by Jennifer Riggins
As we all work at least in the periphery of the agile world, we sometimes realize that not everyone’s agile. Not everyone’s got it figured out. Not everyone wants to be a coach or start their own business. Sure, most people want to be happy at work, but that doesn’t mean they know how.
That’s why when a university senior who started that journey early offers to speak at our local coworking, I jumped at the chance for Adria Ballester to give his talk, offering a repeatable process to hopefully help others go through that same journey—knowing of course I’d eventually share it with our readers.
So, how do you find your passion in life?
Let’s start with a little background, Adria is in his last year of his uni degree in a country that’s very focused on the theoretical and exams-based schooling—you won’t find a lot of debates and class presentations in Spain. Feeling unmotivated by school, but certainly feeling motivated by his entrepreneurial spirit, he followed the following steps to finding yourself, at any age.
Step One: Find your passion
“This is a big problem where people are not following their passions,” Adria said. But what does passion mean? He pointed out that, originally, particularly when related to passion of faith, “It was suffering. It was pain. Now it means love.”
But love of course has a different meaning for everyone.
“Our education system: We are educated the same way and we are all different. Many people might think they are not good at something,” he said. “Many people in my situation the would stop studying because they thought they were bad students.”
He says you have to take time to meditate and think about what you like because we tend to make a lot of assumptions, particularly assuming that we are bad at something.
Adria says we should work to think about ourselves in a different way. Not focusing just on what we are good at but those things we like to do. “Even if things are not going well in something, it is about keep trying, keep trying, keep trying,” he said.
Of course, if we are spending so much time doing things we don’t like and aren’t good at, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Adria recommends trying mind mapping, the origin of the Management 3.0 exercise of Personal Maps, as well as journaling, which he calls “spontaneously analyzing your thoughts to learn what makes you happy, what worries you, etcetera.”
Step Two: What are you spending your time on now?
All change has to be in context of the present, so Adria took us through the steps he went through to realize his next ones.
Now ask yourself “What do I do?” On an average week, take the time every 15 minutes to jot down what you are spending time doing.
Then you clump that into logical groups.
Classify ones you Like, Don’t Like and the rest of the time is doing things that are Not Important.
Adria learned that he spends 45 percent of time investing in things he didn’t enjoy doing.
Step Three: Are you good at what you’re doing?
Next, it’s time to clump your day-to-day in terms of what you are good at or at least feel confident doing. He made three more columns and learned that 48 percent of the time he was doing things he wasn’t good at.
“It’s awful results, spending half my life doing things I’m not comfortable doing,” Adria admitted, but pointing out that number is more average than not. “But when you start thinking about that, you find ways to change, when you can work on efficiency in things you don’t like.”
Then, ask yourself: What do the things I like have in common? What do I want to do in the future?”
Step Four: Choose your path
Adria says it starts with three big truths:
- Your life is unique.
- You create your own life.
- Your life is organic.
After understanding where our passions lie, accordingly we should choose our path. But, as Adria pointed out, “Most of the time we can make decisions that we don’t think we can make.”
In his case, he’s studying business administration. Like most people, he signed up for it because it’s a better-paid, safer choice, “which is so sad because people that are well paid so they spend all their money on toys to fulfill what they can’t learn.”
Step Five: Visualize that path
“Visualize your next years, your goals, and if u can see it, it is easier,” Adria said.
And then make a plan even of smaller steps. “Think positively even force yourself,” which is exactly what he did.
Although his talk disputed it, Adria says that he is shy, but still yearns to be a salesperson. He did rather extreme, yet small actions to break out of this shell including participating in an animal rights protest covered in “blood” and wrapped in meat packing, and giving out Free Hugs to the people of Barcelona, which in urn helped brighten some other people’s day.
He quoted Chilean engineer Roberto Gejman Frank:
If you open yourself to new experiences, the odds improve exponentially of one of those experiences changing your world in a profoundly positive way.
Step Six: Reevaluate your situation often.
How do you know you’re on the right path? Adria offered a great trick for that, too:
“When people ask you what you do and you say it in a shy way, you are headed in the wrong way, but if you can say it proud and high, you can say you are on the right path.”
How did you find your passion?
Adria ended his talk paraphrasing a Spanish saying:
How did you find your passion? Give us your tricks below so you can help others find it too!