How I Found My Passion and How You Can Find Yours

Finding Your Passion
This is what I thought as I passed through all those years of organized education: “People always tell me that I should love what I do, but I have no idea what I love to do!” Now, I’m living in the Central Andes of Peru, working from home in my pajamas or similarly cozy apparel, taking chunks of time off when I need to, writing articles on topics that matter to me for people who matter to me, connecting with people all over the world and I still have time to practice acrobatics at the old shooting range. Needless to say, it’s my dream life and one that I could have never imagined before I arrived here.

So, how did I get from there to here?

  1. Never, Ever Settle for Less than Your Passion
  2. It’s easy enough to shrug and tell yourself that life isn’t so bad, but how are you ever going to find your passion if you don’t go looking for it? I say, if you feel even the slightest inkling that life holds more in store for you, jump on it. You don’t have to know what you’re looking for yet; you just have to keep searching. The more you search with your eyes and heart open, the more people you’ll meet, skills you’ll pick up and ideas you’ll gather.

    My search took me through the Faculties of Science and Arts, through laboratories studying autism, vision and infants, to the Philippines, to Japan, to a little town on the Canadian East Coast and finally here to Peru.

  3. Follow Your Own Voice
  4. We’re used to listening to what authorities tell us — that’s a lot of what education in our world is about — but out in the real world, the actions you take provide you with life experiences that are opportunities for experiential learning.

    Don’t listen to others, even if they really love you! I love my parents with my whole heart, but their vision of success and happiness wasn’t mine. Three years ago, I was on the path to medical school. Everything seemed to have fallen into place. For a while, I convinced myself that I was happy because I was making my family happy, but my heart knew that I was just trying to fool myself. I kept following that inkling I had because inside, I knew that I hadn’t found my passion yet.

    I later realized that the people I love and who truly love me will be happy for me when they realize how happy I am, leading my own life.

  5. Take Every Single Interesting Opportunity That Comes Along
  6. Finding your passion isn’t about finding the socks you didn’t realize had fallen under your bed. It’s about the process of trial and error, building experiences, learning about yourself and making connections.

    Each life experience you gain will take you one step closer to discovering your passion. Be on the lookout for part-time jobs, summer opportunities, student exchanges and internships. When I heard about my college’s student exchange program, I jumped on the chance to go even though I didn’t have the money to fund it, but things fall into place for our dreams. A couple weeks before heading to Japan, I was informed that I had won a Japanese scholarship that would fund my whole year there. No joke!

    When I received an email from a professor for an opportunity to help start a pilot project on infant development in Peru, the opportunity seemed too perfect to pass up. Even though I knew nothing about international development projects, I had a research background in infant development and a strong intuitive response to the idea of it all. I ended up falling in love with the Andean lifestyle and staying.

Where has your adventure as a passion-seeker taken you? What other tips can you share for passion-seekers?

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17 Comments

  1. Vinny T.
    Posted May 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been fortunate in pursuing various passions throughout mty life. My love and passion for Peru has been life-changing. Thanks to it, I have traveled to and lived for extended periods of time in “Incaland,”, have met scores of fabulous Peruvians, and have had the very good fortune of getting to know an excellent person named Samantha. My love for cars has led me to design and build many award winning model cars,including awards presented to me and sponsored by major auto manufacturers,

  2. Posted May 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    My favorite quote of the day: “…the people I love and who truly love me will be happy for me when they realize how happy I am, leading my own life.”

    You offer up some great advice and isn’t it great that you can speak from experience? It makes your words so much more believable. Following your passions can be scary and many people will criticize your logic. I honestly think this comes from a place of jealousy or envy because not everyone is brave enough to take the necessary risks for a more fulfilling life. Oh, I could go on and on about this subject! Well done, Sam!

  3. Sandy Hubbard
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    You are living proof that you can achieve your goals as long as you don’t give up, and are brave enough to follow any opportunity that could bring you closer to your dream. You are an inspiration to all of us that are still trying to find our passions, and live our dreams. Thank you Sam!

  4. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Vinny, I loved hearing about your different passions and how you’ve created a fulfilling life by following them! Thank you so much for mentioning me too. =) I also really treasure our friendship! =)

  5. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Val, thanks so much for valuing my personal experiences. I can’t say that I have it made, but following my own path really made all the difference.

    I’ve had people mention that to me before — that the people standing in my path are actually those who may be admiring it! I *really* appreciate your support, Val!

  6. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Sandy, thank you for your uber kind words! I hardly think of myself as an inspiration, but I hoped that I could give someone a little push in the right direction by sharing my story. Thank *you* for helping to give me the courage to do so, Sandy! =)

  7. Posted May 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I love, love, love, this post Sam. Thank you so much for posting. My passions are many, but I have a true passion for writing. I find myself to be my worse opponent, by telling myself that I can’t do what I want or desire to make a living at it; because I’m not properly trained to do so. Your post has let me know that my passion will make room for me, if I just keep at it and follow my own voice. Thanks for this post, it came right when I needed to read it. ;)

  8. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Wow! Thanks for your enthusiasm and support, Deeone. I’m so glad that I could reach out to you through this post! I know what you mean about being our own worst enemy, but I absolutely love your conclusion that your passion will make room for you. =) Keep at it and I’ll be rooting for you all the way! =)

  9. Posted May 14, 2011 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Very heartwarming, and happy for you. Looking forward to learning how you develop freelance writing business.

  10. Posted May 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I love this! I am in total agreement with you quote “Never, Ever Settle for Less than Your Passion”. I was just talking to my friend Larry Brauner(http://www.facebook.com/larrybraunerpage)about career exploration since he shared a link about American people being unhappy at work. I was telling him that people should start exploring careers young, as you say above you have to try things to see what you like or don’t.

  11. Carolyn Holcomb
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed your insight Sam! Not sure how this site works. Maybe you can give me some instructions!

  12. Caroyn Connell
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I believe that I had clicked on it already, because when I tried again, nothing happened. I take it that you can only click “LIKE” once! Thanks!

  13. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Saul, thank you so much for saying that! =) I’m excited about where this new adventure will take me too! Thanks for sharing the journey with me. =)

  14. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Karla, thanks so much for vibing with me and for taking the time to leave a comment! =) I’ll have to check out Larry’s page and track down that link you speak of! =)

  15. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Carolyn, thanks so much for taking the time to click “Like”! Seems to have worked! =) I also really appreciate your feedback. =) Will head over to your latest GoodBlogs post right now!

  16. Posted May 18, 2011 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    I am so inspired by what you’ve shared here. Excellent advice on pursuing your dream, but it takes guts and courage to do that. Not everyone has that intestinal fortitude. I’ve achieved almost everything I’ve ever wanted to do in life, and I’m on a path this year to get my first book published. But it hasn’t all happened without its consequences and struggles. I believe that all that; however, is worth it when you go with your gut and press forward to your dream at the light at the end of the tunnel — sometimes that’s just how it is. The light gets brighter, though, and eventually evolves to the point where you can dance in the sunshine. It looks like you are now dancing in the sunshine (or doing cartwheels in the sunshine — whatever works)!!

  17. Samantha Bangayan
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, Sherry! =) I am *so* excited to be hearing about your book for the first time! I had no idea about this secret in the works. =) You describe the phenomenon so beautifully, Sherry — the light sure does get brighter. It just takes putting one foot in front of the other for a while.

    I’m totally doing backflips in the sunshine in my dream world! =) Thanks so much for relating to me, Sherry!

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