Having Trouble Finding Your Passion in Life?

When I entered college, I did not know what I wanted to do with my life, I did not know what I was passionate in. I felt like I was mainly in college because everyone else in high school wanted to go and it just seemed like the “correct” thing to do. Growing up in a 1st generation Asian family, I was often times compared with many of the other kids around my age. They always just seem to know what they want to do in life.

Most of the time…I fell short. I was only above average in the sciences and my English was below average. Math was okay for me but I was not good enough to be the math wiz, and history kept putting me to sleep. I just did not feel smart enough. My friends were getting 3.6+ GPA, whereas I was stuck in the 2.9 to 3.1 GPA range. I would visit counselors at my school for advice like MANY students. Unfortunately, I was told to consider seeking a different career.

I often think, “you know…maybe others are right, I might just be that guy who will end up working at McDonald’s one day.” Of course, I didn’t give up just yet, I was open to any possible solution. Some time passed and one day, in one of my classes, I was given this one life-changing assignment.

The Book that Changes Lives

As a class assignment, I was told to buy this one book. I used to be the person who buys ALL the textbooks for class, only to find out later that I rarely read them anyway. It did not feel like the greatest use of my finances since I was already poor, so I started to train myself to NOT get textbooks anymore. I did okay in school just relying on the PowerPoint slides. So I would say I started to get used to it.

Unfortunately, this one book was required to get through one of my classes. Additionally, I could not escape getting it “used” because ONLY the new version contains a key code. This book is titled Strengths Finder 2.0. This ended up being one the few books I read for school and happened to be one of my favorites. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

The Problem with Society

Before I get into what the book is about, I wanted to talk a little bit about society. Society these days (from my experience) is very focused on producing individuals who are the richest, wisest, smartest, fittest, most popular, bravest, you name it. Unfortunately, not everyone of us is as privileged or as gifted as some (but maybe you might be!).

Consequently, this takes the attention away from the self toward something more external beyond our control. This can create a lot of self-defeating thoughts and high stress. As a result, we often find ourselves comparing with others in various categories only to find out we have fallen short.

If you have a group of different animals and the focus is on “climbing the tree”…the fish, elephant, and giraffe might not do so well while the monkey, sloth, and koala will flourish. BUT…whoever made “climbing the tree” the standard, have they taken the time to consider what the fish, elephant, and giraffe may be good at?

So What’s Special About this Book?

Strengths Finder 2.0 is one of those books that does the exact opposite of society, it aims to build you up. Rather than focusing on what we CANNOT do, this book helps you to discover what you CAN do and what your valuable characteristics are.

This is where that key code comes in handy. This key code takes you to a survey of questions. It will ask questions like how likely are you to do A and B in this situation. After taking that survey, the program will determine what your top 5 strengths are out of the 34 or so. From there, the book contains information about the various strengths and teach you how to enhance them.

By focusing on one’s strength, it can help minimize or even potentially eliminate negativity within an organization. If all members of an organization focuses on positivity, it will lead to a more happy and successful organization.

An Example Strength

When I took the survey test, one of my strengths was actually empathy. I used to look down at why I was such a sensitive and weak person for a guy because of society. I’ve seen other males and they are like some of the toughest people I know! Why couldn’t I be more like them?

But the Strengths Finders 2.0 book helped me to turn empathy into a strength. When others go through a hard time, I feel their pain. When they fail a test or lose a loved one, I feel that pain. This is vital in fields like counseling, healthcare, and education.

Perhaps even why society can sometimes come off as ignorant and “malicious” today is because of they were victims themselves. They might not have been shown what understanding, love, and care is. Maybe they had an abusive upbringing and that’s what led them to have that outlook on life. Or maybe they just had a bad day.

Conclusion

As it turned out, college was actually a VERY necessary time to really discover myself. Who I am, what my likes and dislikes are, what I wanted to do, etc. were things I was able to learn. Essentially, it was a time of trial and error with MANY failures at every step of the way. I had previously thought it was a waste of time (and money). Seemed like it was just learning things that I would probably never use again anyway. Never have I ever been more wrong. I sometimes use the science I learned back then to understand things I experience today.

The most important thing to remember is that all those failures we endured are all part of the journey and a collection of valuable experiences that can NEVER be replaced. I am who I am today because of all those experiences (both negative and positive). What really helps is to NOT look at the failures as only a bad thing. Rather, try to see it as growing and learning opportunities (something more positive).

For example, if I did poorly on a test, I can reflect back on what led up to that moment, did I study enough? Did I not give myself enough breaks or was too hard on myself? Perhaps my studying technique is not effective? Maybe I needed a study buddy?

