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So happy to have my friend, Paul, post again and tell us about his new book, 101 Secrets for your Twenties! Take it away, Paul!
We talk about finding your passion like it’s dating a Swedish model while driving a German sports car. It’s living this audacious, bodacious, rocktacious life where someone offers you coffee on Monday morning, and you give them a look and say, “No thanks. I’m fueled by awesome.”
What a load of elephant dung.
Finding your passion is un-sexy.
I learned the hard way that my “passion” was sitting smack dab in the middle of so much failure that it was going to take seven years and a really large shovel to even get a glimpse.
Maybe you can relate?
My passion—to help those struggling with “what now?”, especially twentysomethings. This passion began sitting on a motel room floor after college, traveling for a job I didn’t want, Snickers and re-runs of Friends—my only friends, with my whole life screaming “what now?”
All my expectations of this amazing life where I’d be making an impact while doing the backstroke in the Duck Tales pool of gold coins, were being blown up like a hand grenade in a Hot Pocket and I became passionate about finding another way.
Then I became passionate about helping others do the same.
A seven-year quest filled with ample amounts of un-success.
Most of the “secrets” I discovered and wrote about in my book, 101 Secrets for your Twenties, were birthed from all my plans going nothing like I planned.
Take, for example:
Secret #2 – The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.
Secret #6 – “Life will never feel like it’s supposed to.” And maybe that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.
Secret #20 – Lousy jobs are a twentysomething rite of passage.
Secret #22 – The grass is always greener on the other side, until you get there and realize it’s because of all the manure.
Secret #27 – Don’t ever begin dating someone you first met whilst in swimsuits.
Secret #35 – Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the smallpox of our generation.
The secrets I learned along the way were revealed, not despite of the struggle, but because of it.
For years I (angrily) cried out to God why he was crushing all my plans like a Sumo wrestler sitting on a Pepsi can. But I know now that my plans going nothing as I planned was exactly the plan all along. And the perfect one in fact.
You see, your struggle makes the story.
Your passion might be found in the middle of pain. You find your passion when it’s 4:30 a.m. and you feel like a mule sat on your head all night, but you’re up and working anyway.
You find your passion scared as a cat trying to run up a highway.
Your passion is not just something you do. Your passion is something you cannot NOT do. When all dreams of bestsellers and bonuses fade away. When you know something to be so true, even when friends and family tell you to stop believing a lie.
When people elude that your great idea is actually quite terrible.
You find your passion when it’s totally failed, yet you refuse to let it fail.
And that’s powerful.
What’s your passion? Did you have to go through any struggle/failure to find it?
Today is the LAST DAY to enter the All Groan Up raffle! If you’ve already bought Paul’s book, email him a copy of your receipt and you’ll be entered to win:
*Two extra copies of the book to give to friends so they know they’re not alone (Secret #32)
*$15 Starbucks gift card for members of any coffee quadrant (Secret #30)
*$50 gas card for the road trip you need to take to fix everything (Secret #28)
*$14 iTunes gift card for the purchase of non-sad songs only (Secret #65)
Then one lucky person of the people to send in a receipt will be chosen on July 11th to win the GRAND PRIZE: A twenty-something survival kit + Kindle Fire or iPad mini to help build the brand that is you (Secret #23)
EMAIL PAUL AT paul[at]allgroanup[dot]com.
Thanks to Moody Publishers, we’re giving away 3 free copies of Paul’s awesome book,
101 Secrets for your Twenties.
Leave a comment and we’ll contact you if your name is drawn!
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I love your analogies. Especially the one referencing Duck Tales. Quality show. Quality.
As for my passion, I find myself being passionate about people and relationships. I’m passionate about helping others realize they are worthy and realize they are important. I’m passionate about pouring into others, especially young adults.
I’m also passionate about peanut butter and jelly…but that’s another story.
Thanks Michaeleen! I have a strict rule I live by — whenever in doubt, talk about Duck Tales.
Thanks for the kind, encouraging words!
My passion is children’s ministry. I’m 22, a recent college grad, and yes, it took a LOT to figure out what my passion really was. It took a bad relationship, trying different career paths, and lots of dream-reworking by God to get to the point where I gave in and tried children’s ministry. I fell in love with teaching kids last summer during my internship, and now, having just moved to a new city, I’m kind of in the in-between, waiting for God to open the door to a church so I can get involved again. My heart is so full with children’s ministry it’s about to break! But I know in time God will open the door. So I guess in some ways I’m still in part of the struggle…waiting for my passion to be given space to bloom.
Awesome Lindsey. Wow, you’ve done and learned a lot by 22. Wish I had that sense of direction back then. It took me repeatedly running into dead-ends constructed with brick walls before I started walking down the right path.
