#75 – How to find your PASSION- 3 key steps

Feeling passion is great, but how do we find our passion? Many people make mistakes that prevent them from finding their passion. In this episode of the Becoming Great.com podcast, we explore 3 key concepts that will help you understand how to find your passion.


Today’s episode is on personal development and entrepreneurship, where Erik and Emil explore topics about how to grow as a person and as an entrepreneur.

Erik and Emil are both personal development junkies and spend many hours every week sharing their ideas and reading about new things. This episode is excellent for you who want to learn about their latest perspective. They share lots of personal stories, talk about how it applies in their lives, and how it’s useful for business

They have divided today’s episode into 4 topics.

Topic 1: What is Passion?
Erik and Emil give their definition of passion. What is passion? What is it not? Can you have more than one passion? Does playing computer games count as passion?

Topic 2: Try new things!
The first key to finding your passion is to try new things. If you try enough stuff, you will find something you enjoy. Just by share luck. This happened to Emil when he started as a professional poker player.

How can we find joy in trying new things?
What is preventing us from trying new things?

Topic 3: Fight when it gets hard!
The second key to finding your passion is to keep going when it gets hard. Often our biggest passions lie behind our deepest fears. This has been true for both Emil and Erik when they started to explore public speaking and communication.

How can we make sure we don’t stop when things get hard?
How can we make difficult tasks easier?

Topic 4: Don’t try to create new passions with old friends.
Having like-minded people around you is crucial. A common mistake is to try to change your old friends to fit into your new passions.

How do you make new friends?
What can you do if you are the only one enjoying your passion?

We hope you enjoy this episode. It’s full-on knowledge, laughter, and personal stories.

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[00:00:49] I made over 50 million euros before I turned 30. And I did that thanks to passions and I have very weird passions, passions like trading links between different websites online and find ways of buying different websites and changing how they look and getting email addresses to strangers and figuring out what’s the best kind of marketing to send to them. So I have all of these weird passions that together builds businesses. But how did I find these passions? What what mistakes stops people from finding their passions. So that’s the topic that we’re going to dive in today and figuring out what you can do to find passion and what mistakes you might be doing that prevents you from finding it.

[00:01:43] That is right. And I am here today with Erik Bergman, the founder of Great.com, our company that would give away 100 percent of its profits to help the climate. And like Eric said, it is in his introduction he made over 50 million euros before turning 30 when he found out his previous company, Catina Media, that went from zero to three hundred employees in just five years. And besides running great, he’s also teaching personal development and entrepreneurship to his over 250000 followers on Instagram and Twitter. Eric, do you feel passionate about talking about passion?

[00:02:25] Yes.

[00:02:28] Yes. And I’m here with Emil, who was the first one joining me in Great.com. He is the host of this podcast, but also our charity podcast, I Go Running, and he is one of the most intelligent people I know. Another side of great. He’s running a coaching business where he teaches young men how to be happy and successful, which is hard. And he’s also my greatest sparring partner. He’s the one that I do my content with for Instagram, YouTube, this podcast and everywhere else. And I just love learning things together with him. It’s really one plus one equals 11 when we’re doing things together. So I’m having a lot of fun and together we’re doing this podcast.

[00:03:13] I love doing math with you. Yeah. And you hear this podcast is for anyone who wants to make the world or their own life better through entrepreneurship and personal development. And today we are exploring passion because passions are great to have. But how do you find them? And this episode is in four topics. In the first one, we’re going to define what we mean by passion in the third, second, third and fourth part, we’re going to look at common mistakes that we are doing and that we think are common that prevents us from finding our passions. And what those are, you will find out in time. Do you feel unsure what you’re going to do with your life, that you haven’t found that passion yet, maybe you’ve heard other people talk about their passions or how important passion is, but you don’t really feel that. Or you might have passions, but they might be in areas that might not be so useful for running a business. Maybe you’re passionate about computer games or watching serious, which is great for a hobby, but couldn’t you be passionate about email marketing or something like Eric? So if you feel that way, we’re going to help you to find where to begin. But before we do that, let’s step back and define what is passion. Eric, how would you define the word?

[00:04:48] So when we’re talking about passion, we’re not necessarily talking about the feeling of passion. We’re talking about something a bit bigger, like having a very strong interest for something, the kind of interest that you can’t stop thinking about. And whenever you come up with something, you just want to talk about that topic all the time. And it’s also something where you can turn into a career. So it’s not just any kind of passion we’re looking for. We’re looking for something that you enjoy and can build upon to make not possibly a business, but at least a career around it.

