How I Found My Passion (And How You Can Find Yours)

How I Found My Passion One Step At a TimeA few years back, I didn’t know I’d end up doing what I do today.

I was making a living playing poker, and I was happy doing that for almost half a decade.

Until one day, when I felt like it was time to move on. There was no longer any satisfaction in what I did. It felt lifeless, devoid of energy. I was earning a living, but that was it.

So in 2006, I began looking for other options. At the time I was into golf. (I started playing when I was 9, and I was pretty good at it.)

“Why not make a website about golf and make money that way,” I thought.

I paid someone to create a website, and get everything up and running.

What I didn’t realize was that I had to put in work to succeed. I never did that, and a year later, the domain expired and the website went poof.

After that, I looked for opportunities around the web. I was trying to force success and passion. I ended up spending thousands on get rich quick programs and other products that I thought would give me instant success.

I had forgotten why I was trying to succeed online.

I began my journey trying to satisfy my soul, but instead I fell into the trap of money.

I thought that if I made enough money, I would be safe, and I could do what I wanted.

The Story Gets Better …

I built my first website when I was 14. I started trying to make money online in 2006-2007. I spent over $10,000 on coaching, courses, and every other product between heaven and earth.

As I failed over and over again, I eventually figured out what made my heart sing, and what worked for me. It wasn’t a big a-ha moment. Instead, it was a gradual peeling away of layers.

I’ve always been fascinated by the human mind and personal development. And I had thoughts about writing something on those topics … some day.

As I became more successful online, I kept pushing those dreams aside.

I needed more money to do what I loved, I thought.

I had learned that money didn’t bring happiness while playing poker, but I had to learn that lesson a second time.

Deep down I wanted to focus on personal growth. I didn’t know exactly what topics I wanted to cover, but there was something there.

It resonated with me. It felt alive.

I kept telling myself that if I made enough money, I could follow my passion. After a while I got disgusted with my own excuses.

Enough was enough.

I was going to do what I loved, with or without fear.

Back then, I didn’t know that fear was to be expected when finding and following your passion. All I knew was that I wanted this more than anything else.

Progress, But Not Really

I knew what made me come alive, but I tried to distract myself with what was “safe.”

It wasn’t until early 2009 that I started contemplating what I truly wanted to do. I bumped into the blogging community, and it drew me in like a pleasant version of quicksand.

At first I was going to call my website The Holistic Highway and it was going to be about health, personal development, and online business.

Then I stopped.

I ran into doubts.

I didn’t believe I could contribute anything. I mean, there were so many great bloggers and writers out there that clearly were better than me, so why bother?

I surrendered to fear, once again.

Overwhelm and Confusion

I went into a haze of overwhelm and confusion. I distracted myself by working on other online projects.

I focused on making money. I built websites around topics I enjoyed, so I was happy for a while. I was, at least, moving in the right direction.

Then at the end of 2009, I felt a sense of urgency. It was like my internal GPS came online.

My inner GPS nudged me forward through feeling. Some things felt right, while others didn’t. Thoughts and excuses came up, but I kept following the breadcrumbs.

I didn’t know how, where, or when to start, but I seemed to always feel what the next step was.

I had no idea if there was an audience out there waiting for me, but I wasn’t going to let my assumptions stop me. Not this time.

Stepping Into the Clearing

I started Wake Up Cloud (this blog) in December ’09, and a new chapter in my life began.

I joined a training course on blogging, and I found a mentor, but I had no idea what I was doing. Nonetheless, the road ahead of me became clearer.

Since then, I’ve created products, written books, started a community, and connected with hundreds of amazing people all around the world.

It never would’ve been possible if I wouldn’t have been willing to take that first step, despite being confused. Even today, I don’t always know where I’m going, and that’s okay.

All the seeming mistakes I’ve made in the past were lessons in disguise. I wasn’t fearless. I wasn’t talented. I simply took one step at a time, and took action despite whatever came up.

Wrap Up

I’ve shared my story with you to illustrate that finding my passion wasn’t a straight line. I stumbled around, but somehow that stumbling had a purpose.

So, how do you find your passion?

You find it by following the breadcrumbs, and facing your fears.

You follow your interests, and you do the best you can, because that is all you can do.

In a way, you find your passion by forgetting about trying to find your passion, and living life one moment at a time.

Life will never be a straight line, so why resist it? Let go of the oars and let the river of life guide you.

Image by Ibrahim

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Comments

  1. Great encouragement in this post Henri. I too have known my passion for years, but allowed outside “voices of reason” to cause me to push it aside. Listening to that inner voice which pulls you toward your true calling can steer you through the trials. Staring down the fear is an important step; taking the plunge is not nearly as scary as you always imagined it to be. It’s great you have not only followed your passion but are also sharing and helping others like yourself along the way.

    • It never is as scary, and when people realize it they are often surprised at why they didn’t do it earlier.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Tim!

