Finding your passion brings more meaning and happiness to your retirement. But finding your passion in retirement is sometimes not that easy. And that’s why I created this article to help you out.
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1) Get out of your head and into your heart
One of the most important things to know about finding your passion is that it can’t be found in your head by thinking about it. We’re used to using our brains to analyze, rationalize, and figure things out. But when it comes to finding your passion, you have to shut out the logical part. And feel it in your heart and connect with your soul.
Passion is energy, so you have to feel what excites you. Therefore, you have to come into action and feel your way to your truth, from the inside out. Instead of analyzing it.
And that’s difficult because most of us are brought up that we had to hide our feelings. But that takes us further away from what we really want in life. So don’t be afraid to let the feelings in, because that’s the only way to get closer to your passion.
It means that you have to silence the mind. Because it often screams thoughts, and then you’re not able to hear what the heart and the gut feeling is whispering. And what you’re actually feeling in your body: excitement, resentment, fear, etc.
Tips to get out of your head
- Practice meditation
- Have a massage
- Go for a walk in nature
When you recognize you’re relaxed and more into your body, then you’re closer to your heart and can really feel what your soul is telling you. Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
2) Question yourself
To find your passion, you can ask yourself questions that maybe will give you a clearer view of what direction to take next. So grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down the answers to the questions below. Try not to overthink it, but just write down what you feel and what you come up with first.
Questions to ask yourself
- What is a topic I can read 500 books about?
- What’s the thing I never get bored of?
- What is something I love to talk about?
- What do I love to do without getting tired?
- What is a stress reliever for me?
- What gives me satisfaction, joy, and happiness?
- What could I do for five years straight without getting paid?
- What would I do if I had all the money in the world?
- What would I regret NOT doing in my life?
After answering these questions, you perhaps have a better understanding of where to look for your passion next. Sometimes the answers are pretty straightforward, and you know what to do next. And sometimes you have to experiment and look a bit further in a particular direction.
It’s best not to let fear, doubt, or judgemental thoughts get in the way. Be as open-minded and positive as possible. Passions are often irrational and not logical.
3) Look for recurring themes
You don’t have to look far or dive deep to find something you’re passionate about. Sometimes it’s right in front of your eyes, but you’re not aware of it yet.
Look for the recurring themes in your book collection, your most-watched videos on Netflix and Youtube, magazines, radio shows, podcasts, and purchases.
What are the subjects you’re always gravitating toward? What do you spend your time, money, and energy on? And what are the recurring themes in your life?
Check what lights up your eyes and where you feel a sensation in your body, not in your head. Is there anything that gets you excited? Or perhaps even a little fear when you imagine a possibility: those are all good signs.
It’s important to shift your attention to your heart and your physical body when exploring these questions. Even though we’re a mind driven society, it’s our hearts and physical bodies that contain wisdom far beyond the capacity of our minds.
4) Take care of your basic needs
We all know the Maslow pyramid, where he explains the hierarchy of needs for every human in life. The first and most fundamental needs we have as humans are psychological: air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction. When this is taken care of, we have safety needs: personal security, employment, recourses, health, property. And the needs rise up until self-actualization (fulfillment).
When you’re looking for your passion in retirement, you’re trying to fulfill the highest level need in Maslov’s hierarchy. But you can’t satisfy the top need when the needs below aren’t correctly taken care of. For example: if you’re not in good health, a passion doesn’t concern you. And when you don’t have your retirement finances in order, your mind and energy are more focused on meeting those needs first.
So to be able to find your passion, you must meet the most fundamental needs first. And then devote your time and energy to higher-level needs.
5) Go back to your childhood
As a child, you were wild and free, and you spent your time only on the things you loved to do. So try to remember the activities that you enjoyed during your childhood, before the pressure of studying and find the right job, got in the way.
Was there something you were very passionate about as a child? What hobbies did you enjoy doing? What interests did you have as a child? And would you enjoy those activities now? What did you want to do when you grow up? What dream did your 8-year old self wish to accomplish?