[00:05:24] Right. And so it’s this one kind of passion you have or could it be many things?

[00:05:30] So I believe that it can be lots of different things. And I see just looking back at my career, how many small topics became my passions and kind of stuck together? I think a common misconception is that you’re just going to find one big passion and that’s going to be it. If I look at my career and my my business, I’ve had probably hundreds of different passions at different times that have been very, very engaged with for periods and then building that on top of each other. So we’re talking more about passion than just passion, right.

[00:06:03] So you’re not just looking for one game. You are like a miner and you’re looking for many games in this mind. Right. And many different kinds of it. Yeah. And the more you find, the more opportunity you have to use it in your career. Yes. Beautiful. So then let’s go into the question. How do we find these passions? I have totally lost track of time. I’m completely in the moment and I look around the table and I see everything, all of my senses are heightened. I pay so much attention and I feel a deep sense of enjoyment and passion, something I haven’t experienced before in my entire life. What are you doing? I’m at my friend’s house and I’m playing a friendly game of poker. And it’s the first time ever I tried a game of poker, which later turned into a 10 year long career and the biggest passion I have ever experienced in my life.

[00:07:09] So would you say you just found that passion the first time you played?

[00:07:13] Yeah, it’s the first time I played poker. I was told it was so much fun. And the only thing I could think about from that point was poker. I wanted to play the next weekend and the next week. Did you know you were going to love poker when you started or how did you find it? I had no idea. Looking back in hindsight, I can see how it makes sense. I enjoyed math at school. I think psychology is fun. I think strategy is fun, important aspects of this game. But I could never have figured out that it was exactly poker. That would be my biggest passion.

[00:07:47] So you sounded just by trying lots of different things. It might as well have been rock climbing or dancing, but it happened to be poker.

[00:07:58] That’s right. When I was in my teenage years. So I had a pretty big friend group that tried a lot of different activities. We were going swimming and rock climbing and playing football and all kinds of games and TV games and poker just happened to be the one that clicked, but I could never have predicted it. OK.

[00:08:19] Do you think it’s common that you just fall in love with something like that on the first time you do it?

[00:08:24] No, I think it’s very rare. And that is why it kind of to be that lucky, you kind of have to try a lot of different things that can increase your chances, but it’s no guarantee that you will find it haphazardly like that. Yeah.

[00:08:39] So most of the time it’s a lot harder to find it, but you can find it if you are just trying enough things. So like the first mistake people then do when it comes to passion is simply not try new things.

[00:08:54] Yeah, exactly.

[00:08:55] Because why do you think that is a mistake since you’re not trying new things, you will never know if you enjoy it the first time. I think that finding a passion like you describe here that you’re completely caught up in it the first time is is very rare, I think. Yeah. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had that experience, but I believe that finding something that you enjoy is pretty common. But to do that, you still need to try different things or at least learn about different things. You could you don’t necessarily need to find a group of friends and play poker, but you could have watched a YouTube video about poker and said, hey, does this spark my interest? And you might not have been caught up in it in the same way as you play, but at least like, hey, I want to learn this. So you could still either try a lot of things or try to learn about a lot of things.

[00:09:40] Yeah. And any way that you like is good due to books. Go somewhere testing’s. What do you think is stopping people from trying new things?

[00:09:50] I think that the main reason why people don’t try new things is that there are too many things that are easy to do that distract you from trying new things. So instead of being bored and trying something new and people watch Netflix or they scroll Instagram, so we don’t need to be bored, which means that we don’t need to challenge ourselves in finding something because it’s much easier to just stay there and scrolling. And if it wasn’t for those behaviors that we can do, that takes almost no energy, but it’s actually very rarely fulfilling at all. We would challenge ourselves more and look for new things to do.

[00:10:33] I think that’s a very well made point. I hadn’t thought about it that way. But yeah, more boredom is probably a key ingredient in the recipe for the desire to try new stuff. So could you summarize what someone can learn from this and what they can do to try more things?

[00:10:48] So the biggest mistake when it comes to not finding passion is not trying new things or not trying to learn about new things. But if you’re not doing that, you’re never going to find your passion. And I’d say the most the easiest way to try new things is stop scrolling Instagram, delete your Instagram account, stop watching Netflix, cancel your subscription of Netflix, and then spend that time looking into new areas.

[00:11:13] And I promise you, it will increase your chances of finding your passion, but never, never stop listening to it becoming great dotcom podcast.

