How the Freak to Find Your Passion (part one)

Jim from The Office Take on Career


How the freak do you pursue your passion when you have no idea what your passion is?


As I left college and attempted to “find my passion”, I felt like a 3rd grader trying to attempt Calculus. I couldn’t even understand the question, let alone scratch at the answer. Each year that passed I felt like a character in The Office, working a job I hated because I couldn’t figure out what job I loved.


Jim from The Office Take on Career


Finding Your Passion Ain’t 1 + 1

Only now at the tail-end of my twenties, do I feel I’m beginning to smell my passion; like walking into the front door and catching that first whiff of homemade cookies.

My passion: to lead, write, and speak with blunt authenticity, a courage that tells the truth, and legit inspiration, with and for those struggling to find their place in their 20’s and 30’s.

As I look back since I walked across that college graduation stage with such a passionate cluelessness, here are eight questions I’ve wrestled with these last eight years that have helped me find my passion.


8 Questions to Find Your Passion


1. Where have I failed the biggest?

Where have I embarrassed yourself like an 8th grader cracking his voice on his big solo? Where have you failed the biggest — yet picked yourself up and kept charging forward?

Hell, I could dedicate two weeks on All Groan Up on all my grand ideas that have failed since college graduation. Each failure culminating in me throwing in the white towel.

But not writing. No matter how many times I’ve burned these fingers, I’ve refused to stop punching these damn keys. I learned to pay attention to those times I failed, but refused to give up. There’s some secret sauce in this space worth putting a personal patent on. As Thomas Merton writes, “A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly.”


2. What are my top values?

Authenticity. Integrity. Right Relationships. Excellence with Fun. Perseverance through Pain.

These are the values that top my list. I’ve learned when I’m working outside of these values, anxiety tackles me like a security guard laying out a shoplifter. What are your top values? Make a list. Your passion has to live and breathe inside these parameters or you will sabotage yourself.


3. What do people important to me say makes me come alive?

Pick three people closest to you and ask them when they have seen you come the most alive. Say it’s for an assignment. Say work is making you ask.

You’ll be surprised at the amazing things they say. Often times we won’t give ourselves credit when it’s due.


4. What are my favorite stories?

I’ve been on a five-month personal PR campaign for the movie Warrior — about two estranged brothers and a father who are all fighting to change their destiny and find redemption. I’ve seen it three five times and can’t help but shed a few cascading amount of tears at the end. It’s up there with my other favorites — Shawshank Redemption, Walk the Line, and Braveheart.

As author Marty Demuth wrote in a guest post for Michael Hyatt about finding your passion, list out your top “movies and determine the common thread that runs through each.”

The common thread that runs through mine: the underdog who perseveres through pain, thrives from their authentic self, and succeeds at something sane people would never attempt. I can see my top values weaved into my favorite stories. How can I weave the themes from my favorite stories into the most important story I’ll ever write — my own.

What are your top movies and what themes do you see in common? Love for you to share in the comments below. 

Later this week, How the Freak to Find Your Passion (part two) and the last four questions to ask.


  1. Neil Bruinsma

    This is great content, and I love your witty spin on it!

  2. admin

    Thanks Neil!

  3. Rose Esther (@Rosemontower)

    More than a year ago…but this is being so useful to me right now. Thank you.
    My 3 favorite movies… I think would be:
    A walk to remember, Facing the giants and Narnia: the voyage of the dawn treader. Surprisingly they do have themes in common… I think …
    -Being true to what you believe in.
    -Believing you can do it.
    -Team work. (Having people believing in you)
    -Not give up, Be brave, try and keep trying.
    -Victory over our fears…
    -Dreams come true.
    – Appearance is not important (don’t judge a book by its cover)

    • admin

      Awesome! Great thoughts Rose. Glad you took time to put some answers down for this!


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