Are You Passionate or Curious?

questionsThe oft repeated mantra to clients in transition had been to seek out their passion, follow it and the money will somehow be manifested. If only life could be so well orchestrated that your deepest desires and interests would also provide a reliable stream of income. While anything is possible, and ideally the work you do will in great part be congruent with your values, skills and interests, how does passion play a role and what about curiosity? How are they connected?

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

Is it the chicken and egg question, also referred to as the causality dilemma? The latter refers to the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is a consequence of the first.

If you are curious by nature, are you likely to be more engaged in collecting information and learning new things? How long will your interest be sustained beyond the superficial unless there is more to maintain your attention? Some people are serially occupied by learning and satisfied to become knowledgeable about many things. In bygone times when we actually visited bookstores, did you wander everywhere or tend to gravitate towards particular areas? The same can be said for on-line sites. Do you jump around regularly or become more expert with specific sites for learning new information?

Remember the early days of a relationship, whether platonic or romantic, and not knowing if it could develop into something more? That excitement may have turned into passion, and deepened, or flamed out. In the workplace you may have been attracted to an industry or called to a profession because you were passionate about its values or the impact you could make.

Passion is an exciting emotion and it feeds us. Curiosity relates to an eagerness to know more about something or to get information. Inquisitiveness may lead you beyond the initial burst of enthusiasm or it can actually be the accelerant that fans the flames of passion. Curiosity expands our world, leads to great discoveries and engenders passion in many forms. Both are inextricably connected but when the passion wanes the inquiring mind may provide another way to retain the spark and focus on new directions with abandon to become, like Einstein, passionately curious.


5-Tips for Career Changers

binoculars1. Look at the issues that make you crave change and outline your goals
What are you satisfied with about your current situation? What are you dissatisfied with? Is it your boss or the culture of your organization? Or do you really want to change careers? Outline your goals- for example, more money, more time off or more flexibility. Write it all down.

2. Work to understand your inner critic
Observe thoughts that trap you with fear and prevent you from achieving your objectives. Write these down on a piece of paper, then crumple it up and throw it away to symbolize your freedom from thoughts that interfere with your goals and dreams.

3. Recognize recurring patterns in your life
What makes you happy? What are your recurring interests and social needs? What makes a work environment feel good or not so good to you? Write it down.

4. Network and investigate career interests that map to your goals and needs
Once you’ve identified your patterns and desires, start thinking about careers that make sense for you. Give yourself one to three months to explore your curiosity by finding people who do these jobs and talking about the pros and cons of their work. Explore anything and everything until you’re satisfied — or until your time runs out.

5. Make a plan that takes your financial situation into account
Change is never simple, but having a plan that outlines your steps and financial requirements makes it doable. Will your new career require additional education, a small business loan, time off from work or relocation? Make a plan with financial considerations and a realistic timeline that you can follow through on.