[00:11:22] Never, ever, ever. So let’s move on and look into what we believe is the most common mistake that. People do when it comes to finding a passion.

[00:11:40] Bring, uh, it’s my friend Jay from England. I wonder what he wants. Hey, this is speaking and I’m getting married. It’s going to be a big wedding in Italy. Hundred people or more. And I would like for you to be the toastmaster in English. OK, bye.

[00:12:01] That was my friend Jay calling. And when he made that phone call, I had never been speaking in front of people since I was in high school and I was sweaty and nervous in front of 15 people on some biology lesson. And my instinct when he asked me to be the Toastmaster was, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, I can’t do this. But of course, I said, yeah, yeah, I want to do this. It would be an honor, but I really didn’t believe in myself. And so many times after the call, I just wanted to call and say that there’s no way I can do this. You got the wrong guy. But I had a year to prepare. So I Googled around and I found a public speaking club in Stockholm called Toastmasters. So I went there and I was so nervous that the first meeting I didn’t even do or say anything. I didn’t talk to anyone. I just sat in the back. But I came back two weeks later and then I tried to go up in front of people and do a one minute speech where I just talked about myself and I was so scared, like my whole body was shaking. And at that point, too, I really wanted to give up and I couldn’t see how I would ever be able to make a toast on a wedding like that.

[00:13:24] I get goose bumps just listening to this. I can feel the fear of getting up in front of those people and and all of that resistance that if you wanted to give up here, would you have kept going if you wouldn’t have made this promise to J.

[00:13:42] No, never. I never would have had a reason to keep going. And he’s one of my best friends. So I, I really wanted to do this for him. OK, you kept going then what happened? What what this club did really well is that so? In the beginning I had pictures in my mind. I have a picture that is me sweaty at the biology lesson and another picture that is me speaking in front of one hundred people in English. And my brain says, nope, the difference between these pictures is too big. So we are going to pull the brake and it pulled the emergency brake, which just stifled me so I couldn’t have kept going. But what the club did is it made that big difference between the pictures closer and closer to each other. So first time I did just a one minute speech, I just talked about myself. Then I took a role where I was timekeeping for someone else. I was giving someone else feedback. I did a little bit of a longer speech than I did my first speech. Then I tried to be toastmaster at the speaking club and all of a sudden one year later, I had already been toastmaster four or five times in this club. So when the big day was there, the wedding, I felt surprisingly comfortable.

[00:15:03] I got to a place where that was normal without really realizing how. So how did this go? I think it went so well. Jay was crying and it was the best battle cry. A good cry. It was the best speech I have had. I believe maybe now when I look back at it, I would cringe a bit. But I was I managed to speak from my heart and not be such a bundle of nerves that I wouldn’t be able to do that. Would you say that public speaking is a passion of yours now? Yeah. Yeah, well, actually, no, I don’t think public speaking is much fun because I’m not that big of a fan to, like, memorize speeches and all of that stuff. I really like podcasting. I really like creating YouTube videos. I’m quite introverted as a person, so I really like the one on one format that I have with you now, Eric. And there’s hundreds of people watching. So it’s kind of like speaking in front of a big group, but it doesn’t feel like it. And I really enjoy this format. But I could never have found podcasting if it wasn’t for that lucky phone call and kick in the.

[00:16:14] But I got from my friend Jay for comparing this with, like the poker story in the poker story. You found immediate passion in that by just trying things. And here it was a big hurdle. And you wanted to give up a lot of times. And if you would have given up, we would never have been sitting here podcasting, something you feel genuinely passionate about. And we’ve done seventy five episodes. Or something having a lot of fun together.

[00:16:41] Yeah, communication is easily top three passions I have today, and it was hidden behind this huge door of fear that I had to step through. So it was not easy finding it at all. It was the opposite. And I had to get over a hurdle.

[00:16:58] Ok, so we can look at this from from the mistakes angle. First mistake would have been not trying at all. So you did try new things. And second mistake here would have been to give out because it got heart.

[00:17:11] Yeah. If I would have called J and said I can’t do this or if I wouldn’t have found that speaking club or if I wouldn’t have gone back because it was too scary to go up on stage the first time, then I would have been a huge mistake, which would have prevented me from finding a passion that now is useful in my work.

