The missing puzzle piece to figuring out my passion.

I think I figured out one of, if not the, missing puzzle piece to finding my passion. And I think it might involve something so simple that it comes naturally to children but most of us stop doing it little by little as we get older. Can you guess what it is?

Let me back up a little and first tell you this. I’ve been trying for more than 15 years to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. And what I realized in the past few weeks is that I’ve been going about it completely backwards.

My approach up until now has been this: look into job titles, see what seems to match my personality and interests, and then try it out in whatever way possible. I’ve always believed in the saying, do what you love and the money will follow. I never purposely ignored my passion in pursuit of money or what I thought I should do. But no matter what I’ve tried, I just haven’t found that one thing that I really want to do with my life.

Even after  a lot of disappointment when various career paths I chose didn’t turn out to be the right ones for me, I didn’t give up my active search. And here’s where I think I really went wrong. I thought by searching “out there,” eventually I’d come across my passion. I think it probably just took me further away.

Here’s a story that will finally explain where I’m going with all this. A life coach was meeting with her client, and this client sounded just like me (but it wasn’t, I promise!). Her goal was to find her passion in life and she was reaching and desperately grasping to figure out her thing. But the coach and client weren’t getting anywhere. So the coach finally assigned her the task to just play. That was her assignment – to play as much as possible. And after doing that for several weeks, they met again. This time, the coach told her to imagine what her dream home would look like when she had her dream career. And out of nowhere the client blurted out, “Music Therapist!”

As soon as I heard this story, I had an epiphany. And it had nothing to do with wanting to be a Music Therapist. What I realized was that the key ingredient to finding my passion is PLAY!

It seems so simple. Figure out what you love to do by playing! I think this concept was hovering just below the surface for me now that I look back on it. Hearing this story made me finally consciously realize that I was not going to figure out my path by researching careers online, or reading yet another career book, or by any other method of grasping.

All this time I thought I could figure it out using my left brain skills and moving along a logical path. But I think I would have been better off this whole time just playing.

So what does all this mean? How exactly will playing help me (or you?) find my passion. That’s what I’m figuring out right now. And I plan to share more with you as I move along on my playful path.

Photos all taken by me (except the last one where I’m wearing a cactus hat) on my iPhone Hipstamatic app (which happens to be one of my favorite play activities) during my first weekend consciously dedicated to playing as much as possible.

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