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Ahmed Soliman

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How to find your true passion and what you want to spend the rest of your life doing?

At some point of his great talk, he says that he meets many different types of people, some of who really love what they're doing and can't see themselves doing anything else, because it's simply who they are, not what they do, my question is that, how do you find that you want to be doing for the rest of your life and can't see yourself doing anything else? Anyone with a previous experience can tell us their story and how they got there, or anyone else still in the process tell us about their strategy and how it works may help us conclude to a result.

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Closing Statement from Ahmed Soliman

I think the answer in this question lies in knowing your dominant type of intelligent, there's a theory by Howard Gardner that says there are 7 types of human intelligence, linguistic, mathematical, musical, kinesthetic (bodily), visual, interpersonal and intrapersonal.
There could be many extra types of intelligence, but the answer lies in this idea, figuring out your natural intelligence, improving it, and practicing it.

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  • May 10 2013: Hey Ahmed,

    I'm a young working professional who only came to discover what I loved doing about 4-5 years ago. I'm not sure about yourself, but when I had begun college, I was really struggling. I didn't know what I wanted to study or do with my life, and I was craving something, but I didn't know what it was. As a result, I spent 3 years, stacking up lots of loans (bad decision on my part), jumping from one major to the next. One term i was studying Civil Engineering, the next it was Psychology. I don't regret those three years - if anything, I developed an expansive general knowledge on multiple topics as a result.

    I discovered architecture completely by accident. And I didn't even knew what it felt like to be passionate about something until I studied architecture. I'm not sure who or what to credit for it -- it could have been the accidental "Modern Architecture in Context" class I took while studying abroad in London with the English department, or it may have been something I read by accident about designing buildings -- either way, once I got a taste for it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's become something that I love doing, and I wouldn't change what my chosen profession for anything else in the world. Kind of like you said -- it became a part of who I am. And shouldn't everyone's career be similar to that? We spend 40 hours, 5 days a week, doing something. It's bound to become a part of what defines us. So I'm glad that what defines me is something I'm deeply passionate about.

    I'm sure everyone's story is completely different. But I thought I'd share mine, just in case there was a kernel of helpful information within.
    • May 11 2013: Thank you for sharing your great story, so obviously the main factor that helped you through your journey has been the coincidence, I just hope everybody would hare their stories so we may conclude to a general pattern, but I'm afraid the conclusion would be that there's not conclusion and everyone has to find it their own way, thank you very much though :)
  • May 11 2013: I think the answer is to try different things and make a reasonable assessment about what you liked and disliked about each experience. Move towards the job that offers more of your likes. When you think you have found something with enough likes to keep you interested and happy for the rest of your working life, stick with it and try to excel at it.
  • May 10 2013: Start by doing whatever you are in charge of doing right. If you learn to do things right you will enjoy almost any task. Finding what you really like will also be easier. No magic though. To test if something is good for you you have to do it right first, not just imagine that it's not your thing.
    • May 11 2013: Testing until you find it, I've been through a similar discussion before and we concluded to that one has to try everything and never say no, yet I got to think about the endless number of possibilities and activities one could get engaged of, it never ends, and it's gonna eat your life and time, yet it's enjoyable and worth it, the discussion will be continuing for the coming days and we'll see what we conclude to, thank you very much for your participation :)
      • May 12 2013: I didn't say test everything. That would be impossible. I said do whatever you are supposed to do right. You might discover many things that you enjoy this way. I know I have. It's not been easy. But doing things right has worked marvellously for me.
  • Jun 10 2013: Resistance!
  • Jun 2 2013: I think it's something you feel a burst of energy in, timelessness. And everybody has a hint of it, it's that most don't revolt to do that.
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    May 12 2013: Personally?
    Find what makes you go into a "state of Flow", and where you didn't need any extrinsic motivation to do so.
    You are willing to do it for the internal gratification you get, and are willing to spend masses amount of time on it. (10,000 hours to gain "world class mastery" at it!)
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    May 12 2013: There may be a way for you, or anyone for that matter Ahmed to help you discover what it is you are good at and what it is you enjoy. Many years back I did a test at a major governmental learning institution. It wasn't a right or wrong test as you may imagine but rather a series of questions that you answered as to the degree you agreed or disagreed with them. Your answers were then cross pollinated against some 200 different job types and a unique personalised result was given. It told you what sort of work you would most enjoy and were suited to and what were, not so well suited. You should be able to google some type of similar test and I'm sure it will help you on your quest! :D
    • May 12 2013: That sounds interesting! :D I'll check that out, thank you very much :)
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    May 11 2013: I may be able to pass on this insight ..Ahmed..I explain self awareness and the gift of living a life genuine to this state in a story.... If you are able to imagine..If I knew more about you I could customize the insight to firmly affix to your values..but I dont..SO What would inspire you to cross a dangerous road...spare parts,a party,some money,an animal..ect...this answer indicates what motivates you...I would cross mostly for interesting objects( i enjoy designing things) Now it is interesting inner blindness about oneself is such a roadblock to happiness...this question is in fact could be very important. Try practicing this thought,use others as a test...Why would your best friend cross a difficult road...money,admiration,a weird object,..Once you know what your spiritual muscle is willing to work on with little desire alone as its pulse..you are self aware at this level..now what to do with this truth....immerse yourself in the chosen field at any level,any where intially...As a designer I crave creative processes...I dont care what I create..boxes,shoes,furniture,haircuts,murals...The object does not define the value..the act of design is my lifeblood...If you are a people person...having a quiet isolated job would drain your life force...so be thorough in your internal mapping of what motivates you.Here is the good news..what you are good at is probably already apparent..you just need to develop the inner sight to see yourself at an angle that few are able to do...but like love...it is a real thing and with caution you are going to get your intent. Another way I encountered a life career is I was unwilling to have a job that included things I am unable to endure,unfairness,cruelty,inequality,(math) sitting for long periods...so in this way I avoided at least becoming commited to a life of misery...if I was unable to find my joy....I wish you the inner flash of selfawareness which will lead to a life of wisedom and gratitude
    • May 12 2013: Thank you very much for that, I'll take this thought in consideration for sure. Glad that you already found your true passion :)
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    May 11 2013: I think the secret is to enjoy whatever is in your life at any given time. Make the most of every opportunity. I feel for folks who live for holidays & retirement. Live life & go with the flow.

