So- since so much of success is finding your passion (Oprah’s Lesson #5)…how do you find what you are passionate about? There are so many articles on passion, I could easily just link to other articles and not write another word to cover this topic. However, that doesn’t help me flush out my own thoughts on the subject. What fun is blogging if you aren’t saying anything? Back to finding your passion- I have one major, MAJOR point to make-

1.  Don’t settle for something that you’re NOT passionate about.

How do you know? I’m not sure everyone is like this, but for me- it’s “gut feel.” When I figured out what I wanted to do- working in the small business space in a technology company, starting my own company, moving into the Venture Capital industry, before finally turning toward philanthropic efforts and making a difference in the lives less fortunate than me- I “knew.” If you are always looking forward to the weekend, then, chances are, you are not passionate about your job. Since I work with such great people and I believe in the direction we are headed, I actually look forward Monday mornings. After that last comment, if you are one of those that is thinking…”is he serious?”, then you definitely have not found your passion yet.

If you feel stuck in a job that fails to excite you, brainstorm and ask yourself the tough questions about why you are still working at that company…such questions as would you still do your job if you weren’t paid, does your work challenge you, do you agree with the vision of the company, do you like the industry, are you continually learning, do you enjoy the company of those around you? Asking those questions and answering yourself TRUTHFULLY will go a long way toward leading you to your passions. If you don’t get the answers you want- try something else.

If you still can’t figure out what you’re passionate about- go travel the world. Experience other cultures, eat foreign food, party with locals, etc. Undoubtedly, something will catch your interest (for one- you’ll probably realize, like I did traveling Europe, that material possessions are not what makes someone happy).

I don’t think there is any real science to finding passion. It’s different for everyone. Take a chance and get involved…and finally, when you find that “perfect opportunity”- seize it (seizing the opportunity is the other primary factor to achieving success in my opinion).

What got me thinking about this subject? One of my best friends is applying for MBA business programs and sent me two of her essays to edit. The topics? “What Matters Most to You and Why?” and “What are your Career Aspirations? How will Your Education at Stanford Help you Achieve them?” The passion in the writing pores through her writing- hopefully Stanford has the same impression that I have after reading her writing(business/life success written all over her).