At Don’t Dread Monday, we talk a lot about developing your passionate core. This term might be a bit confusing, so allow me to explain. Your passionate core is made up of the two to five needs that must find expression in your life and career for you to have sustained energy, passion, and success.
This is different from following your passion. It requires more introspection than simply finding an activity you like and trying to make a career out of it, which often leads to burnout and disillusionment. This is because passions—hobbies and activities we enjoy doing—are transient and continually shifting.
But when you dig deeper, exploring the reasons why you enjoy your passions, you will tap into the source of your purpose and creativity. Identifying your passionate core will provide you with the energy, direction, and flexibility to bring your passions into your work and the organizations you chose to work in.
Let me give you an example from my own life. As a kid, there were many things I was passionate about, some for only days and others for years. At one point I loved playing the guitar, and I still love music to this day. My love of travel inspired me to want to become a pilot as a teenager, to no avail. I also enjoyed working with my hands and spent many summers as a teenager working in landscaping. I was actually planning on becoming a carpenter after graduating high school, but my life took a different turn.
Looking back on it, all of these passions and desires stemmed from my passionate core, though I wasn’t aware of it then. I loved music because I loved the raw emotional connection between the musician and the listener. I loved traveling because I valued independence. I wanted to be a carpenter because I enjoyed building something tangible from the ground up.
The reasons behind my passions—or my passionate core—still drive me to this day, though the outlet for them has shifted. I’ve been able to carry my passionate core into my career and work in a job that allows me connections, independence, and the ability to build a company.
The same can be done in your life. With your passionate core as your source, you won’t need to look for other remedies to solve a mediocre career. Standard solutions like a greater work-life balance, a clearer career path, or better pay may reenergize you in the short term, but your level of real career success will still be determined by your level of alignment with your passionate core.
So take the time to be introspective. Dive into your passionate core and watch it change your life. This task may seem daunting, or you may not really know how to begin. If you want an expert to lead you through the process, consider booking a session with one of our career coaches. As always, feel free to contact us via our website or call us at 800.680.7768 for more information. We look forward to helping you uncover your passionate core.