Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life, is how the old saying goes.  The question that mostly follows is “What do you want to do?”  That question however, is far too narrow and neglects the most important word of the saying which is “love”.  The more appropriate question is “What do you love to do?”  That is a much deeper, more complex and complicated question, but ultimately more meaningful when answered.

Finding what you love to do can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task, but it does not have to be.  Make no mistake, it is hard work and requires significant effort, but does not have to be intimidating.  Here are some tips for discovering what you love to do.

Start by thinking about times, work or leisure, that you were energized.  What was the situation; the circumstances?  What were the elements that excited you?  Make a mental note, write it down, put it on a pro/con list, or whatever works for you.  Move on to another time you were energized continuing until you exhaust the thought process.  Note that it is not the activity itself, but focus on the elements of it that you found energizing.  Think how those elements can be applied to other circumstances and activities.  From there move on to thinking about times you were de-energized.  What was the situation; the circumstances?  What were the elements that shut you down?  Continue until you exhaust the thought process.  Compare and contrast the results.  This simple exercise is a great foundation to begin understanding what you love to do by bringing into focus what kind of things energize and de-energize you.

To gain additional insight into yourself and gain better understanding of what you love to do, you may wish to engage in self assessment instruments.  There are many out there, some are free and others have nominal to significant cost.  A quick internet search will provide a bevy of choices and they will have varying degrees of scientific acumen and personal applicability.  However, the point is to have some thought provoking fun through self discovery and most importantly…. honesty.  Answering the questions with honesty only serves to provide you the most relevant results for understanding yourself and what you love to do.

To further encourage self discovery and hold yourself accountable for progress and results, hire a coach.  A coach partners with you in an individualized thought provoking process to inspire personal/professional development.  Coaching opens your mind to other viewpoints and perspectives through powerful questions and targeted assessment instruments.  Coaching elicits self generated solutions and strategies in line with your values.  Through this self actualization process you can truly find what it is you love to do and set yourself on a path of personal success.