Don’t Let Frustration Keep You From Finding Your Passion

Posted by in Career Success | 8 comments

At some point in the search for your passion you’re likely going to feel frustrated by the lack of progress you’re making.

One of the biggest frustrations is how slowly the process moves.

AAAARRRGGGHHHCreative Commons License Evil Erin via Compfight

You’re trying to live your life, have relationships, go to work, maybe raise some kids and the various other things you have going on.

All while trying to figure out how you can do meaningful and passion filled work.

The Problem

Sometimes we just see the urgent items in our lives and forget to look at our lives in context.

We get sucked into the everyday urgent issues but we forget to zoom out and take a big picture view of our lives.

Losing sight of the big picture can lead us to begin believing we’re on a certain path and we’re just not going to be able to change course.

It’s like being on a roller coaster without being able to get off.

The solution to feeling frustrated is to begin viewing your life as a story.

Thanks to Donald Miller and his book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years [affiliate link] there has been a recent trend to begin viewing our lives as stories.

If you think about it, our lives really are stories.

Our lives have beginnings and endings.

Our lives have different chapters.

Our lives have problems and challenges to overcome.

Our lives also have good parts and bad parts.

Just like a good story.

Everything you have experienced has brought you to now.

The good things, the bad things, and everything in between.

All of those experiences are becoming a part of your story and they provide you with clues about your passions.

What should you do?

To begin understanding your story one of the best things you can do is write it down.

Write down your life’s story as if you were sitting on a park bench with someone and they wanted to know about your life.

If you were pitching a movie about your life to someone, what would you include?

It can be as long or as short as you like.

Then when you’re done read through it and find the pivot points in your life that have shaped who you are and the course of your life.

In basketball, when you pivot you have one foot planted and the other foot is allowed to move around while you rotate your body.

Similarly, the pivot points of your life are the experiences that sent you on a different path or caused your life to be different after they occurred.

You life rotated after a pivot point.

They could be decisions you made, circumstances, or maybe an experience.

Those pivot points are clues to revealing your values, dreams and passions.

When you begin to string together multiple pivot points, themes from your life will emerge.

You’ll begin to notice patterns from your life that can point you toward your passions and things you really care about.

You have a unique story no one else has.

Pay attention to your story and watch your frustration give way to passion.


Question: What else can you do to overcome frustration with finding your passion?

  • Jason Pockrandt

    Nice Work Adam

    • Thanks Jason, I appreciate your encouragement.

  • Adam this post was right on point. It is easy to allow frustration to take you off course, especially when it is taking longer to get where you want to be than you anticipated. I overcome my frustration by reviewing my written vision statement, evaluating where I am, praying for direction and getting back to work.

    • Yes Bernard, it is really easy to get off course with all the things life can throw at us at times. I think you hit on some really key pieces to the process of overcoming frustration. All of those things are necessary at times when we just want to quit. I know you’re putting your plan into action Bernard and that’s exciting.

  • I am hosting a work shop at my house this Thursday on how to identify passions. Something that is helping me wade through my current frustrations of daily life is to have my Top 5 passions identified. I figured these out by going through an exercise in the book called The Passion Test. I state my passions 1x /day – hopefully after rolling out of bed with a “good morning, world!” instead of griping – and now that they are ingrained in my brain, I can quickly identify those otherwise small, obscure moments where my passions are being fulfilled. Keeping my passions in the front of my brain has REALLY helped me through the ground hog’s days I feel like will never end.

    • Very cool Alana! You are really putting action behind your desire and I love that the workshop is in your house. Like a microscope, what we focus on gets larger. So when you focus on your passions they will only get larger in your life. Keep me posted on your workshops – sounds like a great idea.

  • Writing things down has been huge for me. Even if I never refer back to what I wrote, there is something about putting pen to paper.

    • I know exactly what you mean Tom. Yes, there is something about writing that helps us process our thoughts and ideas. I also find I remember things that I write down and often don’t need to refer back to what I wrote. Thanks for your comment.

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