  2. Hi Henri

    Wow, your Blog is so insightful Henri – you’ve put into words exactly how I am feeling right now – confused, not good enough compared to all these awesome Blogs and Websites; but wanting to do Something! I guess baby steps is the way forward.

  3. Your articles are amazing!
    Thanks for the read

  4. Henri,
    Sometimes I think that success is merely heading in the right direction and stumbling as we go. Life isn’t easy and simplistic and that needs to be acknowledged and accepted.
    Riley

    • I agree with you, Riley. My own journey feels like just taking things one step at a time and doing my best. Somehow things fall into place. Not as quick as I would want them, but they do fall into place.

  5. Henri,

    I am wondering if you have a website about playing poker online. I am very interested.

    Thanks.
    Michele

    • I do. You can probably find them (I have two long since abandoned sites) by doing a simple Google search with my name.

  6. Henri,

    You have a terrific writing style, gets to the heart of the matter without a lot of fuss, kind of Hemingway-esque. Appreciate your thoughts on things and your bravery.

    B

  7. Great article! Thank you for sharing your story. It was very encouraging.
    For too long I allowed my insecurities to keep me from following my passion, and now I am finally trying to move forward in the right direction.

  8. Amazing article. Thank you Henri for sharing it here. Especially I liked these inspiring words “If at first you don’t succeed, keep going, because the only way you can fail is by giving up.”

  9. Ali Manning says:

    What a fantastic post! It’s good to read about people’s successes on their blogs, but I find reading about your big pile of failures more motivating because it’s more real and more human. It gives me permission to make mistakes and gives me hope that some day I’ll find the success I’m looking for too. I admire your courage in putting it out there for everyone to read. Thanks!!

    • I’m with you, Ali. It’s much better to show all facets than to try to be superior to someone else. That includes my failures, fears, and the rest of them ;)

  10. Henri,

    Thanks for sharing this. Love to read your journey of finding what you truly love and still making money doing it. Isn’t that the best thing in the world?

    I was wondering, did you spend time on learning to write (taking courses, etc.) before you started this blog, or is it that you already wrote pretty well and then blogging was just sort of natural choice for you at the time?

    • I never took any writing courses. I learned by, as Stephen King recommends, reading a lot, and writing a lot.

      If you go to some of my earlier articles, and compare them to my latest, you will notice the differences. Even before I started Wake Up Cloud, I wrote a lot on other websites.

      The skills come as you move forward.

  11. it’s about having fun the right way.

  12. I wrote this phrase in a paper: “It’s all about doing what you love, and having enough money to live comfortably” and put in my wall of inspiring quotes. Greeeat work Henri !

  13. I believe whole life is a mindset! Money, relationships, health, dreams, life purpose and personal development – I need it, I love it.

    It is only in the moment of chaos we realize what important is to us. We just need the courage to follow our inner GPS.

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Henry, its been a while since I was here. Lovely post. I’ve found my passion and I love running my web business. I hope to one day make enough money that I would start an office where I can provide opportunities for people to make a living.

  15. Henri,
    I love this article. I’m following the breadcrumbs right now myself. I’ve gone down many different paths, trying to find “happiness.” I thought I’d found my dream life by being a freelance writer. But it was a lot harder than I expected. It’s like you said, I didn’t want to put in the work. I’m just now realizing this. I’m also seeking out jobs that appeal to me. Breadcrumbs. I have NO idea how it’ll all work out… I just keep reminding myself that it WILL.

    Thanks for what you do!
    Sarah

  16. Great post, Henri. Really inspirational. Thank you.
    Diane

  17. It is all about taking one snap step and seeing where it takes you. I know with just getting back in to my site, I just have to see how I feel, what happens and where it takes me.

  18. Hi Henri

    Thank you for sharing this and for being the huge help you have been in making my dream come true:- building my own business.

    I soon ‘found’ my passion after doing your courses but I am continuing to find more and more of my passion as I go. I keep following my heart and it keeps taking me further and further towards where I feel the most joy. And that’s what I am realising:- you never stop finding your passion. It just keeps getting better and better!

    A BIG thank you to you Henri!
    Jess

  19. Hi Henri!
    Wow! Your story resonates so much with me! And I found your blog at such a synchronistic moment! I started my own blog 4 months ago and I’m now feeling discouraged. I started it with a mixed intention of helping people and making money. I feel like I’m not doing any of that. I also feel that my perseverance will someday pay off. Thanks a lot for your article!
    Martin

  20. Hi Henri,

    This is amazing, and of course oh so familiar, I am on the cusp of following my passion, the inner voice is certainly getting stronger, I have even started a blog to test the waters! I was actually thinking today that I need to let go of the outcome, we play so many outcomes in our head, if not all of them! But they are no use, they are only made up stories, so you may aswell let the feelings that go along with them go and find out the real ending of the story, which then lead me to your blog once again, as I have been here before and now think I need to use YOU more as my mentor!

    So thanks for the inner voice and I will be seeing you soon! :)

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