What Are You Passionate About?

“What are you passionate about?”

“How do you want to impact the world around you?”

“What do you want to do with your life?”

These are the kind of questions young people are asked all the time, even in job interviews. Some people say music. Some people say sports. Some people can talk about physics for hours and others can’t wait to go on their daily run. The best part about life is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer. There are so many subjects, professional pursuits, and hobbies to appreciate, fortify, and share with the world.

The things we’re passionate about don’t completely define who we are, but they do influence how we see ourselves, how we present ourselves to others, and even what we value. Still, that doesn’t mean knowing what we’re passionate about is always crystal clear for all of us, which can make pursuing a degree or career difficult.

You need experience, opportunities, and time to reflect and find what you’re passionate about, which is what young adulthood is for. This article is about intentionally creating and seizing those opportunities to learn about yourself and what you love. 


Why Finding Your Passion Is Important

This ongoing search isn’t just about getting the answer to “what are you passionate about?” There is much more at stake. If you can find what you’re passionate about, you can be more intentional with your time, your education, and your future. Knowing yourself and the things you love and excel at gives you more control over your choices and leads to lasting, meaningful happiness. 

We go to school and have jobs not just for a secure financial future, but for a fulfilling future, too. Everybody impacts the world, for better or for worse, and when you know how you want to do that, it makes you powerful, independent, and most importantly, content. 

This doesn’t mean you have to be a professional athlete if you’re passionate about sports, or that you have to be an engineer if you’re good at math. But, knowing what makes you tick can help you find what you want to do with your life and how you want to contribute to society. Discovering your purpose often starts with discovering your passions.


How To Find What Your Passionate About

So someone asked you: “what are you passionate about?” – Where do you go from here? The first part of finding your passions is asking the right questions. The second part is taking action by trying things that stand out. Don’t overthink it—this is all about what strikes your interest, what appeals to you, what you want to learn about. Remember: finding your passion isn’t about natural skill, it’s about curiosity and engagement. Here are 8 questions to ask yourself or experiences to try to discover what you’re passionate about.


Pay Attention to What Makes You Happy

Get in tune with your emotions and reflect on when you’re most happy. When you’re creating something? When you find the perfect solution to a problem? During competition? While helping other people? Conversing about deep topics? Simplify it: journal about moments of satisfaction or enjoyment.


What Can You Not Stop Thinking About?

Whatever you can’t get off your mind, it’s likely you care greatly about it.  If you are constantly thinking about ways to be more eco-friendly or reading articles about environmental legislation, you might be passionate about addressing our climate crisis. If you’ve been analyzing the latest book you read or movie you watched for weeks, you might be passionate about storytelling. If you’ve always been fascinated by space travel and enjoy contemplating other-worldly possibilities, you might especially enjoy astronomy. 

What else do you think about often? What do you especially look forward to? What events or activities stick with you, even when they’re over?


Talk to People Who You Trust

Ask someone that knows you well and that you trust and see how they see you. Ask them when they’ve seen you thrive or a memory they have of you seeming especially happy. Those that we trust and who we know care about us can often help us see things about ourselves that we overlook. You may even pose the question to them, asking “what are you passionate about?” Their answers may inspire you to explore something new.


Read Books, Articles, and News

Start researching and surrounding yourself with content that informs and inspires you. Our passions drive us to learn more, increase our expertise, and stay on top of the latest trends. Soak up all that knowledge and see where it takes you.


Follow Pages or People that Discuss Your Passion 

Speaking of expertise, the professionals and enthusiasts of topics you’re interested in regularly post videos, add commentary, and inform their followers about everything you need to know. If you love getting regular updates and seeing certain topics on your feed, you’re likely developing an interest. That interest can easily evolve into something you’re passionate about.


Join an Organization or Club

Get together with others and participate in events that are doing things that interest you. Whether you’re trying to decide if you really like it after you’ve done a little research, or if you’re looking to be exposed to something different, a club or organization is a great place to start.


Try Something New to Compare 

You might be noticing a trend: if you want to discover your passions, you’ve got to learn, learn, learn. If you don’t know how to gauge whether you like something or not, try something new. If you don’t love it, that’s okay: now you know what actually catches your attention. If you do enjoy it, you’ve got another path to consider and explore! Sign up for a class, ask a friend or loved one to show you something they enjoy, or at least be willing to try things you aren’t immediately good at.


 Remember: Finding Your Passion Takes Time

You don’t need to have all the answers right now, especially if you’re young and figuring out adulthood. Finding and developing the things you’re passionate about isn’t ticking off a box or scrambling for something to say on an application. Passions come over the course of a lifetime, even for well-lived adults.


How Do You Know, Really?

So, what are you passionate about? The answer isn’t always black and white, but here are a couple of indicators:

  • You happily work hard for it
  • Success is a part of your enjoyment, but you would often do this activity without a reward
  • Time moves quickly because you’re so engaged in the work
  • You may be tired after hard work, but you are also emotionally energized and fulfilled
  • As stated above, you think about it often and care about seeing progress and improvement


Examples of Things To Be Passionate About

Here is a (not comprehensive) list of some common interests that you may consider or try for yourself next time you’re asked “what are you passionate about?” 

  • Animals
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Competition
  • Cooking or Baking
  • Design
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Gender Equality
  • Health and fitness
  • History
  • Humanitarian work
  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Makeup
  • Music
  • Organization
  • Plants
  • Psychology
  • Racial Justice
  • Relationships
  • Service
  • Sewing
  • Social issues
  • Sports
  • Theater
  • Video Games
  • Woodworking
  • Writing


Passion Drives Greatness

Wherever you land in life, your impact matters, and impact is rooted in what we choose to care about. Your motivations, leadership, and skills are more needed than ever to better the world. The answer to “what are you passionate about” doesn’t have to be concrete, but pursuing those answers is how you pursue greatness and happiness.

Start journaling, start trying new things, start taking more opportunities: discovering what you’re passionate about should be exciting and meaningful!

Here at Global Year Citizen we asked ourselves “what are you passionate about?” and the answer was simple. We are devoted to helping young adults find more meaning in their lives. Our programs are designed to help you develop perspectives, skills, and networks that will serve you now and in the future. Learn more about our life-changing opportunities today!