Winding Winter Road

Looking for Your Passion? It’s Time to Live Your Dream.

business self-help Feb 18, 2021

Ever ask someone how they are, and their response is “I’m Living the Dream” – Are they really? I would say that most who use that phrase are not and the truth is actually the opposite – it’s a cry for help, that their life is boring and unfulfilling. Why? What’s making their life that way? What roadblocks are in the way of them actually achieving happiness and fulfillment? What would make them really “Live the Dream”?

I’ve been talking a lot lately with my two teenage boys their post-secondary school future, their livelihood and finding their passion, and I have to say – it’s a tough one. Although I have been fortunate to be able to make choices in my life based on things that I feel passionate about, I can honestly say I am still on the journey.

I remember clear as day, a “discussion” I had with my parents (mostly my Dad) about choosing my continuing education after high school. I was artistic and wanted to follow in the footsteps of my older sister who pursued a Graphic Design diploma. My Dad told me in the heat of this “discussion” that I was “wasting my marks” (I had an 80 average) by pursuing a College diploma instead of a University degree. But my passion was drawing me to pursue something artistic and I wanted to see if I could create a career around it – a graphic design diploma was the first step on the path to get there. I defied my Dad’s wishes and enrolled in Graphic Design – a passion-based decision. “Right” or “wrong”, that decision provided me with the first step in an adult journey that I never could have imagined at the time. Looking back, it was the first step to my independence, to connecting with others and to meeting my future husband. Could those same things have happened if I listened to my Dad and followed my marks? I believe that the journey would have been very different, but had my 18 year-old self found a way to ignite my spark of passion and purpose like I did with my college choice, I believe my natural and unique abilities would still have eventually shone through.

What's your Ikigai?

According to the Japanese, everyone has an “ikigai”– described as our reason for being and the reason we get up every morning. It begins hidden deep inside of us like a little spark. Some people connect with it early in life and nurture and grow it, yet for others it just glows in the background sometimes hidden by other people’s dogma. Your ikigai is the convergence of your talent, your mission, your passion and for some, your profession.

In Japan, it is thought that that the secret to longevity and happiness is tied into your ikigai “…if you want to stay busy even when there’s no need to work, there has to be an ikigai on your horizon, a purpose that guides you throughout your life and pushes you to make things of beauty and utility for the community and yourself.” (Ikigai, The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life)

Passion is a part of your ikigai – it’s something that you like doing, something you’re drawn to – it’s your purpose. If you can build your livelihood around it then that’s great, but for many, the separation of passion and purpose (the difference in putting food on the table and a roof over your head vs not) is like a wide chasm. Their passion and purpose are on one side and their present life pursuits are on the other – feeling very unreachable and disconnected.  

Are you feeling disconnected from your life?

So, if you’re feeling this disconnection, you are most likely asking – now what do I do? Well first off, never give up hope, never get discouraged. Realize that the choices you have made in life were made from some sort of necessity or need, none of them were bad choices, each was part of your journey. Your little spark of passion was always burning in the background guiding you and if you haven’t already ignited it, now is a good time to start.

Is it possible to drastically change your life while still nurturing your passion and purpose? Absolutely! Think of your life like a road trip, sometimes you meander off the main road to get a snack or see a friend, then you double back once that need is fulfilled, and you keep going. Other times you are faced with a fork in the road – a decision as to which way to go – straight, or turn/pivot. Below is a sketch of my life journey. You can see where I made the important decisions that led me to where I am now. I tried some things along the way, then kept going. Each of the twists and bends in the road were a part of my travels. I have a few simultaneous paths at the present time, which takes planning to stay the course, but I believe they are both being driven by my passion and purpose so for now, they are worth the time and effort. Mapping out your journey to now is a great exercise to connect your present life with your past choices. Get a blank piece of paper and try sketching out your life journey.

Life is about doing

Life is about not knowing but doing something anyway. It’s about taking that first step. Trying and building, never giving up and staying curious is the secret – letting your spark guide you. Author and Vulnerability Researcher Brené Brown told her daughter that if she was going to University because she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life, Brown would not pay for her education, but if she was going to expand her knowledge and be curious, it was worth it for her to foot the bill.

Every one of us has a spark that guides our journey – whether you are aware of it or not. Even when circumstances beyond your control (or an unforeseen) create a “fork” in your journey, your passion and curiosity is what gets it back on track.

Author David Posen explains, “passion for some activity or interest could be called the spice of life. It’s what you’re drawn to, what totally engages you, what you want to do above all else. It’s what give your life color, excitement and pleasure.” Your passion is what you like doing – what you get immersed in, where hours seem like minutes. Your passion is fueled by your strengths and the unique abilities that you bring to your everyday life.

For many, passion doesn’t pay the bills… or does it? I believe that you interject your passion into everything you do, even if your job feels mundane and boring. A person who derives great passion from helping people, has the ability to ignite that spark in their customer service job even if it’s a minimum wage job at a grocery store. Or a person whose passion is being creative, could interject that creativity into their approach by doing things unconventionally even if it’s within a traditional profession like being a lawyer. If you are fortunate to have been able to create your livelihood around your passion that’s incredible – stay curious, keep building, your journey isn’t over yet!

My passions of creativity, health and fitness and helping people for the greater good have been interwoven throughout my entire life and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to have built a career, created 3 successful businesses and a lifestyle that have stemmed directly from them. Did I know where my passions would take me back when I was 18 years old? Heck no! I didn’t even know what they were! But I didn’t have to. I followed my heart and my natural strengths kicked in to support that – I ignited my spark. Choosing to become a graphic designer was the first and biggest step, everything else just flowed from there. Have my passions always been right smack in front of my face? Heck no! They float in and out of consciousness as my life twists and turns but my spark is always there glowing and driving me forward.

Are you too old to follow your passion?

Heck no! Why on earth would that be true? The Japanese believe that the secret to longevity is perfecting the art of living through discovering your ikigai. When you spend your days feeling connected to what’s meaningful, you live more fully and more engaged. When you lose that connection, that’s when you feel despair. This is true for your ENTIRE life. Be led by your curiosity and keep busy doing things that fill you with meaning and happiness, regardless of your age. Life is not a problem to be solved, it is a constantly unfolding journey.

Truth is, really knowing your passion is a lifelong discovery (sorry I hope I didn’t burst your bubble, it’s not over yet). Look at your life as a road. You start at the beginning and you drive – always moving forward. Sometimes you take side streets, getting off the main road to explore and be curious and sometimes fill a need, but you always get back on the main road at some point. Wherever you are in your journey, stop and look at where you are – right now. Do you feel happy and fulfilled? If not, keep exploring, you’re not being curious enough. You are never too old to grow and change. Remember your ikigai.

Now is the time to make a change.

Are you ready to make a change and incorporate your passion into your next path in life? Do you feel like something is missing? Why not think of how your natural abilities and unique skills and your passions can work together. A life without passion is an unfulfilled one. You deserve to be living your passion and your dreams – you only have one life why not make it the best one you can create for yourself? The pursuit of passion isn’t always about making a living, but if you can combine the two just think about how incredibly fulfilling that can be. If the pursuit of money isn’t something that you need to do, then think about the pursuit of passion with the drive being to live a more fulfilled life.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sed sapien quam. Sed dapibus est id enim facilisis, at posuere turpis adipiscing. Quisque sit amet dui dui.


Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.