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A Guide To Finding Your Passion

Work + Money

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Alexis Jones, Founder, i am that girl

By Alexis Jones

I found my passion early. I did a play by Eve Ensler called “The Vagina Monologues,” which changed my life forever. I was so angry and humbled that there were atrocities happening to women around the world that I knew nothing about and through that, realized I could spend a lifetime fighting to change it. I snapped a Polaroid picture of my passion that day and ever since, the foggy image of  “empowering girls” has become clearer and clearer as I figure out ways to tangibly do it.

Obviously, I wish there were a formula, an equation or a class taught in school that would give us a decisive answer to the monumental question, what is my passion? While I certainly don’t hold a magic “passion discovering” wand, I do have some advice on the subject.  First and foremost, you have to be willing to go on the adventure of discovering it in the first place. Secondly, you have to turn off all the distractions in your life, whether it is your cell phone, laptop, stereo, TV or anything else vying for your attention. You can’t hear your own thoughts wading in a sea full of attention-stealers.

Then grab a notebook, a pen and ask yourself the following:

  • What do I read about endlessly? Or, what would I like to learn or read about much, much more?
  • What am I doing when I completely lose track of time?
  • What are the topics of discussion where I am most impassioned, where I am unwilling to back down or quiet myself?


Then –

  • If money were not an issue and if failing were impossible, what would I do?
  • If I didn’t care what anyone else thought (including myself), what would I most like to do or be?
  • What is something I could spend the rest of my life fighting for, changing or improving?


Once you have a better sense of your true passion, it’s time to start exploring it:

  • Try out your chosen path by volunteering or interning in the field (while still keeping your day job).
  • Find someone who has succeeded in your chosen field – connect with them – develop a relationship or mentorship. (Organizations like Step Up Women's Network can help you find a mentor.)
  • Join online and offline networks of people who are currently in your chosen field. (Consider looking on LinkedIn for such groups.)
  • If your passion involves starting your own business, find support and advice from those who have done it before.


At the end of the day, finding your passion is a luxury, a hard-fought battle to not settle for living out someone else’s dream. It requires you basking in the uncomfortable, doing things that scare you and taking big risks. It demands that you be present to your own thoughts and devoted to-in depth self-inquiry.

You deserve to do what you love; you deserve to live out your passion and to wake up every morning with a purpose and eagerness to get your day started. I was once told, “do what you’re passionate about and the byproduct of that will be wealth, success and recognition, but first do what you love so much so that people cannot fathom taking their eyes off you.”

Whether you have it, had it, lost it, or have yet to find it, your passion is there- I promise. But it requires that you accept the adventure invite and RSVP for whatever journey awaits you. I can’t wait to see what this world looks like with a slew of passion-filled, purpose-driven people inspiring one another to dream even bigger.

I dare to make an addendum to Eleanor Roosevelt’s original quote, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” and add the following: “The future relies on those who believe in the power of their passion and are willing to not rest until they discover it.”

Alexis Jones founded the empowerment company i am that girl. She has a Masters in Communication Management from USC and is a leader in creating social change, global awareness, and empowerment for women. Alexis has created a bold reputation for herself in the motivational speaking world due not only to her exceptional life experience, but her commitment to critical inquiry into women’s issues and her passion for inspiring people to recognize and fulfill their highest potential. Alexis will be on tour in 2010 for the launch of her new book, Be That Girl, I Dare You.

For more information on Alexis, please visit www.alexisjones.com and www.iamthatgirl.com.


More from Alexis Jones: The New Feminism: Bellism & Generation Y

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Comments

  • Thanks for this helpful article! I am a college student and I have been struggling for a while with figuring out what I want to do with my life. Well what do you know, this article popped in my inbox at just the right time -- I love how the universe sends us messages and responds to our needs like that :)

    Anyway, I decided that enough is enough and that I needed to do some soul-searching to find out what will make me truly fulfilled and happy. I took your advice and thought hard about those questions you told us to ask ourselves...and I was shocked to find out that I had found my passion! It's always been there, but this was my "ah-ha" moment where I realized what it is and that I am definitely willing to do anything it takes to pursue it. I am now mapping out what I need to do so I can focus my life on this passion of my mine and make it a reality for me! Thanks SO much for your help...it came at the perfect time!

    Posted by dmd721, 15 March 2010.

  • Great advice! Thanks! I just became a Sous Chef part time once I found my passion www.firehousegourmet.com www.twitter.com/SousChefWic

    Posted by TheWic, 11 February 2010.