Stop telling people to "follow their passion"

I'm a hypocrite, I know. (But if I ever use that phrase, it's only because I'm too lazy to say what I'm about to say.)

If you focus on figuring out what your passion is but feel stuck and lost, you may be going about it the wrong way like I first did. It's not just self-serving as a premise to consider just what your passion is—it's also a daunting ask to try and figure out your One Big Thing, especially if you're still young. So yes, take into deep consideration what you're good at and enjoy.

But also, figure out what problems you see and how those can shape your inimitable contribution in this lifetime.

Where are people struggling and how can you help?
What breaks your heart?
What makes you (compassionately) angry?
What solution to a problem can you see or create that others can't?
Who do you want to empower?
What are you happily obsessed with?
What makes you curious?
What do you wish more people cared about?

Start from these questions. Start with other people and what they need.

And then: don't wait for permission. You will never be anointed. You can only choose yourself. I waited too long to receive permission, I solicited too much advice, and tried to garner an unequivocal chorus of "Yes, go for it" from a committee of people who had no business making my life decisions for me. And it made me miserable.

Finally, I just decided to give myself the Yes I was looking for. And so far, it's worked out okay.