“You need to be exposed to many things,” she told me. “You should expose yourself even though you might not know if you’ll be interested.” When you find something that catches your attention: follow-up; see if it sticks. In other words, discovering passion requires a dedication to unstructured exploration.
You have to leave large swathes of free time in your schedule (a technique I call underscheduling), and fill this time with the exploration of things that might be interesting. Of equal importance, when something catches your attention you must leverage your free time to aggressively follow up. As Caldwell’s research reveals, true passion can’t be forced. You can participate in personality tests and self-reflection exercises until you drop from exhaustion, but it’s unstructured exploration coupled with aggressive follow-ups that most consistently leads people to a life-consuming interest.
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