[00:17:32] Yeah, I like the way of thinking at it and getting it a little bit harder each time. And when it’s too far away, it’s it’s easy to give up. It’s too far to see when it stops. I think one of the reasons I believe people get caught up in like computer games is that it progressively gets a little bit harder, but it’s never one big jump. You’re never in a video game. Like, I can never do this. I’m panicking. It’s so scary. But it’s always gets a little bit harder and a little bit harder and a little bit harder. And it sounds to me like that’s what the speaking club was accomplishing as well.

[00:18:09] Yeah, exactly. In the beginning, it felt like I was trying to jump over the Grand Canyon and it was too scary to even try. But it was it created a TV game effect where the monsters are the perfect amount of difficult for you to enjoy it, but not be fed up and quit.

[00:18:27] Yeah. So you’re summarizing this section. What would you what’s the key part to learn from here?

[00:18:33] Ok, so the biggest mistake is that it’s to quit when things gets hard. And what can someone do to not quit them if it feels really hard? The trick is to find small wins all the time and to enjoy it so the process feels like fun.

[00:18:51] So if something feels too big of a challenge, can you find a smaller challenge that is still a challenge?

[00:18:57] Exactly. I think this is tricky to explain without an example. Let’s say that you really want to start a podcast, but you have never done anything like that before. And it feels so scary to put a podcast out to all your friends and people from your old high school can hear you speak with start a much smaller record, a podcast where it’s just you speaking to yourself on your phone or you interview your grandmother. That’s your first episode. That’s more manageable. You can get a tiny win and then do something that is a little bit harder and a little bit harder to simulate that computer game effect.

[00:19:32] So whenever you’re getting stalked because something feels too scary, look for something that is in that direction, but not as scary. So you can kind of create the I like the analogy of the computer game, like you want the monsters to be just so big so you can beat them. It’s it to be too easy to beat them because then it’s no fun video game and it shouldn’t be too high that you’re never beating them because then you’re not going to continue playing.

[00:19:57] Exactly. And if you’re on level one in World of Warcraft, you’re not going to fight in a big dragons. You’re going to fight like a little bird or a rabbit or something. Why would someone want to fight a bird or a rabbit? So your game, it’s a cruel game. And but we have more important things to talk about. Let’s move on and talk about the final big mistake that we have done and that many people do that prevents them from finding their passion.

[00:20:28] So I’m holding my phone and I hear the signals coming out and signal a signal, I signal. And there is just no one picking up.

[00:20:41] I’m calling one of my best friends, and we have just for the last couple of months, we’ve been building a business together. It’s a website about restaurants in our hometown and what kind of menus they have.

[00:20:55] And he is just flaking on me. And I’m alone in this, and I realize I’m not going to continue because I’m a little. And it’s just really frustrating to feel that he’s not pulling his part in this, so we end up killing this project and our relationship took a bit of a hit as well. And had a couple of similar stories in my late teens, I wanted to start a businesses.

[00:21:28] I asked my friends to jump along. I managed to get them inspired and they helped out for a month and then it just didn’t go anywhere further than that.

[00:21:39] So you tried to run a business that you felt very passionate about with a friend that didn’t share that level of passion and that put you down and it made you lose your momentum in this?

[00:21:53] Yes. What I did was that I tried to start businesses with friends who had never been into business. Really, I had these ideas and I wanted to make them happen. But they didn’t really they engaged with it for a while and then it stopped and it shifted. When I instead of trying to find my best friends and start businesses with them, I tried to find people who were good at building businesses and become their friends. So I I had a guy in my class who actually had known for a very long time, but we weren’t really close friends and he was a computer genius. And instead of trying to start a business with my old really close friends, I started a business with him and it just went so much smoother. He knew everything that we needed to do and I knew the other parts that was good for business. And together we we managed to create something and we just kept going. And it made such a big difference that he was so engaged with it.

[00:22:55] Right. And to clarify, this is another e-mail. Yes. It’s it’s not me. But what would you say is the mistake?

[00:23:03] What can someone learn something that the mistake that I did or that I believe is common to do is that we want our old friends or close friends to be in on our new journeys. And a lot of the time they don’t share the same interests. And it’s a big reason why we give up. I could easily have given up here because my friends that I started different businesses with simply wasn’t that interested in doing that. And I remember when I wanted to start dancing and I wanted to take you dancing and come out dance with me and you really didn’t want to dance. And the same thing happened there that if if I would have waited for you to continue dancing or if I would have just tried to get my old friends to start businesses with me, I would have gotten stuck and not progressing to find what I’m actually interested in right now.

