Following Your Passion: Don’t Look, Just Do

Q: “So you help people figure out finances and stuff, right?”

A: “No, that’s not something I do. I’m a non-financial retirement coach. I help people with life planning.”

Q: “So you are living your dream, following your passion and fulfilling your life purpose, right?”

Really? Does anyone ever say this stuff to me? No way. I tell them I’m a retirement coach and usually it’s more about their expectations. Being a retirement coach wasn’t something I ever had a passion for; Let’s be real. I didn’t save my allowance to buy AARP Magazines.

I did wonder myself how I’d figure out what was next once I declared myself “retired”. I thought once I found a “purpose” and a “passion”, I’d be set. Finding them turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected. Not sure I’m even there yet, but I’m moving closer.

Many who are considering retirement or who are retired are interested in finding something they can do to satisfy their need to find “life meaning” or “give back.” Often we hear that “following your passion” or “finding your life purpose” will provide this level of satisfaction.

Sounds great. Figure it out and not only your life will be good but so will everyone else’s. One problem. Just suppose, you don’t know what your “passion” is? Not that you’d want to admit it but what if you don’t know your “purpose”?

You may be thinking everyone needs one (including you) and everyone else has one (except you). Everyone else has this passion thing nailed, right?

Wrong. Lots of people are looking for it and the harder they look, the more elusive it becomes. You may begin to wonder if you have to work this hard to discover it, there must be something wrong with you. What’s wrong is really just how hard you’re trying.

Quit making your search for the purpose, the passion, and the spark into the Thing that takes over your life and just be. Look at yourself and at things around you with a new level or curiosity and exploration. Let your passion/purpose find you instead of the other way around.

Sound better?

So just how can you best set yourself up to be found? Start by doing something and then by doing something else. It’s the doing that uncovers the passion and purpose. Just thinking about it and getting frustrated because you can’t identify it doesn’t get you any closer to finding it.

It’s a pretty simple recipe for success here. Identify what you’re good at. Add in what you like to learn about; what you like to look to look at on the Internet; what you like doing so much, you’d consider doing for free; what you loved doing when you were young and what gets you excited.

Stir all this up and see if you can apply what you’ve discovered to solving an interesting problem. Chances are, someone else (or groups of people) have similar concerns. If you can combine what you’re good at with what you love to do in a way that meets the needs of others, you’re on the road to discovering your passion and purpose.

What’s key here is that you’re on the road. At least you’re going somewhere. Start by doing and then see if the passion finds you.

Oh, so how did this work for me? Here’s where passion meets purpose in my life today.

People tell me I’m easy to talk to; I listen to them; I look at things in unique ways. I like to help people be successful and I enjoy encouraging them to find whatever it is they are looking for. I love to hear people tell their story and I always wanted to be a teacher. People who are approaching retirement have the same concerns I did. What’s coming next? I enjoy listening to them tell their story and helping them be successful in this new stage in their life.

Passion. Purpose. Much easier to find when you quit trying so hard.


People of all ages struggle to live a more meaningful life, but the struggle to identify a meaningful retirement is very real. Working with a certified retirement coach can help you frame what’s important to you and how to work towards it in order to find a meaningful life in retirement. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your journey and how we can help.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
Retirement CoachingRhododendron Garden, Portland, Oregon