Use these memories to help you find your true passion in retirement. The chances are that you still love the same activities and hobbies. Or you can find the common factors and give your childhood hobbies a new adult twist that fits you better in retirement.
Maybe you still have the same hobbies right now, as when you were a kid. But perhaps you can expand on these hobbies to give them a more center stage in your life. You can take it a bit further, set a life-goal to transform it more into a passion of yours.
Another way is to imagine that you’re very old, like 100 years old. And ask yourself how you wish you had spent the last 20 to 30 years doing? Perhaps, it gives you a new perspective.
A great book to read for inspiration is: If I Live to Be 100: The Wisdom of Centenarians: In this book, Paul Mobley photographed and interviewed America’s oldest and wisest citizens. 50+ extraordinary Americans, who have all celebrated their one-hundredth birthday, share a century of insights and wisdom that can inspire you to find your passion.
6) Experiment in activities
You can’t find your passion by staying at home and being inactive. The only way to find out if you like something is to try it out and feel if it sparkles something within you.
And therefore, you need to get out of your comfort zone, do things you never did before, and experiment with different activities. There only a few people that directly find their passion with one try. Most people need to do a series of activities to get closer to the things they love to do.
And also be experimenting with activities you train yourself to listen to your body. With a series of activities, you can compare the sensations you felt and ultimately know better what feelings you’re looking for and how your soul reacts to things.
It’s not bad if an activity resulted in a negative outcome. If you know what you DON’T like, it will become more clear what you DO like. See it as a process that ultimately leads you to your passion. And it can be a fun experience because you’re meeting cool people and learn new things along the way.
Getting out of your comfort zone will make you feel more alive. And that is what retirement is all about, right?!
A great way to try out all sorts of activities is with the All-Access Pass from Masterclass. On this platform, you can watch hundreds of video lessons from the best teachers in the world. With the All-Access Pass, you can follow all sorts of different classes (for any skill level) from culinary classes, art classes, music, sports to science, and business classes from professionals such as Gordon Ramsey, Marc Jacobs, Serena Williams, Samuel L. Jackson, etc. All from the comforts of your own home. Find out more information about Masterclass here.
7) Be mindful and love everything you do
Another way to find passion in retirement is to proactively bring passion to everything you do. So no matter what task is in front of you, bring as much enthusiasm and energy to it as you possibly can. Bring your full attention, your full presence, to every task in your retirement day.
Whether you’re brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or taking out the trash, do it mindfully and do it like you want to do it and enjoy every moment.
When you make this shift and are fully present in life, it’s contagious. When you create and send out positive energy, you will attract the same kind of energy. And that’s not spirituality, that’s science. It will ignite new ideas and creative insights far beyond what your thinking mind alone is capable of.
So from this moment forward, you have two choices if you don’t like something: stop doing it OR love it with all your heart. Anything else is madness.
When you commit to loving everything you do, you train and strengthen your “passion muscles” from the inside out. And it will set you on the path on what you’re meant to do, and it will bring you closer to things you’re passionate about.
And for that, you have to make a habit out of it because we as humans are habit creatures. You have to train and repeat a positive habit before it can become natural, and it works subconsciously.
Also, successful people are not the victim of their circumstances. They know that they have the ultimate power in any situation and take full responsibility for any experience in their life.
If you don’t know how to be mindful, you can practice meditation. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective about your thoughts and feelings. And there are different meditation techniques where the most used are breathing and body scan meditation. And the best app to use is Headspace. This app will show you how to meditate in the easiest, most practical, and accessible way.
8) Get inspired by books, TED talks, and podcasts
A way to find your passion is to be inspired by others. And for that to happen, you can read books, watch inspiring TED talks and listen to podcasts of people who you find interesting. You can educate yourself by reading into other people’s ideas and experiences about life and how they found their passion. It can give you a new perspective and practical tools on how to find your passion. And here are a few ideas to get you started.
