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Writing and Finding Your Life Passion

By Diana Raab December 14, 2022 Mindset

December is a good time for an annual review and also a good time to reevaluate that you are doing all that you can do to bring joy into your life. Discovering and claiming our passion is about knowing what we love doing.

When you’ve identified a life passion, you’re led to feelings of bliss, or the natural direction to take in order to maximize your sense of fulfillment. Finding your bliss or your calling is about bringing into your life all those things that bring out your potential and help you live your life to the fullest.

Finding and Developing Your Passion

Once you open your eyes and are aware of your bliss, opportunities begin to emerge because the universe hears your desires. For years, I’ve known that my bliss revolved around writing. I knew this because whenever people asked me when I felt my best, I always responded by saying, “When I’m writing.” This is true whether I’m crafting poems, blogs, essays, or books.

Sometimes life passions are established early in life and might be in response to childhood experiences. Perhaps the experience was a joyful one; or maybe it was related to trauma or pain as a result of loss, abandonment, being orphaned, or being severely hurt physically or emotionally.

Not everybody responds to challenging situations in the same way, and it is not so much the experiences you had that matter, but how you reacted to them, and the effect they had on your life.

Writing to Cope

My life provides a good example. My maternal grandmother lived with us and was my caretaker. When I was 10, she took her life in her bedroom, which was next to mine. To help me cope with my grief, my mother bought me a journal and told me to write down my feelings.

I’d sit writing for hours on end. The experience taught me that writing heals, and that our early childhood rituals and hobbies can be a clue to our capacity for joy later in life.

Now, more than five decades later, my journal continues to be a place where I go to share my innermost sentiments and feelings. Journaling about losing my grandmother transitioned into journaling about my turbulent teen years, raising a difficult daughter, and two cancer diagnoses.

When people remark that they’re unhappy and feeling somewhat lost, I typically ask them, “What brought you joy or bliss as a child?” They’re often surprised to be asked this question, and it’s interesting to watch smiles spread across their faces.

They stop and reflect, and then I ask whether they’ve ever thought of revisiting their childhood passions as I believe that our childhoods hold the keys to our life passions and who we become as adults.

Finding Encouragement for Your Passions

As a child, I was inspired to read and write. Children’s passions are reinforced by the adults around them. In school and at home, I received accolades for my writing. This encouraged me to write even more. Thus, the creative spark was nurtured early on.

Now, as a parent to three adult children and five grandchildren, I’m constantly noticing what brings them joy, and I wonder how it will translate into their lives as a whole. Sometimes it’s a good idea to look back to our childhoods and think about those times when we received praise and encouragement, and then determine if that’s where our bliss may lie.

Wondering About Life Purpose

When we’re at a crossroads in our lives, we might stop to ask ourselves about our overall purpose and destiny and how to discover what that is. These are sacred and awakening questions that encourage transformation and compel us to examine what matters most to us.

Some people know from an early age what they want to do when they grow up, while others might flounder as they try to find their callings. There are different terms to explain the idea of a calling in life. The Romans called it genius, the Greeks called it the daimon, and the Christians called it the guardian angel.

Psychologist James Hillman used even more words to describe one’s sense of calling, such as fate, character, image, soul, and destiny, depending upon the context.

For me, joy emerges when I’m writing. As I put pen to paper, there are higher forces that speak to me, and sometimes I enter a trance – I transcend universes where the deepest of creative forces are at play.

Teaching Others

When I studied psychology in graduate school, I learned that those who are deeply passionate about something have an urgent need to make a change in the world or to serve humanity. They’re possessed by their passion. Mine was teaching others through writing.

Many of the students in my writing workshops are at a crossroads in their lives. I remind them to journal regularly to identify their passions. One of the first prompts I give participants is to write about important memories from their childhoods. Most often they write about life-changing events.

The second prompt is to write about what brought them joy as a child. Sometimes, but not always, this sense of joy is connected to what might bring them happiness as an adult. Perhaps a lived experience from childhood served as a springboard for a life passion, profession, or theme.

Certainly, this was the case for me. My students inspired me to write my book, Writing for Bliss, which is a good holiday gift for yourself or someone you love.

Here are some ways to discover your passion – what really makes your heart sing:

1.            Think about what your natural talents are, or what you love to do.

2.            Surround yourself with like-minded individuals whose ideas and passions resonate with you.

3.            Be mindful about what annoys you and what makes you happy.

4.            Think about an activity where you lose track of time. Chances are it’s connected with a passion.

5.            Maintain a clear and open emotional state by engaging in self-care through meditation, exercise, spending time in nature, and setting intentions.