[00:23:56] So it would have been a big mistake to try to get me interested in dancing instead of going out and find someone that wants to learn dancing or already is dancing and then start dancing with them instead.

[00:24:10] Yes, or it would be a big mistake to stop dancing just because you didn’t want to go. So I think it can be a good idea to bring your friend, but it’s very likely that your friend are not going to have the same interests as you or the same passion as you. And just because they or he or she didn’t enjoy it. So you don’t give it a second try because you don’t want to go alone. Like, I can easily see that I wouldn’t have gone to dance class again if you would have stopped straight away. What happened with you and me was that you actually followed along for maybe three times, four times. And that was enough for me to feel that I want to continue going. But I could easily have stopped going just because you didn’t go.

[00:24:54] What you did well here then is that you went on your own, even though I didn’t have the same interest. But more than that, how can someone find new friends if they want to start a business or find a passion?

[00:25:07] One thing that is important to keep in mind is that when you find a new interest, you’re probably going to find new friends who are interested in that. Like, half of the people I spend time with now are dancers. I wouldn’t have known any of those people if I didn’t dance and. So it’s it’s important to you to be brave enough to go out there and get friends. I know it’s the same from Toastmasters, like some of our closest friends comes from Toastmasters. It’s such an amazing thing. And if you’re struggling to get there, you can listen to our podcast episode number sixty five. I think it is how to make more friends in school and in work. And then you can probably you can look into what kind of interest they have and see if you can be dragged along on their interests, which is much easier than trying to drag someone else along.

[00:25:59] Right. And I think a good circle to find people who generally are open to finding new passions are circles where people are interested in personal development. So that is why I like Toastmasters so much. The whole room there is people who are willing to overcome their fear to accomplish something. And those kind of circles are usually packed with people who are excited to try new stuff.

[00:26:22] And that could be the Toastmasters, for example, which is a public speaking club, which is all around the world. If you just Google, Toastmasters and your hometown, there probably is a club.

[00:26:33] Right. And another place is if you go to Eriks Instagram account or my Instagram account, you can look in the comments because the people who are active, there are people who wants to grow and look for people who wants to find passions.

[00:26:46] Yeah, that’s a good idea. I should just comment and ask people I want to find more passions, do want to try new things. I want to learn pottery, pottery. And that’s an odd choice in a way. What would you how would you sum up this this mistake? And do you believe it’s a common one?

[00:27:03] I do, yeah. Putting off finding new things because your friends are not finding new things. And by the way, we have made a whole episode about how to find new friends. That is episode 65.

[00:27:17] I just recommended that. But we can do it again. You did my memory. How do I find a new memory? I should do the next episode.

[00:27:29] Next episode. How to find a new memory for email. Right. OK, I feel ready to. I had enough. We should sum up this episode.

[00:27:38] I’ll sum it up and you can go to bed. It sounds like you need that. OK, so basically if you want to find your new passion, it’s important to not do the three most common mistakes. First one is to not try new things. And if you want to try new things, you can do it on YouTube or you can go out and just do it in the real world. Second one is don’t give up when it becomes too hard instead of when you find that there is a big too big challenge trying to find a smaller monster, something that you can actually beat and that could be for Toastmasters club or whatever it is, but make sure to not give up and instead look forward because there might be a passion behind that next monster you don’t really know. And the third one, don’t try to find passion, new passions with old friends, or you can try it, but don’t give up just because they didn’t enjoy it. It’s really hard to get other people to try the same things you want to try. And there isn’t a good reason to give up on a business, for example, just because you’re old friends don’t want to build businesses. So unless if you can stay away from these three mistakes, you will increase your chances of finding a passion with seven thousand nine hundred and thirty two percent, I think.

[00:28:52] I want to give an applause to that summer. Well done, well done. So if someone enjoyed that so much that they want to help us out somehow, what can they do?

[00:29:01] So the best thing that you can do if you want to support our podcast is to go to your podcast app or as many podcast app as you want and then click subscribe become a great outcome, our podcast, because what happens when people subscribe is that it greatly increases our chances to get up in the different podcast, top lists of every small podcast. That doesn’t really matter in these topolice because they’re not based on who has the most listeners. They based on who has the most percentage of listeners that click subscribe. So if you click on Subscribe on our tiny podcast, that makes a big percentage difference. But if you click subscribe on Joe Rogan or Team Sirius or some other evil podcast out there, it’s not going to make so much difference. So subscribe to us instead.

[00:29:50] Thank you. Thank you. Have a lovely week.