When was the last time you tried something new?
Would you be open to taking a new route to work?
Do you try new menu items at your favorite restaurant?
How about introducing yourself to a complete stranger and striking up a conversation?
It’s very easy to get into a rut.
You know what they say about ruts – a rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.
So why do we resist trying new things sometimes?
We don’t try new things because they’re risky.
When we perceive something as risky our fear kicks in.
Fear causes us to focus on what we might lose.
We might lose face, lose money, or lose what we have already.
Taking a risk can move us toward an unknown outcome.
Yet we can jeopardize finding our passion because we never venture beyond what we know about ourselves.
We miss our greatest opportunities because we’re afraid to try something new.
How This Impacts Finding Your Passion
Sometimes discovering our passion requires us to try a few things.
Our passions don’t show up one day fully baked.
Passions are often developed over a period of time.
Sometimes the knowing is in the doing.
However, there is a risk.
The new things may not work out and you’ll feel like you’ve wasted your time, money, and effort.
Yet, when the goal is the journey you’ll never miss the mark.
In this case, practice is more important than the game.
The key to success in this process is to embrace low risk experiments.
3 Steps to A Low Risk Experiment
Step 1 – Focus on what you’re moving toward. Rather than dwelling on what you might lose, focus on what you’re gaining. At the very least you’re gaining more insight about yourself and your passions. Potentially you may also find your passion and your life’s work. Although you may not be clear on those items during the experiment you can be confident you’re taking the right steps to achieve the ultimate goal of finding your passion.
Step 2 – Brainstorm 30 to 40 ideas of work you might be interested in. Decide to try the type of work you might (and I stress might) be interested in. You’re not committing to the work yet, but you’re committing to the process of taking action to try it out.
Step 3 – Come up with a plan to try one or two of them on the side while you keep your current job. Find someone to shadow who’s already doing the job, volunteer, take an internship, start your business on the side and do it in the evenings and weekends. Try it out in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the stability of your income. If you don’t like it you haven’t lost anything except a little time. If you like it then create a plan to do it full time.
You may think this sounds overly simplistic.
It’s a simple concept but it’s difficult to do.
Dealing with our fears is not easy.
But if you will commit to low risk experiments despite your fears you will reap the reward of clarity.
Clarity about your passion, clarity about your work, and clarity about your life.
I can always use a little more clarity. How about you?