Most experts will tell you that an exploration of interests, hobbies, past times and your values will help you find your passion. The assumption with this approach is that you must already have a passion hidden somewhere in your psyche. According to some Standford research you are better developing it instead. The researchers found that “that when people encounter inevitable challenges, that mindset makes it more likely people will surrender their newfound interest”
The research looked at two different mindsets: fixed and growth. The fixed mindsets were the most problematic because “Being narrowly focused on one area could prevent individuals from developing knowledge in other areas that could be important to their field at a later time” The research confirms that the novelty of the new passion tends to wears off once a person encounters inevitable difficulties. Instead by putting in time and work into an interest the reward of following through develops the passion for that interest.
I can attest to this. About 10 years ago I was pressured into playing a tabletop miniatures game. I only did it because my friends were. I saw it as expensive and time consuming even though it looked like a bit of fun. I invested the time and effort to build, paint and maintain an army of miniature fantasy figures. Even though I eventually lost interest in the game I managed to develop a passion for painting miniatures and building terrain. I now paint and model miniature villages. I’ve come to know nearly everything to know about building terrain, streets, rivers, hills and all the houses, parks, buildings and other features in any village and I paint the miniature villagers to live in it and I absolutely love it.
So while we do need to do a bit of searching for an interest Standford’s research does show that by persisting we can develop a passion for anything from a hobby like building miniature villages to entire careers and lifestyles. So don’t be discouraged when you encounter setbacks in your interest because with some perseverance you may find that whatever it is that you are not liking doing anymore will soon become something you can’t live without.