Passionate Interests: Don’t Just Follow – Unearth and Integrate

Passionate InterestsNow, let’s zoom in your passionate interests. What lights your fire? What do you love doing? What do you really, truly care about? What are you passionately interested in? Close your eyes, and identify at least five passionate interests. Go for ten. Better yet, write down 20. Don’t judge yourself here. If you were to go to a library, what topics would the books you check out be about? What would you talk to a friend about right now? Your interests could be academic, professional, or personal in nature. Maybe you’ve had experiences in the past that gave you key insight into what your interests are. For example, I’m interested in leadership, innovation, higher education, travel and yoga.

Many of us think of our career success formula as “following our passion.” This is a good start. It is better than not following your passion or worse yet, not knowing your passion at all. If you have identified a list of your passionate interests and are willing to leverage them for your career, you are at least facing the right direction. Listen closely though – knowing what you are passionate about or interested in is NOT ENOUGH.

Following just your passion is not a clear path to success. If this were the case, I would still be trying to make it to the NBA as a professional basketball player who wasn’t particularly skilled in basketball, built to be a basketball player, or valued that basketball really made a difference in the world. You also need to align your passionate interests with your strengths and values, and move forward in a direction where there is a future, a societal need, and hopefully resources to support you. This is why we take the time to do these activities to create your path – because we need to integrate many key things together.

We are each passionate or interested in many things. Focus on those that have a future. Good thing I was never passionate about typewriters, partially hydrogenated oils, 8-track players, fossil fuels, or lecture & multiple choice exam based education! Even if I was there would be more passionate interests to choose from. They just need to be discovered or unearthed from within.

This article is taken from the online video-based program Create Your Path. Sign up for a free sample workshop from the program here, see details on the full program at, and see other programs, speeches, and more at

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