Start Your Passion Project With These Few Simple Steps


Have you come across any startup stories that always start with a passion project that turns into a successful side hustle and are now on a wonderful journey they can never imagine?

Well that could be your story

Once you start your own passion project

What is a passion project?

A passion project is something you enjoy working on and usually is not work-related that gives you immense satisfaction and mindfully spend time on

Rather than become the sole financial source, the passion project can be viewed as a privileged pursuit to do something outside the regular day job.

The goal can be just as the creative outlet whereas to some, it’s the small preparatory work of transition from the current job

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

Oprah Winfrey

I know some of you might disagree and think that the idea of finding passion is toxic

Well, I partially agree. 

Rather than spending time finding what to do for the passion project or not sure what your passion is… Start with being curious

Once your curiosity is coupled with the work & progress, the yield is passion.

Read this post to get some passion project ideas.

Why do you need a passion project?

Escape the mundane cycle of 9-5

A recent study was done during the Covid 19 pandemic on creative and leisure hobbies’ effects on the perception of motivation and psychological well-being. 

What they found is that time spent on a passion project (creative or leisure hobbies) offers protective benefits for well-being during COVID-19 

…” Motivations such as seeking creative expression and mental stimulation, keeping fit, and maintaining social connections also predicted higher well-being..”

KF Morse, 2021

But I guess we dont need another pandemic hit to start our own passion project

Just think about it. 

We spend around 8-9 hours working in our cubicle every single day doing almost the same thing.

The feeling of entrapment can be compared to feeling isolated during the lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic

We have to find a way to escape or maybe catch a breather from the ever mundane life cycle

That’s where passion projects come into play

Sometimes, our day job doesn’t really something that we wanted to do. But we can’t really quit the job (yet) because we depend on it for financial stability 

Starting your passion projects is a way to carve out your identity.

And who knows your little side passion project could be replacing your day job soon

But in the meantime, use it as an escape from the mundane 9-5 cycle

Help utilize your time better

OMG, I am so busy at it is, now you want me to start a passion project? No thanks, I‘ll pass

This is exactly how I think last year.

Until I did a daily routine habit audit using the habit scorecard

I found out that I wasted roughly 3-4 hours per day on social media.

It’s not just me, recent statistic shows that the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 147 minutes per day

147 minutes!

Almost 2 hours and 30 minutes just on the social media


Most of the time, we scroll the social media because we are bored and got nothing better to do

It’s easy and gives the cheap dopamine hit that makes us feel entertained or just simply fill in the time.

If you notice, the time we waste or spend more on the phone doom scrolling is the 30-40 minutes of in-between time

What is the in-between time?

The time gap between 2 activities

The time you waited for everyone for dinner

Time after you reach home from work 

This pocket of time when gets add up can give quite a decent hour to do something meaningful

For example, working on your passion project

And by having something to look forward to, you are able to get more things done in a short time

Improve or develop new skills

It’s impossible to start any passion project. It’s not just about limited time, my skill is limited to certain things and I am a slow learner.. It just sounds impossible

Jeez, Debbie Downer, calm down.

You need to learn from Tim Ferris, the author of the best-selling book, 4 hour work week 

He is the example of continuous learning and living proof of ‘ you can do anything if you put the mind and effort into it

  • Princeton University guest lecturer.
  • Former professional break dancer for MTV Taiwan
  • One-time national Chinese Kickboxing Champion. 
  • He is the first American to hold the Guinness world record in Tango, a horseback archer
  • An angel investor
  • Host of the number one iTunes podcast The Time Ferriss Show, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times.

When I first learn about Tim Ferris, I was wondering how the heck he was able to do all of those things.

It’s weirdly impressive.

Weird in a sense that it’s random

But I guess that’s the beauty of having a passion project.

You just do what triggers your interest

And weirdly, only you understand it

Related post: 27 Easy-to-launch Writing Side Hustle For People Working 9-5

Build growth mindset

Most working adult thinks that learning stop after they graduate.

They limit their own potential and think its too late, too old for learning

Well, in fact, learning after graduating is the real deal

You are not learning to get a degree, you are learning for yourself

And having the passion project to work with, you continuously inculcate the growth mindset

To improve and to keep on learning when things dont go as we expected them to be

Just last year, I start my passion project which is blogging. I thought is as simple as writing content and posting it to the world to see

Then I learn there’s SEO

Then I learn simple HTML coding 

How to apply for an advertisement

How to promote the blog post

You see, the list is endless

There are so many things to learn

Did I get frustrated and wanted to quit?

Heck YEAH!

1000 times every single day

But did I quit?

well, no. and I dont think I will

This brings me to my next point

Develop grit and self-believe

Grit – your ability to find your passion and follow through with your commitments in its pursuit.

When things get hard, it’s easy to give them up. 

Why waste my time, You think

But at the back of your mind, you want to make it work. 

You google things, find the solution

Tested it again

Work on it


Try again

This, my friend, is grit

The relentless pursuit of achieving something

The passion project can be annoying at times, and sometimes you dont feel the need to do it

No one care about it

It’s you vs you

The idea that you want to make the passion project work is part of self-believe

Once you do it right, the satisfaction, and the feeling, “Oh, I did it” will embed the sense of belief in yourself.

The real doubt is always from within

The more you believe in yourself, the more magic you will create in your life

It starts with, one passion project.

By having a side or passion project, we are creating a creative outlet or the escape we want in a better and healthier way.

“Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you will always be able to see further”

Life satisfaction when you are older

Seriously, I’m not making this up

In 2017, a group of scientists did a study on relating creativity to life satisfaction in older adults and creating the creative benefits scale. 

The scale directly relates the creative activity to more life satisfaction with factors such as identity, calming, spirituality and recognition include in the consideration.

More creative activity, more life satisfaction

So, if my passion project is not exactly creative, do I still get a life satisfaction effect?

Well, if you pour your heart out into your project and continuously learn new skills, dont you feel satisfied with your life?

Or at least the feeling of the accomplishment of achieving things?

Maybe life satisfaction can be felt on daily basis with the right dose of gratitude and achievement.

And maybe, it can help with your side passion project.

How to find a creative hobby that can be turned into a passion project?

Easy, just start doing something you like

Something that interest you and you are ready to create some times to spend on it

The thing you enjoy doing not knowing hours of time have passed

It can be something like quilting, knitting, drawing

Or the more advance like creating a website, learning python or javascript

“ But that’s the problem, I dont know what I like”

That’s, my friend, a call for a journaling 

Journaling exercise to find the passion project that suits you best

Journaling exercise is one of my favourite activities when I am not sure what to do.

It helps greatly with clarity

Journaling= Clarity.

You can use any journal, including bullet journal

Journaling helps to brainstorm ideas to start the passion project and make sure you start it right away. 

Dont use ‘finding your passion’ as an excuse to procrastinate.

Once you start doing it, the easier you can find your passion

Intentional action will lead to finding your passion

Just start 

Try to identify what your passion project is with these 3 simple steps

  1. Use the new page and write down what is your current interest. It can be anything so dont try to rationalize your thought process. Now it’s just time to vomit out everything.
  2. On the other side, write down your goal. I know people keep preaching to focus on the system, not the goal. But, if there’s no goal, there’s no direction– the tendency to swim with the crowd is higher
  3. See if there’s any alignment between your interest and goal. And that’s maybe probably the passion project you can do first.

Example of the simple passion project idea

Learn NFT

To start a Youtube channel

Create Home garden


To quit a corporate job and draw illustrations for kids’ storybook 

Among the passion project idea you have, which one do you think aligns well with the goal?

It’s quite obvious, starting a youtube channel

If we make the passion project proposal more specific:

To start a youtube channel to teach arts and illustration to young kids or audience

Now, the passion project seems more like something you should pursue first, dont you think?

Start small

Build consistent habits when first starting with your passion project

Sometimes, things can get overwhelming pretty fast.

The key is to enjoy the process. 

Do little things but do them daily

Start spending the 20 minutes of extra time you have after you prepare dinner

Or right after you tuck your kids to bed

Just a few extra minutes

Join the community with the same passion 

From the Atomic Habit by James Clear, he explains how we imitate the behaviours of the other through the story of the Polgar sister, the chess prodigy

​​The Polgar sisters grew up in a culture that prioritized chess above all else – praised and rewarded them for it.

In their world, an obsession with chess was normal. And all of them become a grand masters at a such young age

We imitate the habits of three groups in particular: 

The close. 

The many.

The powerful.

To adopts certain behaviour or habit, it will be so much easier to join a group that considers the behaviour normal. 

When you have something in common, it will help with your sense of belonging

And when you feel belong, the chances you will continue your passion project in a long run are higher

I believe there is a community dedicated to whatever hobbies or passion projects you are interested in. 

From Facebook pages, the local club, or the online community, you can find it everywhere.

Join, and make use of them so you can be great in what you do as the Polgar Sisters

Frequently asked questions on the passion project

Can I just start multiple passion projects at the same time?

Yea, why not

But since the majority of us work 9-5, the only and biggest limitation is of course time.

If you are easily bored you can start multiple passion projects that interest you and you can work on them alternately throughout the week.

Can I do the passion project with my friends?

100% Yes!

I feel like having a partner in doing things that all of you enjoy and are passionate about is a huge blessing