My good friend FenderGurl and I went to dinner last night. I love having dinner with her because we always talk about the most interesting things. Sure, we talk about work, kids, relationships, usual girl stuff, but we also go pretty deep sometimes. I rarely come away from a conversation with her without having some sort of new insight.

Last night we got talking about our passions. We were exploring what it is that makes us passionate about something, and the question arose “How do I know when I’ve found my true passion?”.

Over the past several years, as I’ve moved out of the corporate rat race and into my own thing, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring what it means to be passionate about something and how you really know when you’ve found it. It’s not as hard as you might think. But the signs that it’s actually your true passion might surprise you.

10 Signs That You May Have Found Your True Passion

  1. It brings you unbelievable amounts of joy for no apparent reason.
  2. It brings you unbelievable amounts of heartache for no apparent reason.
  3. It makes you giddy with excitement.
  4. It makes you sick to your stomach.
  5. You wake up in the morning and bound out of bed because you can’t wait to get to it.
  6. You absolutely dread taking the next step towards it because you are too afraid.
  7. You sleep like a baby knowing that you are fully living it.
  8. You lay wide awake all night worrying about it.
  9. People admire you greatly because you are so passionate.
  10. People criticize you often because you are so passionate.

There’s a common misconception that once you’ve found that thing you are most passionate about, that it’s all going to be sunshine and roses, that life will be perfect in every way, that your problems will just float away on a cloud. Well the thing about finding your passion is, once you’ve found it, it’s actually a lot of hard work. Why? Because your passion is that thing that gets into the core of your being. It becomes everything to you. You can’t exist without it.

Some would use the terms “obsessed” or “addicted”, when talking about passion, but I would argue that those terms imply an unhealthy relationship with something. Passion, on the other hand, is fundamentally healthy. Why? Because without your passion, your life would be less full and satisfying. With your passion, you are more whole as a person. Addictions make you weaker. Passions make you stronger.

It’s the whole downside of passion that makes it more difficult to find your passion. It’s going to make me feel sick? Lose sleep? Be criticized? Yup. Without a doubt. But that’s okay – it’s how passion works. It brings you the highest high and the lowest low, all at the same time. It makes you struggle and fight for it, and rejoice and celebrate it.

Once you find your true passion, you’ll know it. You’ll know it because you feel at once so completely ecstatic and so unbelievably afraid. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.