By asking these questions, I can learn how to prepare better for the next test and implement new strategies until I find the method that works and is consistent. Through these many “failures” and trial and error attempts to find a solution, it will eventually lead to success. This thinking process is another strength of mine: adaptability.

Summary

The Strengths Finder 2.0 book helps you to discover what your strengths are (your positives) and to FOCUS on building upon that. This is critical to know when you are out in the world applying for jobs or even higher education. When you have the extra energy and time, maybe then try to focus on building and correcting your weaknesses. Sadly, we grew up in a society where we focused too much on the negatives and what we are NOT good at. This aspect of society needs to change.

I mentioned earlier that I might be the guy working at McDonald’s for life and was told MANY times over that I won’t get anywhere in life? Well, today, I am in studying in a Master’s Program and nearly about to graduate. Hard to believe that I actually spent over 5 years applying to programs. Even after that, I won’t stop there but will continue to build myself up and seek to learn even more.

Life has so much to offer so life long learning all the way! If I can make it this far EVEN with all my failures, then I can say WITH CONFIDENCE that you CAN make it to where you want to be also! Good luck with all your current/future endeavors! (Click here to read about how to achieve ANY goal).

Did you enjoy this life hack on finding your strengths which may help guide you in determining your passion in life? Please leave a comment below!

20 thoughts on “Having Trouble Finding Your Passion in Life?”

  1. This is a very crucial topic you have written this brilliant article on. I am not a researcher or psychologist, but can tell that this occurs in the life of most teenagers entering college or the university. I’ve been there, back when I was about to enter college. Thanks to my dad for properly guiding me to choosing a passion for myself and getting past this stage of my life. Thanks for sharing this information about this book that can help in such situation. I am of the opinion that every teenager should look for books like this to guide them at the early stage.

    Reply
    • Hi there, Nelson! I am glad to hear that your dad was a huge factor in your guidance in finding a passion. I agree with you that teenagers should look for these types of books to help guide them early on. It’s crazy how people get hit at some point in their lives with having to choose between paths that can lead them to completely different lives. One wrong decision can really do a lot of harm whereas other decisions can bring a lot of rewards. Making these decisions can be very uncomfortable. Although they may not seek it at the time, any assistive resources (even if small) will help significantly.

      Reply
  2. I think we have all been there once or twice in life. I know I am. I highly suggest this amazing book called Man’s search for meaning. If Viktor can make it, we also can. Anyways, I was in the same situation as yours before. But for me it weren’t just my friends, it was my parents kept reciting to me that I have to go to college as well. Even though I was still figuring out what filed do I want to study, But “I shouldn’t waste my time” so I studied the classic “The BA”, the notorious jack of all trade and here I am still figuring out what I want to do with my life. 

    You are right, we often confused the society standard with “our” standard. As human being the feeling acceptance is important to live in the society. I think there has to be a balance line between those. I personally learned that the hard way. 

    I have to check Strength Finder 2.0 out, where is the best place I can get the book?  

    Reply
    • Hello there! I feel you…life definitely has its twist and turns. I, too, have heard the phrase of “one shouldn’t waste their time doing this and that” all too many times. But in the end, I truly do not think it is a waste at all. Those experiences, although can be tough, are all part of the journey that help shape who we are today. I think the harder the experiences we endured, the stronger we become. By getting experience in areas that you realized later is not your ideal path, you still essentially grow in that area! Pretty soon, by taking part in many experiences (both ones you like and dislike), you would end up being a jack of all trades from these all those collective experiences.

      In addition, I’ve met people who brag about how their children are already doing this and that, in this career before you, etc. But you know what I think? If I do end up with that career of choice one day and when others’ children retire one day (in the same field)…I will just work X amount of years to make up for the lost time. Nothing is truly lost.

      I will look into the Man’s Search for Meaning. Perhaps I’ll create a post on it when I get the chance to read it some day 🙂

      The link to buy Strength Finders 2.0 is on my page. There should be an Amazon affiliate link attached. I can add multiple links to the book so that it is easier to find and not in just one spot.

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  3. Glad I decided to stick around your website and learn a little more about what you have to give out to the world. Your life hacks are truly helpful and I must say that what you’ve presented here is certainly a great tool for a life crisis where someone is trying to find out what their passion is in life so thank you so much for this article 

    Reply
    • Hi there, Misael! I am happy to hear that you’ve been sticking around my website and that my life hacks have been helpful! I’ve been in the situation all too many times where I run into something, discover a life hack in the process, and wonder…how come I did not know this sooner? I wish someone told me about this! Therefore, I hope to provide others with that opportunity 🙂

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  4. I was once given this book by someone who asked me to go through it prior to an interview to work on their team. While I did find the book / tool and insights to be helpful, I was a little unnerved by having an entire interview about how the hiring manager was pleased that I possessed a “strength” that his team currently did not have. 

