Calling Tools

Passions and Interests

Passion - An intense desire or enthusiasm for something.

Interest - Something you want to know or learn more about.

Explore all possible occupations at this website

Create your personal mission statement. This takes time and intentionality, and it helps you better understand and own your passions. The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life, by Laurie Beth Jones, provides inspiring and practical advice to lead readers through every step of both defining and fulfilling a mission.

Test your passions and interests with these online tests and tools (mostly free):


If you are trying to discern your vocation, the right question is not what am I good at? It’s the harder questions: What am I motivated to do? What activity do I love so much that I’m going to keep getting better at it for the next many decades? What do I desire so much that it capture me at the depth of my being? …The crucial terrain to be explored in any vocation search is the terrain of your heart and soul, your long-term motivation. Knowledge is plentiful; motivation is scarce.”

--David Brooks, The Second Mountain

"There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

"Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do."

--Nelson Mandela

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

--Martin Luther King, Jr.


Heart vs. Head: To determine the most important factors to consider

We tend to make decisions either by our gut instinct our by our head logic. If we stop to identify what these two sides of our brains are saying, we may uncover legitimate factors to consider when making decisions about career.


Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your head telling you? 

  • Is the information you’ve gathered adequate, accurate or relevant?

  • What is your heart telling you?

  • Which direction is your gut instinct leaning?

  • What does this say about your underlying values, passions, priorities?


If it comes down to a decision between two scenarios, “make” a decision in one direction and live with it for a day.

    • What does it feel like?

    • Are you glad you made that decision?

    • Do you wish you had made a decision in the other direction? Why or why not?

    • Imagine yourself two years in the future. Consider what life would be like if you made one decision. Imagine in detail. How would it feel? What would you be doing?

  •  Then consider what life would be like if you made the other decision. Ask the same questions. Highlight the differences between the two futures, and which might be better for you.

  • What action do you plan to take to make this decision?


Evoke your future self living out your passions and interests!

What future do you imagine for yourself in five years (or two years, if that is easier), as one who is fully living out your passions/interests? Envision your possible self in great detail. Be as open and creative as possible. Brainstorm!

When I find my passion, my life will be… or I will know I’ve found my passion when…

  • What are you doing? Describe your ideal day.

  • Where are you working?

  • What’s the work atmosphere like?

  • Who are you working with and what are your relationships like?

  • What is fulfilling about your work? What excites you most? What are you most proud of?

  • How do you feel about going to work on a Monday morning?

  • How do you feel when you tell people about what you do?

  • What does your family think about your new job?

  • What’s the one thing that is most different from your current you?


When you turn left at the road of safe instead of at the road of desire, the crossroads image can haunt you during times of discontent and searing disappointment.”

--Marti Konstant, Activate your Agile Career


Explore what is most important and meaningful to you

  1. Who did you admire when you were growing up?

    1. Name three role models.

    2. What about them did you admire? What was their “mission” that you found inspiring?

    3. How do you see yourself similar or different from your role models?

    4. What values have you drawn from these role models, and how have they manifested themselves in your life or career path so far?

  2. What are your earliest childhood recollections? Are there some links between those stories and your current passions and interests?

    1. When you were younger, what did you want to become?

    2. What did you love doing or learning about?

  3. What magazine, internet sites or shows to you read or watch regularly? When you go into a bookstore, what section are you most drawn to? What do these choices say about your career interests?

  4. What is your favorite story from a book or movie? Who are the key characters and what are their motivations? How does this story relate to your current situation? How would it be for you to adopt the same kinds of strategies as these characters?

  5. List the top 10 things you are interested in or enjoy doing.

    1. List as many reasons as you can why you are interested in each of these 10 things.

    2. Analyze these reasons and identify four or five overarching themes.

    3. What do these themes say about your passions and interests?

  6. How do you define “meaningful work”? Work that is enjoyable? Interesting? In what ways?

  7. If you had only five years left to live, what would you spend that five years doing?

  8. If you had all the money in the world (and expense was not a roadblock) what would you do with that money? With that freedom of time? Where would you travel and what would you do there and why? What would you study? In these questions, remember that God is not limited by finances!

  9. You feel fulfilled when you help people with….

  10. If you were to support a “cause” in the world…

    1. What makes your heart weep? What do you truly wish to change in the world or in your local community? What impact would you like to have?

    2. If I had all the money I needed, I would help people with…

    3. What role would you like to play in making these changes in the world, or in your community?


Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"  

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Back to: Know Your TalentsNext page: Step 3: Take Charge