If someone asks about what you love to do, most of us think about our hobbies. Now, however, with so many having to accept reduced income, hobbies feel like a distant luxury.
But getting in touch with your true passions doesn’t pertain just to leisure activities. Passion is key if you need to reinvent your working self to find a new job.
Why? Because you’ll need powerful motivation to keep going and push through the inevitable false starts and refusals you’ll encounter. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it’s easy to give up.
The first task on your road to reinvention is, therefore, to reconnect with your passions, those activities that create what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow”. In his book of the same name, he describes the experience of flow as those occasions “when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult that they consider to be worthwhile”.
When you’re in flow, you forget about everything except your current efforts. And when you finish, the sense of pride and accomplishment is unbeatable.
When seeking to rediscover flow, it’s easy to make the mistake of looking short term. Before lockdown, the only reason you went to the gym or sang in the choir may have been because it fitted your schedule, or because friends were doing the same thing.
To find your unique wellspring, you need to look much farther back, just before you entered puberty. This is the time when what you cared about is most indicative of your true self. It’s the time when you were independent enough not to need to please your parents constantly, but hadn’t yet entered adolescence when your overriding concern was to please your chosen peer group.
At the end of adolescence, the need to find work, a partner, and perhaps start a family demanded your full attention, so early passions were forgotten.
Think back to your last years at primary school. What did you most enjoy? What were your greatest enthusiasms? If you can’t remember, ask family members or old friends you’re still in contact with, or dig out childhood photos or diaries.
Once you rediscover your passions, think how you can adapt them to earn money now. If you loved animals, you could perhaps take an online course to become a dog trainer?
Don’t be afraid to start small – many successful start-ups began in the founder’s home. There are also lots of free videos and websites to teach you how to market your skills.
The Daily Telegraph