6.            Think about your favorite movies and books and the common threads that run through each. They might be connected to your life passion.

Doing what we were meant to do with our lives can lead to a sense of bliss, which may be about releasing habits, situations, and relationships that no longer serve us and replacing them with those that do. Finding our calling is about bringing into our lives all those things that bring out our potential and help us live life to the fullest.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you found your life passion? How did you find it? Is it something you enjoyed and gave you bliss in your childhood? What or who has helped you develop your passion?

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As you spoke so great about your childhood I can’t relate unfortunately. And you explain your purpose so well. I am also in a confusing stage In my life when I’m trying to figure out my purpose in life. I’ve been deep into searching but I’m blind to all the signs or I should say lack of doing more then I know I should. I’ve become very excited because of the things that I read up on and my purpose In life and what My Passion is. When I was younger, I’ve always dreamed about helping others. Helping children who were forsterd, adopted or abused because of what I went through in life and as a child. As well as seeing what in the world others were going through… I’m now in my league thirties and still to this day I thought that I got rid of all my memories and bad times but they still seem to follow me as much as I could pretend that it doesn’t bother me anymore. What I despise most is that how when, say you’re having a conversation with someone and they start talking about their childhood or things that they are in remberance of, but How I can relate is negative memories and it’s hard to speak with someone else who has not dealt with it which is understanding. It’s a simple topic for some but not in my case… I’m past most of everything I experienced but certain things stuck with me… I don’t want to be complaining about these things because the world has so many people who are dealing with. But I really always wanted/want to help those who are in need of a listening ear and a hand to hold on to. The point of my jibber jabber is I always and actually before reading f this tonight wanted to right my life’s story
Thank you


From babyhood, I lived for being in the woods and fields of the Bluegrass area of Kentucky. From a young age I made up rhymes and stories and to this day my siblings and cousins loved the stories I told. As I grew, my love for the land and water and trees took over. Then my parents moved us to Texas which I hated but worked hard to adjust. Now I have my garden and little apple orchard but have not written since University. I do make up stories for our grandchildren and hope to take courses or join a writer group. Still my shyness and doubts take over.


I am still looking for my passion. People say what are your dreams, what did you dream about doing or being when you were younger? I never had a dream and I still don’t. I don’t know why. I wish I knew why and what it is. I, too, love to write. However, what does one write about besides themselves? I feel like that is all I know, During the pandemic I learned calligraphy in line and practice often. I really enjoy it but don’t see a business in it. That’s not why I did it. I also knit a six years ago and am thinking about starting that again. But what gives me true joy, I don’t know other than being with my family. But I don’t want to depend on anyone for my daily happiness. I want to find that within myself.


I completely understand what you’re saying. Sometimes I get the feeling that finding our passion has become just yet another ‘thing’ for us to accomplish and just piles the pressure on. That’s not how it’s meant to be. And that we have to find ways to make a commercial success of this. So no true. Just find what interest you, basically, and go with it, as you’ve done. You’re enjoying calligraphy. No need to make a ‘success’ of this, just enjoy doing it. If you feel so inspired, maybe do something for friends or family with it, if you’d think they’d like it. Something simple. Same thing with the knitting. Do it for yourself, because you enjoy it. As for the writing, as they say, write what you know. And again, do it for yourself. :-)


Love this. I have always been a writer, but I lack the discipline (and perhaps the confidence) to pursue that passion. I tried writing a blog, but I was paralyzed by bits, widgets, tools… I don’t want to learn how to manage all the technology; I just want to write. Even writing this response causes anxiety.

How do you overcome the fear that you are just not good enough? That your ship has sailed? That you will pass from this life with one regret…I didn’t try.

A Shively

Hi Vicky, your message touches my heart because I have felt the same way; bewildered and bedazzled by apps and websites, constantly distracted by the next ‘must have’ training or tools. Now in my 60’s, I accept that my poems and stories may not win acclaim, but may yet please my family and friends – and myself. The daily practice of writing seems as important to me now as the output and where it is seen. I hope you can leave aside the regrets and make writing your practice and your path to insight and satisfaction!


For all creative blocks there’s always the trusty book /course ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron , it works magically!

The Author

Diana Raab, PhD, is memoirist, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of 10 books, and numerous articles. She often writes and speaks on writing for healing and transformation. Her latest books are Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life and Writing for Bliss: A Companion Journal. Explore her books and Conversation Cards for Meaningful Storytelling.

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