Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to find your passion

I remember when I didn't know what my passion was. 
I felt lost, and although not unhappy, I was not feeling fulfilled. 
 I wanted to feel happy with what I was doing on a daily basis. 
I wanted to do something fun & creative but I didn't know what it was that could fill that void. 

Some people say that your passion is right under your nose, that you don't need to look far into distant places; that your passion isn't hidden in secret nooks and buried underneath deep layers of wonder and puzzlement. 

It turns out that my passion was under my nose, almost literally.


It was a warm day when my son, about 8 years old at the time, came running into the house asking me to hurry and come outside with him. He spotted something strange and wanted me to explain what it might be. 
Following him, he led me to a small plant. 
And there, on the plant were two lady bugs. 
One on top of  the other. 
"What the heck are they doing?", he asked. 
This little moment led to the beginnings of "the talk"
-the story of the birds & the bees and how flowers are pollinated and how girls are like flowers and boys are like bees (I still to this day find it hard to explain it any other way)
We didn't get into the whole logistics of things right there and then but he had some questions answered and with a curious shrug, kept watching the two lady bugs. 

It was milestone kind of moment. I wanted to capture it. So I ran back inside to grab my camera. 
But when I tried to take a picture of the two mating lady-bugs (uber-soft porn?!)
I wasn't able, the camera couldn't focus on them - they were too small for my cheap little point & shoot. Disappointed, I knew that I would never forget that moment, even without a picture. 

Fast forward several months later and I'm shopping for a new camera. Remembering the lady bug moment, on impulse I splurged more than I wanted and upgraded to a much nicer camera than I had ever owned before, still a point & shoot but better features & capabilities. I was able to take great pictures of small objects and do some neat things like selective coloring right from the camera. 
My new little Canon changed everything. 

I snapped endlessly - everything you can imagine.
And there began my love for photography.. a deeply ingrained love that eventually led me to quit my job and take photos professionally.

Had my son not dragged me outside, I might have never spotted would have otherwise been right under my nose, two mating lady bugs and my long lost passion for photography. 
Here are some tips to help you find your passion too: 

 - Stop dreaming & wondering and start DOING. 
     You wont find what you love if you're not doing it. Whether it's being crafty, cooking delicious dishes, or writing a masterpiece, you won't discover your true love or even true disgust for something without actually experiencing it with your bare hands. 

  - Take risks.
    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. Try something new. Make things interesting and exciting, if you fail at something, at least you know what is not your passion, which is one step closer ;) 

- Invest in what makes you happy. 
   Had I not spent a little more money on the new camera (and much more money later) I would have not been able to evolve as a photographer. No, we don't always need money to pursue what we love, but don't be so afraid to spend on something that might seem frivolous that it keeps your passion bottled up. 

- Use what you have. 
       Even though I upgraded to the nicer point & shoot, I couldn't have become a self-employed photographer using just that. But, I did develop many basic skills on that little sucker, like how to center my photographs and how to use the sun for best lighting outdoors. You might not have a big budget, but that doesn't mean you can't use what you have right now to find what you're looking for.

- Have fun. 
      Do what makes you laugh, smile, or makes your heart thump with excitement. Don't let your passion search be led by money or by what other people are doing - it has to come from your own heart, from that place in your belly where butterflies live. When you feel the flutter, you will know you have found it. 

Happy passion hunting! 

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