20 Questions to Help You Overcome Barriers and Find Your Passion

by Ron Haynes

Closer to the FlameAs a young child, we all have those dream jobs, firefighter, doctor, teacher, nurse, policeman, home-builder. As my life has progressed, my opportunities for education and various jobs heavily influenced my personal decisions, passions, and ambitions and it seemed that barriers were always in the way. Some barriers to finding my passion were real and some were imagined (I’m sure) but no matter, those barriers came between the real, practical, everyday me and the person I had at one time hoped to become. I DID discover that educational barriers had come down through online education, but others are still wary of this concept. Too bad for them. Some people, including me, may have accepted jobs that were very different from the career field imagined when younger, but which still met our family’s basic needs at that time.

Immediate needs have done more to slaughter dreams than just about anything.

Over time, we may find that we have forsaken our dream job, our passion, and our sense of fulfillment. Don’t make that bad decision. Because happy and fulfilled people are healthier and more productive, it’s good to answer the following questions to see if we can reclaim our passion and our dream job, but first think about these three words:

Discover your passion.

Discover – to search out, to uncover, to find after searching.
Your – personal possessive pronoun. It doesn’t belong to anyone else.
Passion – powerful, intense emotions, enthusiasm, a love affair, a subject inspiring lively interest.

1. Is my life turning out the way I want? What would you have to do to take the next step in achieving those youthful dreams and aspirations you once had? What exactly would it take? Be specific and *write it down.*

2. Can you figure out what’s important to you? It may be time to reevaluate your personal values. If you like the outdoors and sunshine, working in an enclosed office probably won’t fit your personal dreams and passions. If you love to work with your hands, financial analysis and spreadsheets won’t cut the mustard.

3. Why do you need passion? When you’re doing something because you’re passionate about it, you’ll be better at it and more successful. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, ask your friends and family, they know and I bet they’re willing to tell you!

4. Have you lost passion for your work? Revisit why you originally liked your job and what made you feel fulfilled. List the things you do in your current job that give you a sense of fulfillment, and another list of the things you just don’t like. How can you focus on the important, fulfilling aspects of your job?

5. Are you resistant to change? Do you know how to change? What obstacles are preventing you from adapting to the changing conditions of the workplace? Are you up to date with current office technologies? Do you lead the charge to test a new idea or drag your feet in hopes it will go away?

6. When you visit a bookstore, which section are your naturally drawn to? Why is that? What sections do you never visit? Do you always visit the same section? Why?

7. If you could subscribe to only 5 magazines, which ones would they be? What about 3 magazines? What about just one? When you pick up a newspaper, what news stories do you read first? Politics, business, people, food, entertainment?

8. Do you receive any product or service catalogs in the mail? Which ones do you hang on to for years? Why? What is it in that catalog that you feel most drawn to?

9. What are your 3 favorite books? What is in them that put them at the top of your list?

10. What are your top 3 favorite movies? Why do you like them? Are you drawn to the actors, the plot, or a feeling you get when you watch those movies?

11. Who do you envy? Why? What is it about them that you envy? Do you envy their attitude, their personality, their situation, how they handle problems and challenges, their coolness under pressure, or some other trait?

12. If you could trade places with one person for a month, who would it be? Why?

13. If you could make just one very powerful, very positive change to your life, what would it be? What about that change would improve your life?

14. What interests, hobbies, or careers would you like kids to get involved in? What would you steer them away from? What would you intensely disagree with their involvement? Why? What would you want to make sure they understood if you were on your deathbed?

15. Can you remember one time in the last week that you felt strongly about something? What was it and why did it evoke those emotions?

16. If you were stranded on a deserted island (with plenty of food, water, and shelter), what would you miss the most? What non-survival items would you want with you. If a package washed up on shore, what would you hope would be in it?

17. If you could go back in time and whisper one thing in your past self’s ear, what would it be? How would knowing that one little thing change your future for the better? How could you incorporate this item into your life today? What’s the next step?

18. What one thing would you do for free? If no one paid you to do this, would you do it for free? Better yet, would you pay for the privilege to do it?

19. What barriers within yourself are keeping you from finding and pursuing your passion? I’ll bet the root of anything you answer is FEAR. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Living a fearless life is the result of pursuing your passion.

20. What barriers are in your external environment that are standing in your way? What do you have to do to remove or overcome or go around them? What is the next step? Take it…take it……..take it.

Your thoughtful, personal answers to these questions are essential first steps in helping you refocus your dreams, identify your passion, and create your own path to a happier and more fulfilled life. Many of you can quickly and enthusiastically answer “Yes” or “No” to those questions. Those who say only “I don’t know” should take a day (or a week) to think about their answers. Don’t shortchange yourself … answer every question honestly.

photo credit: mscaprikell

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.



Great post – I think our society has gotten so geared towards the acquisition of stuff that people loose sight of their passions. I know that right now I’m trying to find what drives me, what I’m passionate about but I have more difficulty than I used to finding that passion or even knowing what it is. Thats not a great position to be in. Its one of those things that takes time to really and truly get – for many it’s a long journey but its interrupted by needing to pay for the stuff that you ‘needed’ to buy.


Wow…good article….
Now….as far as I can determine….I am doing and being the very person God intended me to be.
Oh, I could have done several things that would have taken me in a very different direction.
But then I would be most miserable. I’m sure of it.

Some of my passions are exposed every day that the TV is turned on. The Scriptures, gardening, tea making, cooking, books, computers to a degree….

I don’t…I just simply refuse to listen to the news, for it is nothing short of annoying to my heart and my BP.
I have more to do in life than to listen to such drivel.
See…there is that passion squeezing out! :-)

I have a young son that told me one time that searching for your life mate, robs you of your life dreams.
And….being his Mom of course, I was a bit taken aback. ;-)))
Thank Heavens, I didn’t have to search very long at all for mine. :-)

But, not to worry. He is happily married and seems to be fulfilling most of his dreams.

Thank you Ron, for the heads up on checking out my life desires though!
It’s something I don’t think I put much thought into lately.

God Bless America!

Tabs at Levnow

Great list, very thoughtful, I especially liked # 17, tonight I am going to think about what I would say to my past self, I think that would be a very interesting meditation for me. Thanks,



It’s always great to ask the right question. We’re always trying to add “improved attachments” to something that needs to be completely made over.

Asking the right questions will always get you to the right start.

John Rocheleau - Zen-Moments

“Immediate needs have done more to slaughter dreams than just about anything.”

You nailed that one. So true.

Your questions, such as “When you visit a bookstore…” are very effective pointers in the right direction.

I would never have browsed the section of a bookstore that covered the subject my career was based on for a long time. I was too busy meeting those “immediate needs.” If I had a do-over I would be asking your questions and I would have had a very different life.

It’s the “now” we get to work with though, so I am asking myself these questions now to keep myself on track. Thanks. I’m bookmarking this article.


Marc and Angel Hack Life

I’m going to ask myself these questions at the start of each month. Thanks! ;-) Stumbled.

Previous post:

Next post: