50 questions to help you find your passion:
1. What is working well for you in your current life — what do you find fulfilling, meaningful, enjoyable, and important?
I still have my independence, a place to work which I have been re-creating to get rid of clutter. I find those to be enjoyable and important.
2. What isn’t working well for you in your current life — what drains you, makes you stressed and anxious, or wastes your time?
Conflict and stress over conflicts drains me.
3. If you were financially secure and didn’t need a paycheck, how would you spend your time?
I would still do much of what I do now. More travel and photographing old places. I’d have a space that was more my own, no other tenants for sure.
4. What are some childhood dreams or interests you never were able to fully explore but still find intriguing?
5. If you could be remembered for three things after you die, what would they be?
I’d like to be remembered as someone who people could talk to and leave feeling better about themselves. I don’t need to be remembered but I would have liked to have made a difference, in a positive way, for the people I care about especially. They will be the ones still here after all, not me.
6. Who is someone in your life or in history whose life and work inspires and excites you? Why?
Lots of people. Shirley Jackson, the writer. Joan, the ASCII artist. Zack Brown, my nephew just stepping out into the world on his own. Most people can inspire or stimulate you with new ideas if you pay attention.
7. What skills do you possess that you really enjoy and love to do?
Photography, writing and text (ASCII) art. Sewing too. Also, seem to often find a way to manage or figure something out, inventive or ingenuity I guess.
8. What skills do you possess that you dislike but feel you must do anyway?
Anger. Being angry, controlling it, ignoring it, dealing with anger takes a lot of energy and drains me.
9. What specific activities have you done in a past or current job that you really enjoy and find engaging?
Organizing information. I think I liked feeling something was accomplished, also, I was able to find my own way to manage the organization and get it done.
10. What specific activities have you done in a past or current job that you dislike and never want to do again?
11. How much of your time during an average week are spent doing things you dislike or that you feel waste your time?
I don’t really like sleeping. But, like sleeping, most of the things I dislike are not going away, necessary or serve some purpose.
12. What are your top 5 most deeply held core values?
- You find what you are looking for.
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- Revenge (and anger) is a dish best served cold.
- Whether negative or positive, what you put out there into the world becomes who you are, how you are seen and changes the world around you.
- Keeping an open mind doesn’t mean you are gullible but it is more important than most people think. There is a magic in the world for people who aren’t closed off to it.
13. How does your life and work currently support or reflect those values?
I try to remain honest with everyone, even when it isn’t so easy. I try to curb my impulsive actions and words unless they are directed in a positive and creative way.
14. Which of your top values are you ignoring or not giving enough attention?
Probably revenge and anger because I usually do nothing which leaves me with a lot of built up feelings and highly stressed out at times.
15. How are you living outside of your integrity?
I don’t think I am. Other than not standing up for myself and pushing more for my own interests and needs.
16. What lies are you telling yourself and others about who you are and what’s important to you?
Whatever lies I tell myself are too ingrained at this point to pick out.
17. What do you fear most when it comes to finding your passion?
Realizing that I had it all wrong or I missed something important and none of it was good at all.
18. What limiting beliefs do you hold about yourself and your ability to succeed at living your passion?
19. How have your fears and limiting beliefs held you back from finding or pursuing your passion in the past?
I have to push or trick myself into getting started and I don’t usually finish the learning or creative process for the things which are most important to me.
20. What solid evidence do you have that your fears and limiting beliefs are true?
I’m turning 50 this year and this is not where I thought or feel I should be.
21. If there’s some small amount of evidence that your fears or limiting beliefs might come to pass, is the risk big enough to prevent you from going after your passion?
So far it seems to be. If you have your final confirmation that you suck there isn’t a great way to recover and try again from there.
22. Can you tolerate some risk and uncertainty around finding your passion? How much?
I’ve risked living on the poverty level most of my life. I’m not destitute but at some point the future is going to smack me upside the head.
23. What trumps finding and living your passion? Your current income? Your job? Your current lifestyle? Your home or the city you live in? The opinion of others? How you spend your time?
Mostly just myself.
24. What is the linchpin fear keeping you from going after your passion?
Running out of options. If you fall off a cliff you can’t just jump back up again.
25. Specifically, what actions can you take to lessen and manage your fear?
I try to trick myself and work around it. Not highly successfully.
26. Are there any people in your life preventing you from pursuing your passion? Who are they and how are they holding you back?
My family are supportive and yet they can take the wind out of my sails too.
27. What could you do to communicate with this person (people) to enlist their support or get them to step out of your way?