Ha. Thanks Amber. Out of 101 secrets there’s bound to be a few that help! Hope you win a book, and if so, then buy 101 of them for your friends 🙂
Great post! couldn’t agree more I’ve been on this path for a while and feel like it helps to learn more and more about yourself and who you are. I think maybe some people struggle with finding theirs because they might still be trying to figure out who they are. Just recently I came across a great new tool to help in that process. Finding your passion, I would agree with you in saying that it is not easy and it’s definitely more than taking personality tests but I believe this is a great resource in that process. I would recommend a look. http://www.ignite .com
Yes! Lure them in with free stuff, then ambush them with encouragement. Done and done. Thanks Katie
Speaking of things fueled by awesome…how are there no comments here? I guess this place is still a “hidden gem” on the internet. Tsk. Tsk.
Anyways, I’m 33, so I’ve been out of my twenties for awhile. I’m working 2 jobs right now and nothing fuels finding and pursuing my passions like a 70/hr work week (40 of those hours at a Starbucks, btw).
I think what’s encouraging is to realize we are all on the same journey, and are experiencing a run in with the same “what now” question. I’m learning I don’t need to share my hopes and dreams with just anyone. I’m around a lot of practical thinking, logical living people who can’t always see beyond what’s in front of them. It can be discouraging, and I already fight against the lie of pessimism within my own mind.
The encouraging thing about it, however, is to realize I’m daring to do what a lot of people won’t do: have faith and dream a little.
I really appreciate this post. It’s honest, and the truth is the journey is not a pretty road paved by “awesomeness”. We live in an instant gratification era, and people forget the value in having to work, and to work hard for the things in our lives that are worth having. If I can finish college (which I did) and work a 70hr work week I can be confident to work hard at pursuing the things I can’t NOT do.
Great wisdom! Thank you Rachael for such comment awesomeness.
Thank you so much for this amazing generosity! Joy you have modeled for me what it looks like to be a cheerful giver starting with the illumination project. On to this awesome give away thank you Paul and Joy for setting an example for your readers. I hope I can get a copy so that I can give it to one of the girls I mentor because that seems like the right move (: I will have to buy a copy for myself after I read a handful of books I got from Joy’s recommended reading(yes I am that hardcore). I don’t thinking hash-tags are welcome/cool on blogs, but I am a top fan! #1 I know that our Father will bless you both for the kingdom work you are doing! Well done!
Amazing Hanna. Thank you for the comment filled with joy about Joy and life itself.
You’re right- finding your passion is so unsexy it’s just not even funny. And starting to pursue your passion is pretty clunky and awkward and unsexy too. Congratulations on finding & pursuing yours!
“pretty clunky and awkward”
Well said Lindsey. Thank you! Glad I’m not the only one.
THANK YOU for this post. I think sometimes we forget (or just don’t know) the etymological meaning and history of the word passion. Passion = pain. Passion is hard & it sure isn’t pretty, but just like birthing a child, birthing a dream is so worth the pain and effort in the end.
I’m in the process of finding my true, deepest passion. It is very difficult and painful. Especially the part about friends and family… you always think they will be there to support you then you realize the only one you can depend on is God. Nobody’s perfect, and they’ll all let you down at one time or another. I’m thankful, though, for those God puts in my life along the way to offer support & encouragement. I’d give them all a prize if I could. Especially the ones who have been around for the long haul 🙂
“Passion is hard & it sure isn’t pretty, but just like birthing a child, birthing a dream is so worth the pain and effort in the end.”
Thanks for this great perspective and addition to the conversation Linnae! Well put.
Awesome Melissa. I’m honored to be that guy. Hope you like the book!
I spent many years in high school and college trying to figure out my passion, and while I’m closer to knowing myself and my interests, I think I’ll know better in a few years after more experience and risk-taking. Had to learn that fear of failure really gets in the way of pursuing these questions!
Well said Miranda. It took me years to realize that the biggest failure would be never having any.
I’m really looking forward to getting this book in the mail.
Also, I recently heard the quote: “the book of love is long and boring.” I agree; we often talk about our worthy causes as if they’re flashy and fun and exciting. But once we get into the meat of the work, we realize the hard work and time that goes into loving ourselves, loving others, finding our passions, living our passions. It takes time for the real stuff to happen…and sometimes that’s boring. It requires patience too. That re-frame changed a lot for me. Thanks for addressing it here.
My passion is working with children! I’m 24 and am living out my dream of being a kindergarten teacher. I’m passionate about loving and serving my little ones and their families. It’s humbling and rewarding to get to see God at work in so many lives everyday! My heart overflows with love for my job and community, but in other areas I am still in the “waiting room”, waiting (sometimes patiently, sometimes kicking and screaming!) for God to open doors to seasons I expected and hoped would be opened much sooner in life. But, as hard as it is to remember, my struggle is part of my story. It has a purpose and is being used for my good! Can’t wait to check out this book : )
I love this. In the midst of the search, it’s always both encouraging and humbling to hear from those who are or have been in the thick of it also. At 27, I’m still working through the “find your passion” phase, and while I’ve received hints and seen glimpses of it (for example I know I am passionate about story – in particular God’s story for us all – and sharing and creating good stories), I’m still not there yet, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m still reconciling with Secret #2 – “The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.” I don’t see Embarrassment as my friend, but I need to make peace with her if I want to move forward.
