“Everyone has a purpose in life. Finding that purpose is the passion that drives us.”

Kailin Gow

Yes, I’m passionate! My passions make me feel alive. They drive me toward my purpose and help me stay focused. It has helped me endure hardships. It makes me believe in the impossible. It’s the fuel that helped me discover – as well as what keeps me rooted in the idea that I can make a difference in this world. Yet I’ve discovered that passion is often undervalued and gets a bad rap. Sometimes, those around us want us to repress our passions. It happened to me. It made me feel shallow and lost.

Passion plays a big role in our purpose.

That’s why, as a student, it should be something you explore as you consider your career options. Your passion can be anything that challenges, intrigues or motivates you. It gives you a sense of excitement. Passion makes work seem effortless. Passion puts you to work and provides the much-needed challenge to excel and be on top of your game. It gives you a reason to keep learning and work towards mastery. It motivates you to do your best and pushes you to find a way forward no matter how tough the circumstances. Passion helps you feel rewarded for your efforts and achievements. Unlike knowledge and skill, passion is innate. It can’t be learned but is always present.

So if passions are important to discovering a fulfilling career, how will you discern what yours are? Begin by reflecting on the following statements and keeping a journal on your thoughts and experiences.

Think about your life story.

What event impacted you? What hurt you? What do you wish you had the power to change? How can you turn those events, hurts, and helplessness into ways to find purpose and help others heal?

Here are three stories of high school students that used their life story to shape the careers:

  • Melissa lost her best friend to a rare blood disease in high school. The loss devastated her. She became a nurse and has dedicated her life to studying and helping patients with rare blood diseases.

  • Kathy’s sister was the target of ridicule her entire life because of a speech issue. She decided to become a speech therapist to help kids correct speech patterns.

  • Mel grew up in a world of discrimination. As a high school Senior she attended a mission’s trip where she witnessed discrimination. After processing her childhood and mission trip experience she decided to change her career path and pursue social work to ensure children get equal opportunities and thrive.

What are some things you do without complaining which bring you joy?

The following two career choices were made:

  • Kendra was asked to volunteer at her church as a Sunday School teacher at sixteen. She loved it! She is now a 6th grade teacher and it’s more than a job for her. It’s her personal mission to invest in kids.

  • Kyler is part of a special high school program learning computer science. He hates it. After making a list of his values and strengths he realized that he chose money over his passion to help others. He is now going to pursue a degree in education.

Try doing these things to help clarify further.

  1. Make a list of things you loved doing as a child.

  2. Make a list of what you hate doing.

  3. Ask, and pay attention to what other people admire or appreciate about you.

  4. Make a list of what you value.

  5. Make a list of tasks that keep you honest and reflect your true self.

  6. Identify at least two people you admire and why.

  7. Ask friends for feedback on your lists.

  8. Talk to your teachers, coaches, and school counselor to help you identify what makes you uniquely you.

Once you discover your passions, observe and engage in opportunities that allow you to experience how those passions, when developed, can be used to bring purpose in your life as well as direct you towards a fulfilling career path.

Need help clarifying your passions and career choices? Contact us today. We’re here to help you find a fulfilling career path you can be passionate about!