You can’t live in a fairy tale, things don’t work that way.
28. Are you willing to disengage entirely from people undermining your passion pursuit? If not, why?
I’d love to live in the world by myself. But, then there would be no reason to do anything because there would be no one else there to see it or be a part of it.
29. Do any people close to you have legitimate concerns or worries about your passion ideas? How can you address or overcome these?
Of course they have legitimate concerns. I can’t address them because I can’t guarantee the success of my ideas.
30. What interests or hobbies have you had in the past few years that intrigue you and might hold the potential for a life passion?
Travel writing would be a nice combination of interests.
31. Are you willing to spend time engaging with these interests to learn more — by volunteering, part-time work, interning, finding a mentor, etc.?
Willing, yes. But it is not practical to travel at this time. Without the travel part the writing will just be rehashing what is already out there – using photographs I wasn’t there to take and writing about places I have only read about.
32. If you think you know what your passion might be, what specific work have you done to learn more about it and really experience it? What are you willing to do?
I took Corporate Communications in college. That was great for learning how to write in plain and sensible English. But, that was quite awhile ago. I’m currently writing for other sites and several of my own. It’s an easy form of progress.
33. Do you have enough savings to allow you to live for 6 months during a job transition or while you search for your passion?
No. I don’t have any savings and I don’t want to fall into the trap of living on credit again.
34. What can you do to create a cushion of savings if you don’t have any?
Sell my blood to a hungry vampire. More practically, I could write and try to get published at places that pay better.
35. What is the minimal salary you can live with?
Pretty minimal so far, less than this doesn’t work out so well.
36. Would you be willing to downsize your lifestyle in order to live your passion?
I don’t own anything other than my computer, a lot of books and the typical clothes, flotsam and jetsam. I’ve already downsized.
37. What is the very worst thing that could happen if you decided to pursue your passion? Could you live with that?
The worst thing would be failure. It wouldn’t kill me but what would be left to keep me going if I lose.
38. What is the actual likelihood of this worst thing happening?
At least 50/50.
39. What would your ideal day look like? Describe it in detail from morning until bedtime.
A sunny, quiet morning with snow outside. My man servant brings me coffee and fresh fruit salad. I get dressed and all that stuff. Then I sit in my home office to write for a few hours. I take a break and the man and I go out into town for some errands, a latte, a stop at the bookstore or somewhere special. Maybe we go for a drive and find an abandoned mansion to photograph and end up staying overnight in a grand hotel.
40. What is something (or several things) you’d really like to achieve before you die?
I don’t really have a bucket list. I would have liked to travel and see more of the world and the old places. Maybe give Loch Ness a visit to see if I get a lucky photograph of Nessie. Marriage and kids are too far out of the picture at this point. I would like to be a smaller size, I’m working on that.
41. What have you done toward making those happen?
42. Would you be willing to work in a less-than-passionate job in order to live your passion outside of work or as a part-time job?
I’ve done that a few times over. You really do feel you have hit the bottom when you work at telemarketing, not just once but a few times over the years.
43. If you woke up nearly every day feeling content, fulfilled, and happy about your life and work, how would that impact you physically, mentally, emotionally, in your relationships, and in your self-confidence?
I’d might work less at pleasing other people and yet, I still would like to see other people feel positive and good and bring that out into the world with them.
44. How has living a less-than-passionate life impacted you? Give specific examples.
I’ve been stuck in the same rut, spinning wheels for a long time. I don’t sink but I don’t have the success I would feel good about either.
45. What would make you feel proud of yourself?
I feel proud of myself when I finish things which were hard.
46. How are you living, acting, or talking that isn’t really you?
I’m second guessing myself and playing a chameleon.
47. If you could start fresh all over again with your life and career, what would you do differently?
When I was 16 and had quit school to work full time I would have found a way to stick with that. Even though the woman I was renting the apartment from made it a bad place to be – could have moved elsewhere rather than returning to try again with school and living at home. I was having trouble keeping up at work but I liked the job. My boss would have helped if I had not been too timid about asking. But, you can’t know all these things when you see them from your view point then. Now, looking back I can see it differently.
48. Can you go back for a “re-do” on any of these things? If you answer “no,” are you absolutely sure?
I’m sure I don’t have a time machine.
49. If you live to age 90, how many days do you have left to live? (90 minus your current age times 365)
I’m not answering that.
50. How many of those days are you willing to live disliking your life, your work, your relationships, or yourself?
That’s a very leading question.