Does passion follow action?

In the world of coaching, particularly in career and entrepreneurial coaching, much emphasis is put on the question of what you are passionate about.

It’s a direct result of the “do what you love and the money will follow” paradigm.

I’ve written before (here and here) about why I think this is the wrong question to be focused on.

So many of us are so deeply out of touch with ourselves that we feel passionless, and quite frankly, being asked to name what we are passionate about can create a heightened sense of despair and confusion.

I’ve also submitted to you that you must rather find the things you believe in beyond reason, the dreams that make you cry when you merely contemplate making them real, the visions that humble you with their enormity when you consider the possibility that YOU might be capable of creating them.

When you still don’t know?

What do you do when you STILL don’t know what that thing is?

You listen.

You listen to the voice of your soul. You listen for those little whispers and nudges that tell you exactly what you are supposed to be doing. And then you do it.

Mind you, those nudges won’t be loud. But they will be consistent. You just have to pay attention. Then take action.

Case in point

I have wanted to write for years. Years! And I’ve been “writing,” because I’ve been blogging, writing articles, and creating programs for the last 10 years (oh, hey! I just realized that August was my 10th year in business, I’ll have to come up with a way to celebrate). But I haven’t been writing on the level that I’ve truly wanted to — longer, deeper writing projects.

Finally, I started taking that voice seriously. I realized that I didn’t need to close my business to write, I didn’t need to become suddenly independently wealthy, and I didn’t need someone to wave their magic wand and give me permission to write. I just needed to do it.

In fact, when this came to head for me was when I had been repeatedly asking my Essential Self for guidance. “What do I need to do? What’s in my highest and best interest? What will make me happy?” I was asking, over and over again. The message came back, clearly. She said, “Write like your life depends on it.”

It STILL took me a while to get it. To understand that I didn’t need to radically change my life (see above) in order to “be able” to write. I just had to do it.

Then came the passion

Miraculously, once I began writing, I discovered a shocking, all-consuming fierce passion for it I did not know I had.

In fact, despite the days when writing feels impossibly difficult, no fun at all, and my inner critic is raging at me like a blue meanie on steroids, I still absolutely adore it.

The weirdest part of all of this is that the passion did not kick in, not truly, until I was well into writing regularly — truly DOING IT — day in and day out.

It’s led me to believe that passion follows action, not the other way around.

But I add this caveat: The action must be inspired — it must come from the voice of your soul.

Your turn

Tell me what you think in the comments. You know I love to hear from you. If you’d like some tips about HOW to listen to the voice of your soul, check out this article here.








  1. Jenna, I love this. I remember reading your post about Firefly, but I just noticed concept of “what do you believe in beyond reason?” Ohmigosh, what a great alternative to “what are you passionate about?”

    I DO believe that passion can follow action. Through your encouragement I believe I am getting tiny glimpses of this here lately. I don’t know that my passion is for writing, but through writing I am finding myself getting EVEN clearer about what I “believe in beyond reason.” I am actually looking forward to writing these days, not to accomplish a certain thing, but because of what I will discover. Thank you.

  2. Thanks. Very inspiring, and practical. Success requires work and discipline.

  3. Hi Jenna!
    Loved this article. Reversing the passion and action really made me think.
    I enjoy so many of your articles that I’m wondering if I can include a link to
    your website on my new site. Do I need any special permissions to list you
    as a favorite link?
    I am putting the finishing touches on the development site to move it to
    production on Oct 7th. I’m new at this, so didn’t want to infringe by including
    your site without asking. The development site is at this temporary address:

    Thank you for your always thought provoking articles!
    Christine P.

  4. Thank you my dear. I finally read this. Poignant, important, thought provoking. Paying attention to those nudges is it. And I will continue to do so…and read the other articles/blogs that you pointed to. blessings.

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