The Story About Finding Your Passions
“…interests are not discovered through introspection. Instead, interests are triggered by interactions with the outside world. The process of interest discovery can be messy, serendipitous, and inefficient. This is because you can’t really predict with certainty what will capture your attention and what won’t…Without experimenting, you can’t figure out which interests will stick, and which won’t.”
— Angela Duckworth, GRIT
As you read in Austin Frank’s account of his journey from Congressional staffer to committed writer on Medium, the road to finding your passions and living a happy life can be hard to predict. Every story, every journey is unique. One step leads to another and when you occasionally look back, the road that got you to where you are today is winding. Lots of surprising twists and turns. And during the process, there’s inner transformation. That’s what makes each story interesting.
In my own life, I hit a point in my career where I was in between chapters and at a crossroads. I took some time to look in the rear view mirror and reflect. In trying to decide which road to take next, I was filled with self-doubt. Afraid I’d make the wrong choice. So I assessed life-to-date hoping to find a pattern. Something that might point me in the right direction.
I realized that I have always been a dabbler.
Dabbling in a variety of interests makes me feel alive. My gritty passions include weight lifting, dancing, DJing, positive psychology, fashion, management, Japan, all things Internet, and writing. Each passion has its own story. Follow the links for the ones I’ve already written about. The rest I will save for another time. For now, suffice it to say that I’ve been transformed because of them. They make me who I am today.
You probably already know the story of Tim Ferriss. Now there’s somebody who takes dabbling to another level. On top of being a best-selling author, serial entrepreneur and angel investor, Tim can speak five languages fluently. He holds a Guinness World Record for most tango spins in a minute. As of this writing, his latest obsession is AcroYoga and you can read all about it on his blog about Experiments in Lifestyle Design.
So many great stories out there. Some are yet to be told.
I’m encouraging you to write about yours and don’t be afraid to share. As Austin and many others have already shared, fear holds us back, but when we bravely venture forward despite our fears, we often find that we’re in good company. In response to one of my quirky posts, Dr. Rob Brown even said, “ I think you and I live in parallel realities. :-)”
One of the benefits I like most about dabbling is that it gives some pretty interesting experiments to write about. And writing about colorful life experiences encourages us all to live life fully.
Creating new publications for Medium wasn’t planned. One thing just led to another. I didn’t plan to write this post this morning. It just happened. All part of dabbling. Where will it lead? We’ll see.
The rest is still Unwritten.
When I first started publishing on Medium, Samuel LeBaron Abbott III took the time to kindly remark on one of my articles. Samuel also suggested I reach out to publications for future inclusion. Well, I took his advice to heart and then went a step further.
I registered ProDabbler.com in early 2016 but wasn’t sure at the time what to do with it. After falling into writing publicly and rediscovering Medium, we now have a wonderful home. This publication was originally just an outlet for me, but the experience is much better shared, so I’m having a party and you’re invited. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can enjoy them together. Going from private to public, you never know who you’ll inspire.
Thank you for the invitation! Maybe tell me what kind of publication the Dabbler is, what kind of content the Dabbler is looking for? I would contribute if I can!
Since the Dabbler publication is new and still taking shape, I’m starting with an open invitation for any stories about life experiences and lessons learned while exploring your personal interests.
Maybe you’re exploring writing on the side to see where it might go. Share what that personal journey is like and any insights along the way. Others dabbling in writing will hopefully be able to apply those lessons to their own experience and be inspired.
If you’re an entrepreneur trying to build a business outside of your current day job, how are you overcoming the challenges?
Or do you just love to learn new languages (or travel, cook, paint or compose music) and in the process, you stumble upon a way to do it full-time. How did that story unfold? Share any colorful episodes.
Just a few writing prompts to start. If the publication organically moves in a different direction, we can flex.
I know there are many great publications — that are already more established — where these topics may overlap, so over time we’ll hone in on the writers and the stories that differentiate and best represent the community.
Like you, I think there’s a dabbler in everyone. And as you mentioned, it’s liberating to know that dabbling is a good thing. Helps us uncover our true passions. It can also be very encouraging to read how others are benefitting from their own dabbling, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves amateur or professional.