Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to figure out what you love to do

How to figure out what you love to do*

Bruce Kasanoff

Do you know what you love to do? It turns out that many people do not, based on hundreds of responses to my article earlier this week, How to find a job you love. Here are a few ways to answer the question:

Map your strengths, passions and obligations: What are you best at, what do you love best, and what do you have to do? The place where these three elements overlap is your sweet spot, and it is where you want to spend as much time as possible, say Mick Ukleja and Robert Lorber in Who Are You and What Do You Want?.
They write, "When you align your talents and passions, they support - even amplify - one another."
I'd add that when you make a map like this, even if it's on the back of a napkin, you create a more realistic picture of how what you love to do 
matches with what you are really good at doing. They are not always exactly the same.

Adopt a growth rather than a fixed mindset: In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck observes that people with a growth 
mindset believe that through effort they can develop cherished qualities and abilities. In contrast, people with a fixed mindset feel their abilities are carved in stone. Guess which group does better in life? Yep, people with a growth mindset. She writes, "The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it's not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset."
Think about the things you do for fun (play video games, go skydiving, or read mystery novels, etc.) and consider where those interests might lead 
you if you build upon them.

Let your answers get messy: To sort this out, I turned to my friend Jim George, author of Time to Make it Stop: the How of Now. He told me, "When 
deciding what you love, remember that you don't have to come up with just one thing, one catch-all activity that covers all the bases. Most of what
successful people do is actually a syntheses of two or more things that they love. "Just allow whatever you love to do to come up in your mind. Save the 
editing for later. What do you love enough to do even though you 'shouldn't' do it? If you won the lottery and money was no object, if you could do anything at all, what would you do? I promise you there is a 
career in that somewhere."

Jim said that it takes a bit of creative thinking and a new perspective to gain important insights. He added, "Forget money for a moment. Forget 
earning a living. What lights you up? What distracts you from the things you 'should' be doing? Whatever that may be, there are people - lots of people - out there who either want or need what you do, or share your interest in it."

Edited by: Lawyer Asad

No comments: