HOW TO START YOUR PASSION PROJECT
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
“ 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
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
Try to identify what your passion project is with these 3 simple steps
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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?
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:
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?
I feel like having a partner in doing things that all of you enjoy and are passionate about is a huge blessing