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“I want to find my passion.” I hear these words so often from women who are frustrated, burnt out and overwhelmed. The personal development world doesn’t help the situation. Countless books, programs and workshops have been created all around “finding your passion,” and quite honestly, I think it’s bad advice.

I’ve wrote about this topic years ago, and my stance hasn’t changed.

There’s a deep flaw in wanting to find passion:

Passion is not found outside of you. It’s a feeling you create from within.
(tweet it).

Take my friend, Carolyn, for example.

Years ago, we worked together as nurses in the operating room. When we’d be called in at 3AM for an emergency surgery, most of us would come in grumbling about being called out of a deep sleep, but not Carolyn. She always bopped into the room as if it was the best thing we could be doing on those early mornings.

What was the difference between Carolyn and the rest of us?

Carolyn created her passion. She had very different thoughts about our 3AM call.

Because I was envious of what Carolyn had, I asked her one time, “Why are you always so happy?”

Here are some of the things she said:

We are so lucky to be able to do this.
At least it’s not us on the table.
We are getting paid overtime.
Because I get to hang out with y’all.

We were both in the same circumstance except Carolyn had very different thoughts. Her thoughts were those of passion.

Carolyn didn’t depend on life being any way other than what it was in that moment. Nothing could steal her passion for life.

Yet, I know that deep desire to find my passion.

Years ago, I started a vicious hunt to find my passion. I thought it’d be found in a new job or experience. Maybe it was hiding in a new town.

Sound familiar?

These were the questions that haunted me, as I put feeling good in my life on hold.

I thought passion was “out there.” Yet, the more I searched, the more confused I became.

What I was searching for was never out there; it was an emotion that only I could create from within.

So, what happened? How did I become a passionate woman?

A French Dinner Party

Years ago, I was invited to a dinner party in the South of France. The little villa was perched up in the little village of Menton, which sits on the Mediterranean Sea at the Franco-Italian border.

We arrived around 8PM expecting dinner to be served. Instead, we were passed aprons, a glass of Champagne and instructions on what our duty was in the kitchen. With Bocelli playing in the background, we all created an Italian feast.

About two hours later, we sat down at the table and the lively banter began.

The conversations were stimulating — from who was the better artist, Van Gogh or the designer of Ferrari, to the recent truffle season.

They weren’t seeking their passions; they were true bon vivants full of passion.

I walked away from that experience determined to tap into the same kind of fervor for my own life.

Instead of waiting to find passion in another person, a new job or a life that wasn’t mine (yet), I decided to bring a strong emotion of joy and devotion into my everyday life.

I threw dinner parties, had picnics in the parking lot of the hospital, dressed up to go to the grocery store, explored my curiosities.

Instead of searching for passion, I focused on becoming a bon vivant (one who lives well).

The more delighted I became about my life, the more life exposed me to more things to be passionate about.

It opened up so many doors, opportunities and next steps that I would not have been emotionally unavailable to notice had I been in a search for passion.

You don’t find your passion by searching for it. You create it by tapping into the passion already within you.

If you’re confused and frustrated, perhaps it’s time to stop searching for passion and start cultivating it from within.

A new job, home, man or career can’t give it to you. Only you have that power.

Let me leave you with one of my favorite Rumi quotes:

‘With passion pray. With passion make love.
With passion eat and drink and dance and play.
Why look like a dead fish in this ocean of God?’

Wake up to the life you have right now. Explore your curiosities. Cultivate passionate thoughts. Throw dinner parties. Get dressed up. Put on some lipstick. Talk about things that excite you.

Stop searching and start living…passionately!

So, m’friend, how are you going to BE more passionate this week? Let me know in the comments.

Did you grab the FKL Manifesto?