Books you can read:
- Purposeful Retirement: How to Bring Happiness and Meaning to Your Retirement
- Retirement Your Way: The No Stress Roadmap for Designing Your Next Chapter and Loving Your Future
TED Talk you can watch:
Podcasts you can listen to:
9) Get advice from a life coach
When you’re stuck in life in general or stuck at finding your passion in life, it can be beneficial to get advice from a life coach. They help you identify your goals and develop an actionable plan to achieve them.
There is still a taboo a bit about seeking psychological help. But there is nothing to be ashamed about it. Everyone needs a bit of guidance or help in life from time to time. And seeking advice from a professional that doesn’t know you can be the best thing you can do.
A life coach can give you practical tools to get to know yourself better, what you want in life and how to go after it. Their experience, support, objective perspective, and insight can help you find your passion in retirement.
Tips on how to find the right coach for you:
- Research if they are thoroughly trained and certified.
- Ask them about their style of coaching
- Ask what methodologies and tools they use
- Figure out what it will cost
- Get to know the coach by doing a consultation
- Ask about their availability
- Ask about their results and success stories with other people
10) Brainstorm with yourself
To figure out your passion for retirement, you can do brainstorm sessions with yourself. Perhaps, it will give you new insights and ideas when you’re stuck.
Grab a piece of paper and write down all the ideas that you have about your passion. Or grab post-its and paste a post-it on your mirror or wall for every idea you have. And let it stay there for a couple of days or weeks and feel which idea doesn’t energize you and remove it. Remove all the ideas up until you have a couple of ideas left that you feel good and excited about and try these ideas out and see if it fits.
And to be successful in brainstorming, you have to have no judgments. This is the first rule of creativity in general, and you need to think freely. So no matter how crazy it is, while brainstorming, ideas are neither silly nor impossible. It’s all about putting ideas out there and evaluating them in a later stage.
11) Use visualization techniques
Another trick to find your passion is to do visualization.
It’s is one of the best ways to organize your thoughts, mentally prepare you, and reduce stress. And it’s a great technique to figure out what you want and refocus on your daily goals. You just have to know how to use the power of visualization.
To find your passion, you can imagine yourself getting up early, jumping out of bed, excited about life. You get dressed quickly and are full of enthusiasm about your day. The sun is shining, and you take those first steps out of your house to… (Now work out where you are going and what your retirement day looks like.)
Or you visualize how the most perfect retirement for you looks like. And be as detailed as possible. And see what images and actions you imagine. Feel what energizes you: because that could be your passion for real retired life.
12) Ask friends and family for help
Sometimes your family members or friends know you better than yourself. They see a different side of you that you’re maybe not aware of. And you can use their insight and knowledge about you to hold up a mirror, give you ideas, and organize your thoughts.
Perhaps you have a friend you can always talk freely about everything in life. And ask if they can help you out. Or you can accompany a friend or family member in there passion just to see if you’ll get excited about it too.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone struggles with finding their passion in life. And sharing a problem makes the problem itself lighter. Sharing helps you get over your problem. It’s a sign of strength to ask for help. Not a weakness. And you gain different and varying insights along the way.
13) Don’t wait for the Eureka moment
It’s important to know that finding your passion isn’t a Eureka moment. You don’t find your true passion overnight, you’ll find it through a series of discoveries. It’s a process that takes time, and therefore you need to be patient.
Only for some people inspiration about what their passion is may strike in an instant. Suddenly, they know what they should be doing with their lives or with their time in retirement. For others, it takes work and time.
14) Keep trying
You can’t find your passion if you stop trying. So keep trying because with every try, you’ll get closer then you were before, and eventually, you’ll find your passion.
When you’re a bit frustrated? Don’t give up entirely, but focus on something else for a couple of days and pick it up later in the week when you have new, fresh, and positive energy. But keep trying.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time. It will be worth it because when you follow your passion, you will be truly happy and fulfilled in retirement. And that’s always worth pursuing.
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