Such great things to think about. Thanks, Paul!
As one who totally didn’t believe in the ‘quarter-life crisis’ when I first heard the phrase, but now find myself smack-dab in the middle of one, I really appreciate these truths. As for passion, I know my job is not where I want to be, but my heart has yet to give me a resounding passion to actually pursue. But, I’m quite hopeful that my way will soon be clear (or clear-ish, which would be good enough for now)
Well said Sarah. I was the exact same way.
Thank you Katrina!
Ello there Paul 🙂
Words cannot express just how much I’ve enjoyed reading your words of wisdom this fine morning that the Lord has made of which we shall rejoice and be so very glad in.
No, but seriously 🙂 WHAT an encouragement. Thank you! “Fail your way into passion” I love it-that has seriously been my life!
I hale from Chicago IL(GO Blackhawks!!!) A dancer, teacher and choreographer, my journey into doing what I am passionate about has been a long bumpy annoyingly twisty dark damp scary uncertain exciting liberating empowering journey of faith. I love the realisticalfaith (I just made that up) you use to approach life. Breath. of. fresh. air.
Looking forward to being apart of the All Groan Up community!
Happy Days 🙂
Erika, what amazing words of encouragement. Thank you! Pumped we could connect
I knew I wouldn’t be able to put the book down when I started it. I finished it within 24 hours of starting it! I laughed. Cried. Saw way too much of myself in the pages, and was reminded I’m not alone. Thanks for writing a great book. I’ve already recommended it to several friends!
Wow. Thank you Leslie. Amazing for me to hear.
I’d be honored if you left a review on Amazon/Goodreads for 101 Secrets for your Twenties if you haven’t already. Each review makes a huge impact. Here’s the link to 101 Secrets: http://bit.ly/101-Secrets
I’m about to turn 22 on August 29th so the title of the book itself jumped out at me. 101 secrets for my 20’s and I’m barely into them, who wouldn’t want this book?!
The analogies used were great because they remind me of my own personal writing where I make witty/creative takes on things that I observe or experience. My favorite part is near the end about how God will “crush” your plans showing you that your plans are kind of irrelevant in God’s master plan because in the long run He will provide and show you what you are meant to do in life A.K.A; passion.
For me it is songwriting (writing in general; songs, poems, screenplays, short stories), and for the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been pursing this passion rigorously networking, writing, making demos, etc. Last semester was my last in undergrad at Liberty University and I had BIG plans for 2013; record 10 songs for a demo to shop at record labels and recording studios, visit Nashville, do a “Behind the Music” kind of video on myself to show to producers so they know more about me and my music and the list goes on.
Over half of 2013 is over and not even ONE of the things I wrote on my list of things to do in 2013 at New Year’s regarding my writing has been achieved. The first week of the semester, my friend with recording equipment in his room right across from mine in the dorm withdrew for school, haven’t found a job to fund a trip to Nashville, every networking chance that seemed promising in helping me get closer to my goal turned out to be a dead end and every night I call out to God for some sort of sign.
I’m sure reading your book would provide some good insight on making the rest of 2013 something to look back at and be proud of. Yes, over half the year is over BUT it is not over yet 🙂
All the work to get there will be the same as all the work to stay there. Research what the realistic lifestyle, schedules, budgets constraints, and personal relationship sacrifices of your “passion” job are upfront, and pray about if God wants you to walk down that road and accept all those personal sacrifices and conditions.
It is never easy, but for the right person on the right path, with the right mindset and a lot of hard work, the benefits will be worth those sacrifices.
Sometimes God will walk you through a few completely different paths, so that you can develop the right combination of skills and experiences to do something semi-related to each of them, which is what is really on His heart for you.
It may not look like success to the world, or even most Christians, but if you believe you need to take certain paths, don’t be afraid to do so. Take the risk, because never trying is far worse than trying and failing a bit along the way, and you will usually find satisfaction in even small successes.
Thanks Jeremy! Yep sounds like this book is right up your alley. I can definitely relate big time to the story you shared in the comment above. Thanks!
I thoroughly enjoyed this post. It made me laugh and also struck lots of things we hear about what we are supposed to believe about ‘calling’ and ‘passion’. Most often it seems like it’s going to be some glamourous job or one where lots of people recognize you and love you and can’t live without you. But I’m finding it’s mostly in the thankless ones where I feel I have made the most difference and honestly get the most out of it because God shows me how He works through that much more than just in a ‘sexy’ job.