    :-)
    • May 12 2013: Thank you very much for your participation, I already am trying to do that by now instead of just waiting to discover my true passion :)
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    May 11 2013: Got to look for it. You'll probably experience a number of things before you'll find it eventually.
  • May 11 2013: Ahmed,
    I honestly think you don't 'find' that thing - it finds you.
    • May 13 2013: But as a friend said in another comment, it's like someone really willing to fall in love, he keeps on looking for the right person all the time, meet new people, join dating websites, he doesn't just stay still till it finds him
  • Jun 2 2013: I really recommend you guys read the book named "The Element" for Sir Ken Robinson
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    May 17 2013: one word express that "happiness" every one passionate about something because we search for happiness so what ever you do and you like it, make you happy :)
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    May 12 2013: For me my inspiration came from reading. I would read books about random topics that interested me. Reading would prompt questions, and sometimes I would find that those questions had no readily available answers. I had lots of inspirational and aha moments along the way where I thought I had found my 'purpose in life', but all of them fizzled out over time, until recently. Now I feel like I've found what it is I want to do. How do I know? Because I love working on it all the time, and it doesn't feel like work.

    If you're scientifically inclined and looking for research inspiration try Bill Bryson's The Short History of Nearly Everything. Search for the phrase "don't know" and you'll find all sorts of boundaries to our existing scientific knowledge that you may find inspiring.

    Good luck! And never stop looking!
  • May 12 2013: I feel the key to answering this question about yourself lies in participating in activities that have great potential for self discovery. No one, besides yourself, can decide what needs to happen next in your own life and until you know yourself completely (who can really say that?), you won't know with 100% certainty either. However, a good teacher can facilitate self discovery. As an outdoor educator, I do this with group experiences, often in adverse and uncertain circumstances and with an effective debrief. Does this model work for everyone? No. It's a model that I've discovered works for me and I find the other people who relate to this model relate-able to me and decided to make a go of it.
    • May 12 2013: So, again, the majority here is going with getting engaged in as many activities as possible in order to figure it out, well, thank you very much for your participation and sharing your experience with your group, I think it could actually work, but problem is how to get to execute that, would you tell me how you got to start finding people to join your experience?
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    May 11 2013: Many people pose this question here, Ahmed, often with a bit of anxiety over not having been caught up yet in a passion. It's a little like wanting to fall in love and not having done so yet. The answer many people give, which I would too and which I know isn't much comfort, is that many of us didn't go looking for a passion- it found us, grabbed us, and just wouldn't let go.

    Fortunately, there are good resources online, bloggers and so forth, who have their systems of finding a passion for those urgently wanting to find one ASAP. In fact, Sir Kenneth Robinson is releasing a book on this very subject in less than two weeks called something like Finding Your Element, a sequel to his popular book The Element.
    • May 11 2013: Oh well, I don't think real passion would necessarily find us, otherwise, why is the majority of people in the world doing jobs they don't like and spend their lives waiting for the weekend to come? I think that book will be perfect, looking forward to reading it, thank you very much :)
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        May 11 2013: There are many people whose passions are not their jobs, or whose passions are addressed onto to some extent through their jobs. For example, a person passionate about writing may invest with greatr gusto in that part of his job, while working on a novel and writing poems, the latter of which he reads at poetry slams or collects for himself and his loved ones. A passion for cooking may be a practice she most pursues outside the job.

        There is no guarantee that a passion will become a full-time job.
        • May 11 2013: That's a good point, but if you know what you truly love and passionate about, why not spend your full time doing it? Why do some other job, that may be or may be not related to what you love, and wait till you finish it to get to do what you love? That is a total other conversation if we are to talk about how to turn to doing what you love, because it needs a of courage, and to be risky to take the decision, I've watched many talks talking about that and we could extend the conversation about that if you'd love to, let's just focus on how to basically find your "element" if we may call it :)
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        May 11 2013: You are right that it is a different question.
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        May 11 2013: I agree it is a different conversation. I just worry when people set aside their passions when they cannot make a living at them, and I do not believe that if you are just passionate enough about something you can necessarily make it the entirety of your career.
    • May 12 2013: Maybe waiting to fall in love and waiting for passion to find you is not proactive enough.

      Many people who actively try to fall in love make an effort to meet new people, often join dating websites or ask friends, family and professionals for advice.

      I think that the dating website equivalent to finding a viable passion is putting yourself in positions for self discovery. My argument is that the more you find out about yourself the more you can be sure of what ignites your passion.

      So, how do you put yourself in a position for self discovery? It's different for everyone. Probably you should ask friends, family and professionals for advice.