About four years ago, I got the idea that I wanted to bicycle around the world. Like, sell everything, put a tent in a backpack and pedal into the sunset with just the clothes on my back. My goals have since evolved a bit (though, I can definitely have my bags packed in .05 seconds if the opportunity for that trip arises). But I’m still on a mission to share cycling – and more generally, outdoor exploration with people.
I’m trying to break down the barrier to entry and make adventure travel more obtainable.
My blog covers everything from sharing off-beat adventures in foreign countries to answering questions that come up when preparing for your first backpacking trip, like “What is a hiking daypack?” and the other things beginners are often too embarrassed to ask.
First off, you should never be embarrassed by not knowing something. We all started somewhere.
Second, I’ve learned a lot about finding my own passion and getting into that flow state that is so important when creating something.
You know the feeling. That one where you sit down to read a good book or work on a project for just a few minutes and realize hours have passed. You felt totally at ease and oblivious to everything happening around you. That’s where we all want to be. That feeling is the reason people quit the security of their day jobs to chase a dream.
But it’s not all euphoria and feel good vibes.
I know, I’m sorry. I have to be the bearer of bad news. The goal of sharing these myths isn’t to deter you from following your passion. The opposite is true. My goal is to show you the nitty gritty of what it looks like to find your flow and step into it.
That way, if one these situations do arise, you are prepared to overcome them.
There’s a lot here, so I’m breaking it into two posts. Without further ado, here is the first myth, and I hope it inspires you to dive in:
Myth 1: You already know what your passion is
I spent two years going to self-improvement seminars, entrepreneurship masterminds, and networking events, leaving each one feeling unbelievably supported and motivated.
“Let’s do the thing!” I’d think as I walk out the door, finish an inspirational Youtube video or revisit my notes from one of the above events.
And then I’d sit down, open my computer and default to perusing Craigslist for freelance writing gigs that would pay me moderately more than a pittance for my words.
What happened to slaying dragons and becoming the next rags to riches entrepreneur?
The truth was, I didn’t know what my “thing” was. I didn’t really know what my passion was and didn’t have an answer to how I was going to provide value to the world.
And that’s ok. But to act and start tapping into your energy to create, you have to have start somewhere.
I decided to close the self-help books and step away from the seminars until I had at least a vague idea of something I was excited to create. It took buying up a few ill-conceived domain names and staring at blank computer screen for a while before I got there.
Once I did, I quickly realized that (much to my dismay) the original idea that inspired me to take my first step quickly evolved. And has continued to since.
Your passion isn’t a linear path.
If you think you know what your end game is, be open to evolution. If you still aren’t sure what you are doing, start creating. The very nature of flowing is that it takes you realms that you didn’t ever expect to visit, let alone take up residence and set up shop for a while.
Your only job here is getting started.
If you are like me and just starting to throw a bunch of potentially-exciting things at the wall, here’s my advice: Keep it to yourself until something sticks….at least for a while.
Some people know without a doubt what they want to do and they can share it with others who support them and help move them along the path they are building.
When you aren’t sure what your thing is, though, it’s a little different. You get excited about a lot of ideas, but haven’t really given any of them a solid effort, and you adapt quick if it doesn’t work like you planned. These are great characteristics for when you are dipping your toes into the world of side-hustles and self-employment. Critical even. But not great for when you are explaining to loved ones why your paleo food blog that became an affiliate website for cooking utensils is now an online fashion retailer.
Individually, all of these things could be a really successful project. But you don’t have to share every part of what you are doing with everyone who asks, lest you want to look like you just can’t commit to an idea.
In fact, I’ve recently tapped into the pure magic of withholding some of what I’m working on.
Instead of sharing at the idea phase, I’m hustling – telling friends and family I’m simple “working on a project” – and then unveiling it only once I’ve built something. I’m able to tap into my flow state more than ever because I’ve eliminated the external expectations of what I’ve told people is coming.
Instead of commiting to a clear deadline and deliverable, I commit to myself that I’m going to show up for at least one hour every day.
Sometimes that hour is a struggle of making myself check emails or do competitor research when I want to just scroll Instagram. Other times, it’s starting a new blog post and looking up from my screen 4 hours later at midnight, but full of energy with something that I’m really excited to share with the world.
It’s the shift from “I’m working on this….” or “I want to do….” to “I created this….”
And it’s powerful.
Use moments like the latter example as your compass. Find a few select confidants that you can share your journey with. And keep moving toward those tasks and to-do’s that leave you feeling energized.
Eventually, you’ll realize you fell into your passion.
Where will you start?
Dive in and I’ll talk to you next month.