A 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.
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.
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