know ourselves through exploring our interests and passions.
A little less than a year ago, I wrote about passion and purpose after asking some friends to tell me what their passions were and discovering that some of them felt they were still figuring that out.
Let’s take some of the pressure off needing to know right now and instead focus on what passion means. Passion is “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” Interest, passion’s more reserved cousin, is “a feeling of wanting to learn more about something or to be involved in something.”
Your interests and passions can help point the way to discovering who you are and who you want to be. So how do you uncover them? Well, by examining what you like to learn about and how you like to spend your time, of course. Here are a couple of ways to do that:
Explore Your Surroundings
Grab a small notebook and pen, or a voice recorder, and walk to your front door. Then, walk right out the door and stroll down to the street, turn around, and look back at your home. Imagine this is your first visit and you know nothing about who lives here. Now take notes on what you find.
What style is the home? What do its surroundings tell you about what the person who lives here values?
As you walk inside, take note of the furnishings, art, and colors used. Is there somewhere that seems to be the central hub of the home? What does that say about the person or people living there?
Is there an area you particularly love in this space? Where is it and why does it inspire you? Do you see a lot of personal touches, or is everything very clean and modern? Is the wall art homemade or professional?
What kind of books or magazines are there? What do they tell you about the interests of the inhabitants? Do you see any collections? Is someone collecting vintage letter openers, or perfume bottles, or beer caps? What kind of person lives here?
Write down or record whatever you find as reminders of what your interests and passions are. If, as you’re walking around, you don’t see much of yourself in this space, ask yourself why that is. Look for any hints you can find regarding your interests and passions.
We talked before about journaling as an essential tool to get to know yourself. Once you’ve taken an inventory of your home to rediscover your interests and passions, you might want to journal a bit about your discoveries.
If you had trouble with the exercise or would like to explore your interests and passions further, here are some journaling prompts:
- Describe your ideal day. How would you spend it? With whom? What does your ideal day say about your interests and passions?
- Which areas of the bookstore do you always visit? What do those areas suggest about your interests and passions?
- List your five favorite films. Are there any commonalities? What would they they say about your interests and passions?
- What are your causes? What social issues could you spend all night discussing, or what volunteer organizations do you love to support? How do these causes point to your interests and passions?
- What hobbies do you most enjoy now or have you enjoyed in the past? What do they suggest about your interests and passions?
Now that you’ve discovered (or rediscovered) your interests and passions, you might be wondering why I asked you to do this. The answer: To help you make better decisions about how and where to spend your time based on what will bring you the most happiness. It’s really that simple.
Getting to know yourself is about learning to honor the truth of who you are, and your interests and passions are one part of that.
For part eight in the getting to know yourself series, click here.