The dictionary definition of “passion” is “an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.“
Lots of friends come to me and ask for advice on career directions. One of the first things I ask them is, “What do you want out of life?” Surprisingly very few of them can give me a straight answer because they never really thought of it — even in these trying times. In the aftermath of the recent recession, it’s more important than ever to know what you want in the short and long term and focus on getting there because life has only gotten tougher — being aimless is no longer possible. Nothing can help you if you are clueless about what you want — whether it’s job hunting or creating your own business or organization.
You will find it hard to finish a race if the finish line is missing (or you don’t have one in sight).
The first step in any plan is the goal and the vision. If you can get clear about what you’re passionate about you are already ahead of 98% of people. Surprisingly few people spend time to really think about all of their passions even though it is not as hard as many think. (They may hate what they’re doing right now yet do they know what they really want to do as the alternative?)
Power of Desire
A passion map is about you throwing open your heart onto the paper or mind map — it’s the start of the detective work into who you are and what you want.
Being passionate is vital because it’s what drives you forward like nothing else can. It’s what makes you wake up early in the morning looking forward to the rest of the day (and if you are missing that feeling then it’s time for some soul searching). Passion inspires others and can rub off on them.
Passion is a major factor between life and death or success and failure. In the SAS Survival Guide (Special Air Services — elite British military commandos), the number one thing about staying alive is the ability to stay motivated and maintain the will to live. In today’s difficult times, survival thinking is vital.
Without motivation, without passion you might as well be like the walking dead. Mind you I hate zombie movies with a passion.
How to Unleash the Passion
Using a pen and piece of paper or a mind mapping/brainstorming program, brainstorm and write down 5-10 things you’re passionate about. These are things you love doing – even voluntarily.
Next, break down those passions further into other areas. Say you were passionate about cats, dogs and popsicles for example. You could have fur care or nutrition for cats; collars and dog food for dogs; popsicle sticks and freezers and packaging for popsicles; and so on. See the video at the top of the post for a live run through of passion mapping using a mind mapping program.
Here are some mind mapping programs to get you started:
Piece of paper and a pen/pencil — The most flexible and easy way to create a passion map; the most commonly used mind mapping program.
Mindjet Mindmanager – A business level program that includes alot of features. I use it less often nowadays because it lacks the smooth “Mac”-style graphics that Mindnode has and its iPhone/iPad version is lacking visually. (http://www.mindjet.com/)
Freemind – A free mind mapping program with over 4000 downloads per day. Free goes so far because its hot keys leave something to be desired. (http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page)
Novamind Pro – Another strong mind mapping program for power users.
You could plan your whole life and all your projects just with mind mapping if you wanted.
Desires Are Your Starting Point
Passion maps give you a starting point to making your passions and desires a reality. For example:
- You can aim for the jobs you really want and are good at
- You can start a business that you’re passionate about
- You could run a course about one of your passions
- You could write a book on one of your passionate subjects
- You could take courses to become an expert at one of your passions
The possibilities are endless.
Still unsure what you’re passionate about?
Ask a career counsellor or start volunteering for things you’ve brainstormed in your passion map and are unsure of. Start doing more research about the things you are passionate about.
In addition, in the upcoming job search ebook, “A Shinobi Guide to Job Hunting 3.0” you’ll get more information about how to make a mind map of desires your key to a successful job hunt. You can sign up for the Priority Notification List about it (click here).
Knowing what you want out of life will help you avoid wasting time at jobs you hate, find the jobs and careers you really love and do great at and give you a clear and sharp focus that will let you overcome any and every challenge. Passion mapping is the start of your journey because it lets you see, grab and be driven by the fires of motivation.
Disclaimer: Just to let you know the phrase “passion map” has been trademarked by passionmaps.com. What is being used in this case is simply a one time, generated mind map outlining your areas of skills and your desires. This concept is common sense.
There are other web sites that have also discussed using mind mapping about what you’re passionate about, roles and goals.
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