    In summary, it’s a great tool for personal growth, but it really shouldn’t be used as the exclusive way to evaluate potential new employees.

    Reply
    • Hello Aly! Thank you for your comment! Ah, I’m sorry you had to go through an interview like that and I can see where you are coming from. You essentially become like a “weapon” or “tool” of the organization which kind of takes away the human aspect and character part of it. Hopefully people at your current occupation see you for who you are rather than as just a “strength” for the organization. I agree with you that it should not be the exclusive way to evaluate new employees.

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  5. I enjoy reading about your college experiences and honesty.  I’m so glad that you found a book that you like.  Books are great for building people up like you explain in your article.  Thanks for sharing this great article “having trouble finding your passion in life in a life crisis.”  I will be buying this book for a friend that could benefit from it.

    Reply
    • Hello AlyseS! The book has done wonders for me and I am sure it will do the same for others as well. Thank you for getting one for your friend, that is very thoughtful of you and I am sure she will greatly appreciate it 🙂

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  6. I am really excited to order this book and to discover my own strengths after experiencing a similar time to you in school. I  believe each of us has something to give and knowing our strengths is of crucial importance to allow each of us reach our own individual potential. This may be what society expects of us or it could be something totally different which in most cases is even more exciting. 

    Reply
    • Hello there, Nikki! I am also excited for you to discover your strengths. You will start to approach life and its obstacles with a different outlook.

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  7. I am sure we all have been there. One day we are just so lost and think to ourselves what are we supposed to do with our lives. I have been having that mid life crisis a few times without this pandemic. I’m sure with this pandemic it made it worse. Thank you for sharing about Strength Finder 2.0. I am going to check the book out and thanks for the synopsis of this book. 

    Reply
    • Hello there, Nuttanee. The pandemic has taken a toll on many people. But sometimes I think hardships like that may actually be a “blessing” in disguise. Not that it’s something we want to happen, but that sometimes, through those hardships, it helps us to become stronger individuals and people really unite together more to come up with better solutions. Of course, there are also those that received the opposite effect too where the pandemic just made it worse. It just depends on how one views it, like that analogy with the glass “half full” vs. “half empty”. Anyways, hope you find that book beneficial for you too!

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  8. More people need to read this post. I agree that society puts us in a box and places too many expectations on us that not everyone can meet. As a teacher I see this in school too, and I don’t like it. The system has to change. Children have to learn to think outside of the box and to focus on their strengths. Your example with climbing the tree is spot on; this is exactly how schools operate, and schools ultimately prepare future adults for this society we live in …

    Empathy is a strength, but it is a hard one to carry. I also have a lot of empathy and it often gets to me. I feel a lot of things from other people and animals, joy, pain, tears, and it affects me strongly sometimes. So, someone who has empathy is definitely strong, having the ability to feel so much from others. In my opinion, a lack of empathy is a weakness, for you lack the ability to relate. I understand, though, how people may react. The “boys don’t cry” belief and all that … I think that it is changing a little bit, little by little, but not enough.

    The book sounds interesting, and I would like to have a look at it.

    Reply
    • Hello there, Christine! That’s awesome that you are a teacher and always looking out for your students. I agree that the system needs to change, it’s currently puts a lot of stress on the younger generation who has so much potential within them. 

      Empathy and even other characteristics all have strengths and weaknesses to them. It mainly comes down to how one decides to use them. Not being too extreme but about finding the right balance. Hopefully you can discover more strengths with this book!

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  9. I thought this article was very well written.  I am of the firm belief that everyone has a special talent, it just takes some people longer to figure what that talent is.  We all spend too much time comparing ourselves to others, especially as teenagers.  When you get older, you will find that it does not matter what others are doing only what you are able to accomplish.  We do not have to be the top of the class.  We only need to be the best we can be!

    Reply
    • Hello there, Kay! I totally agree with you about how everyone has that one special talent. Each person always has something to offer back to society. Some of those talents may not be discovered yet, but it is definitely there.

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  10. An amazing subject. This book StrengthsFinder 2.0 Hardcover – February 1, 2007,  I should purchase for reading. I will. Definitely! I feel the same, week, sensitive, week, because of the society often been bullying and discriminated.

    It is very true that we are who we are now because of the life experience, I completely agree with this.

    In this grieving society, I believe people tend to exploit sensitive ones and take their sensitiveness as a weakness. 

    But hey, life teaches us that throughout the steady bricks the light comes out and shine for good. And what doesn’t kill us will definitely make us strong. 

    Reply
    • Hello there! Thank you for your comment. Definitely agree with you there about what doesn’t kill us will definitely make us stronger! Hope you get to learn more your strengths after checking this book out.

      Reply

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