Choosing your passion – The list and criteria method

If you’re having trouble finding your passion, here’s something to try.  Instead of making a list of things you are CURRENTLY passionate about, try this:

  1. Make a list of things you COULD be passionate about if you wanted to
  2. Create a set of criteria based on your values
  3. Decide

This works because it puts your brain into a place of realizing that you can choose what you want to be passionate about.  It’s a choice!

The Passions List

When you make your list, write down anything that you are remotely interested in.  Do you do yoga?  Write down yoga.  Write down teaching yoga.  Do you have a product that has changed your life?  Write down promoting or selling that product.  Do you watch YouTube videos?  Write down create a YouTube channel.  Write down create a YouTube channel about the product that changed your life.  Have you watched any cool documentaries lately?  Write down the topic.  Have you overcome a big hurdle in life?  Write down teaching others about how you overcame that hurdle.

Next, add to the list things that other people are passionate about but you have no interest.  This puts your mind more into the idea that it’s a choice and there are TONS of options!  You could be passionate about collecting model trains, chasing storms, restoring classic cars, getting tattoos, designing a new rocket, curing cancer, opening a coffee shop, or studying ancient Egypt.  The point is that there are literally infinite things that you could be passionate about and you get to decide!

The Criteria

Now that you have your list of potential passions, it’s time to create a set of criteria to narrow it down.  Do you want your passion to eventually be a profession?  Will it be a hobby?  Will you do it by yourself or with others?  What value do you want the passion to express in your life?  Your creativity?  Your leadership?  Your desire to learn?  To teach?  You get to decide!

Here are some example criteria that you can choose from:

I’m am choosing to be passionate about …

  1. Something I like to do
  2. Something I have enjoyed in the past
  3. Something that I could eventually make money doing
  4. Something that I can do in the evenings at home after work
  5. Something that I can get paid for
  6. Something that I can eventually get paid for
  7. Something that I can do with my wife, husband, partner
  8. Something I can do with my kids
  9. Something that aligns with my values
  10. Something that draws on a particular skillset that I already have
  11. Something that is healthy
  12. Something that I can do in community with others
  13. Something that I can do by myself
  14. Something that can make the lives of others better
  15. Something that puts me in a state of flow

Remove all items from the list that don’t meet the criteria.  Or, create a new list of things you could be passionate about that meet the criteria.


As strange as this may sound, the actual process of deciding on something to be passionate about is the hardest part.  There are unknowns in choosing a path and a sense of security in remaining undecided.  And, what if you make the wrong choice?  What if one of the other choices would have been perfect for you?  It’s possible, right?  When you get to this point of indecision, ask yourself this question …

“What is more painful, not having something in my life that I’m passionate about OR being passionate about the “wrong” thing”

I put wrong in quotes because the this is one of those instances where the gold lies in the journey and not the destination.  Being passionate is the end in and of itself!  Having passion in your life is the goal, not whatever results from the particular pursuit you decide to be passionate about.  To put it more succinctly, there is no wrong choice!

There is a belief that states that when a person is able to live out their highest values, that person will experience fulfillment in life.  For many people, these highest values include authenticity, love, peace, freedom, joy, and passion.  With this simple process, living a life of passion can be a choice.






Leave a Reply