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How do you find passion?

I'm only 16, but over the past few weeks I've constantly been thinking about the selection of a life goal and what I want to be when I grow up. I think this decision is one of the hardest decisions to make, and I want to find what truly makes me happy. My questions to TED Conversations are: How do you find your passion? When do you know you've found it? What is your passion?

My answer would be like this. I find mine by learning about science. I know that somewhere in math and science I will find my passion, and I love learning about them. I know I'm close to finding it when I do something that genuinely excites me no matter the repetition. And I think my passion is physics or chemistry, that one I can't really answer.

  • Dec 6 2011: I think finding your passion comes from doing those things in life you must do to survive, doings those things you want to do because they seem fun, and finding answers to questions that you think need to be answered. The challenge in the first part of your life is to try enough new things to make the probability high that you will find your passion. Look at many arts, sciences, technologies, businesses, and trades. Do you like working with your hands? Do you like being outside? Where do you want to live and what career opportunities are available in your area? What balance of personal satisfaction and rewards or riches are you seeking? Do you want to work alone or with a group? Many questions to answer. Often a parent, teacher, counselor, relative, or Scout leader involved in the career that interests you might have some insight into a good career path. Many groups have Professional Societies that provide learning opportunities for young folks. At 16 there are many branches of Science that you probably haven't been exposed to yet, so look for places to explore and learn more.

    I found my passion in building things. The challenge to find the best design for a given set of requirements always seems to challenge me. Now I help others solve similar design related problems. I chose an engineering curriculum, thinking they usually made good money and had lots of job offers. It was a lot of work, but I liked to work. I took a job that was the best money and once there, seemed to enjoy designing and building research projects to prove concepts. It was like an extension of several labs from school. It involved a fair amount of traveling, reasonable expectations, and a constantly changing set of problems. It was fun and i became pretty good at it. i felt like i was contributing and helping the customer. Now I get a similar rush mentoring younger engineers and solving more complex problems. No regrets.
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    Dec 9 2011: You don't find passion. It finds you.

    You'll know when that happens. Just be courageous and take the leap. It will be worth it in the long run.
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    Dec 5 2011: my passion is biology. when i was in 11th grade i drove to hampton university and introduced myself to the assistant to thedean of the biology dept, and for the next year and a half i went there once per week and he became something like a mentour to me, i took on more challenging projects and won 3 science awards in one year! theres something about meeting people, and spending time with people who are doing what you want to do that just inspires the hell out of you. and through biology ive begun my ventures in philosophy and the social sciences. i now see how all the sciences are connected and i want to create an entirelty new kind of science built upon understanding patterns and relationships between the sciences. so basically, go find a chemist! or a physicist. talk to them, snatch any opportunity to learn that they give you, then theyll give you more and more, before you know it they'll be pulling strings and writing letters of recommendation for you, youll find your calling and theyll help you attain it.
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    Dec 5 2011: " Bliss" :-) :-)
  • Dec 5 2011: Hey, it's just such kind of luck that we both enjoy the same program. And I don't remember when I fell in love with chemistry. Maybe at the first time I get to know it. It's my teacher that helps me to go with it. She really enjoys a more confortable way to teach us. For me,that's where my passion comes.Enjoy the jokes,enjoy the endless papers,enjoy the exams.....That's what I want to do.
    But as a girl, I don' t like physics at all. It comes from no reason.So, there's no passion for me to talk about it.
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    Dec 9 2011: Dear Hunter Bliss,
    Follow your name...what makes your heart sing? What gives you joy? Pleasure? Bliss? Have you looked at other TED sites where the topic is "finding your passion"? You don't have to find your "life goal" at age 16...or...even at 65....I'm still exploring. I'm still wondering what I want to be when I grow up too Hunter:>)

    There is already some GREAT advice given here on this thread. I believe that passion is an energy we carry in us that can be stimulated by external interests. So I agree with Adam in that we don't need to "find" finds us:>)

    Listen to your what you love, and love what you're doing. I find that each path leads to the next path, my passions change over time, and are still interconnected. You'll KNOW when the energy of passion is stimulated and released within you. Try not to stress about "finding" it, because you already carry passion in your heart and mind...all you need to do is recognize it...have fun:>)