Do you sometimes think to yourself, “only if there was something I love to do I could make better use of my free time”? Do you hate your job or jump from job to job hoping you’ll finally land that one that you love? Or do you dream of starting your own business but can’t come up with an idea that excites you and serves Islam at the same time? Don’t worry, it’s normal. Chances are you haven’t yet found your passion. Or it could just be that you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to explore what you’re really passionate about.
Benjamin Disraeli, a 19th century British Prime Minister, once said, “Man is only great when he acts from passion.” When you act from passion, you’re willing to go the extra mile, and giving 200% becomes standard. But to make this excellence possible, you have to know what your passion is, connect it to Islam for optimal rewards, and then pursue it. Here are some brainstorming activities to get you on the road to discover your inner drive.
1. What are you good at?
Don’t say “nothing”! Everyone has unique characteristics that they were created with. What skills and talents do you have? Are you a good writer, speaker, teacher, listener, hostess, friend? Are you good at motivating, networking, drawing, gardening, selling? Think about when you were young, what areas did you do well in? Where you good at memorizing, making peace in the playground, coming up with the funnest ideas? Think as far back as possible to all the things that you did really well in; a speech, a presentation, a project, a fundraiser, a job, organizing an event, a dinner or gathering, an Islamic conference etc. Take about minutes to jot down on paper all the things you’re good at. If you did really well in something once, that’s proof enough that you’re good at doing that thing.
2. What excites you?
Really take some time to answer this. It may be something you do occasionally with family, or friends, or alone. Is there one aspect of your job you love? Is there one thing that you never say no to? It could be something you do regularly at home with the kids, or something you do outside the house, and wish you could do it more often. Or it could be attending an Islamic class, seminar, or conference and not being discouraged by the price or commute because of your love for studying religion. Ask yourself, what is that one thing that if you knew you were doing tomorrow would make you want to go to bed early and wake up super excited. Really explore this area because that thing that would make jump out of bed in the morning could be your passion.
3. What do you read about or listen to most?
What type of books or articles are you usually drawn too? Take a look at your bookmarks, top sites, and search engines and make a list of the blogs and websites you visit regularly. What’s the common theme? Is it Islam, business, parenting, health and fitness, DIY, non-profit charities? Unless your passion is reading in itself, if there is a common theme in your reading and browsing choices, it’s likely connected to something you’re passionate about, especially if you can read on this topic for long hours and never notice the time.
4. What do you daydream about?
Do you ever loose yourself in a daydream where you craft a whole new life or an amazing future that leaves you feeling ecstatic once you come out of the trance? Yeah, you were probably living a lifestyle according to your passion. So what was it? What are the majority of your day dreams about and what are you doing in those dreams that leave you happy in your awake state.
5. If you could have a mentor who would it be?
Make a list of people, male or female, who you would like as a mentor. What is it about each person that you admire and what would you want them to mentor you on? This will help you understand what type of people you are drawn to. Listing what you admire specifically about them will tell you what aspect of their life you’re interesting in. Two people may admire the same person for different reasons, each according to their individual interests. For example, one person may consider a successful self-publishing author as a role model because of her accomplishments in writing amazing stories, while another may admire her for her entrepreneurism. What you’re drawn to or notice in people most could be linked to your passion.
6. Experiment and try.
By now, a few topic areas are probably ringing in your head or scream at you from your lists. Try out some of the things you’ve written down and start experimenting with them. You can start a blog or website, volunteer your time, start a new hobby, organize an activity at the next gathering etc. Experimenting and trying things out will push you to research the area more. When you find yourself doing things to improve, and can’t wait to implement or share what you learn… you’re getting closer. Rarely are we motivated to learn and implement something we’re not passionate about.
7. Narrow things down.
From the last step, you might have noticed that somethings excited you and made you hungry for more, while other things we’re dropped at the first search engine results. Narrow your list down to 3-5 things.
8. Which one of these can earn you the most rewards?
The great thing about Islam is that you can turn any halal activity into an act of worship simply by the intention. Now you can do what you love, and be rewarded for it! Ask yourself, and write down, which one of these things, if you pursue would help others. How will pursuing this thing make you a better Muslimah? How will it improve you as a mom or wife? Can you use it to teach your children? Can you turn it into a business and give charity from the earnings? Can you empower yourself and others by it?
Whatever your passion is, find a way to link it to your ultimate purpose in life: the worship of Allaah. When you link your passion to attaining the pleasure of Allaah, you tap in to the real source of drive and motivation, and you become unstoppable in the path of success!
Can’t wait to hear about your passion in the comments section!