[quote style=”boxed”]We need to find our own path, because it’s about what we love and not about what they love. – Maya Ackerman[/quote]find your passion

Is it really possible to find your passion amidst a struggling economy?

In recent years, we’ve experienced quite possibly the worst drought ever when it comes to employment. The effect it’s made on our self-confidence and happiness has been drastic and has been something i’ve personally spoken about in a previous article and in particular, how it lead me onto starting this blog. One thing I haven’t mentioned is whether it’s possible to do something you love when you’re in financial difficulties.

This is a problem many of us face due to having little choice but to make decisions solely on our ability to survive and get by. After all, how can we quite possibly survive without taking care of our basic necessities?

This leads to a paradox and sends us on a downward spiral. It’s a basic problem i’ve found, which i’ve struggled to answer on a number of occasions due to being a victim to this very issue myself and only now finding a way to rise above it.

The solution is perhaps one that becomes more obvious the further you begin to understand what passion actually is and why it’s imperative to pursue it regardless of your situation.

Passion breeds Action

The typical case for most of us is that we tend to end up in jobs, which we may or may not like and are there mainly to build a career that might have been something that we felt would provide us with complete security further down the line. But there is also a tradeoff. Many employees are left feeling powerless, unable to find time for other things and simply lacking in motivation and the will to pursue other options due to the long hours they spend in the office.

The simple truth to this in recent times is that security doesn’t really exist.

Many of us are now starting to realize this and are beginning to look for other alternatives. In a recent poll done by the Office for National Statistics, there has been an 84% increase in the number of self-employed people since 2008, with 60% of them occurring between 2011 and 2012.

This is of little surprise having experienced this myself and speaking to others who are going through the same pattern.

We are slowly becoming aware of just how important it is to find our true calling and purpose in life by finally pursuing what we’re really passionate about. This breeds action and an increased sense of self-confidence; we are becoming vastly aware of just how important our well being really is versus simply surviving in the traditional model of living.

Granted, there are people who genuinely enjoy their work and do not mind working long hours in an office. But I would envisage this to be few and far between in the next 10 years.

Work You Love

Having looked into this problem for a few years having experienced this for myself, I discovered that more and more people were writing about this very issue and putting an emphasis on doing what you love in order to leave a mark on the world. Scott Dinsmore from Live Your Legend, was one such person who I discovered and really loved following.

But another person in particular who I especially liked was ‘Maya Ackerman’ who runs her own personal blog Great Living Now. What I really love about Maya in particular is that she places a great emphasis on ‘exploring yourself’ in order to find what you truly love. This is something i’ve often spoke about in my blog on numerous occasions in order to help explain what it takes to build character and self-confidence.

Many of us very rarely start off knowing what we really enjoy doing. Some find it early in life whilst others much later.

But i’ve often said that the key to finding who you really are is to explore outside of your comfort zone and to challenge your boundaries by doing new things, until you find something that resonates with you.

I was fortunate enough to read a copy of Maya’s book ‘Work you Love’ that goes onto explain this in detail and places a great emphasis on the idea of ‘Love’ and how love is the essential ingredient to really know whether what you’re embarking on is something you ought to stick with or stop doing.

It made complete sense to me having reflected on my past since i’ve often found myself to be the most happiest when I was in line with my true purpose and doing the things I truly enjoyed doing. Irregardless of whether there were monetary rewards or not. I was simply driven to push myself simply due to pure enjoyment of the activity.

I give my thoughts on her book in the video below.

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Even after reviewing the book and understanding it’s premise. I still had a lot of things I wanted to say to answer the key question of how one can actually find their passion during tough times. For example:

How could a person find it if they lacked the financial resources and in a job in order to support themselves?

The answer was pretty clear. Love and Passion was what I was reminded of time and time again when reading Maya’s book. These 2 emotions are important for a number of reasons:

  • It gives you the will and drive to succeed amidst a tough situation.
  • It increases your happiness and well being, which aids your health and ability to keep going.
  • It provides clarity and aid in tapping into you hidden resources, which you otherwise can’t get doing work you dislike.

The Interview

My review of Maya’s book couldn’t have been complete without reaching out to her personally in order to hear her thoughts on the topic and to get a better understanding of what it really takes to truly find and do the work you love.

As always, i’ve provided the video of the full interview below.

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I really enjoyed talking to Maya and had learned a lot of key things, which I missed having read her book. It was clear that she placed a big emphasis on living life to her true potential and didn’t care about what other people thought about her pursuits.

This is something I myself battle with consistently amongst some of my peers who would rather live in line with what’s generally expected of them regardless of whether they’re happy with it or not.

A few key takeaways I got from the interview:

  • Create variety in your life because it will not only help you find long term happiness, but will also help you explore yourself.
  • Money and prestige doesn’t matter. What’s really important is the journey and the activity.
  • It’s impossible to achieve happiness and self-confidence in yourself if you’re doing something that isn’t in line with who you really are.
  • Just because you’re good at one thing in your life doesn’t mean you can’t be good at a range of things. The minute you limit yourself, you limit what life has to truly offer.
  • Identify what your excuses are and eliminate them from your mindset as quickly as possible.


‘Work You Love’ is a book that not only tells the story of Maya’s own personal journey, but also gives you an awareness of just how important doing the work you love really is, and what to focus on. It gives a stark reality on the current state of society and provides you with another alternative and perhaps something to think about when planning your life and career moving forward.

If this is something you’ve been thinking about for a while and need something to push you off the fence once and for all. Then I really recommend you read Maya’s book.

For more information on Maya, please visit her website at:


Resources In The Video

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  • Work You LoveWritten By Maya Ackerman. A fascinating book that looks at the current economy and how to find the work we love by looking deep into ourselves to find the real answers.

How did you discover your passion? Please leave your comments below…

Onder Hassan
Onder Hassan

Onder is the founder of Dawn of Change. He spends most of his time in the discovery of his own potential, building his self-confidence and using his experiences to share and teach others how to do the same.

    11 replies to "How To Find Your Passion In A Struggling Economy – An Interview With ‘Maya Ackerman’"

    • Tom Dixon

      Eliminating excuses is huge. A lot of clients I work with start with excuses, and as we peel them back and really examine them we see that many are really opportunities. Here is to doing work you love!

      • Onder Hassan

        It’s very common for sure.
        It’s what I did and still do and always have to stop myself from doing it lol
        It’s like a default behavior all of us do and have to consciously unlearn.
        It’s funny, because when you do, you realize that there’s really nothing we can’t really do if we set our minds to it.

    • Dan Black

      Great post and video!!! Anyone can find their passions it’s the making a living from them that can be difficult:)

      I found my passion for leadership when i was 19 years old. My friend put on a John C. Maxwell leadership CD and that sparked my personal growth and desire to learn and become a leader.

      Great content here!

      • Onder Hassan

        Thanks for the heads up Dan!
        I’ll definitely check out Maxwell’s Leadership CD. I love listening to stuff like that.
        It’s really fortunate that you found your passion at such a young age. It wasn’t until I turned 25 when I realized what my passion was, and am now paying the price for it. Most people my age (28/29) are established with their careers whilst I’m just getting started. 🙂

        • Dan Black

          Anything from John Maxwell is worth reading or listening to. At least your getting started my friend. Better later than never:) Keep writing great content and following your passions.

          • Onder Hassan

            Thanks for the encouragement Dan. Lets hope this leads to great things in the future. I’m simply relying on blind faith at the moment 🙂

    • Trevor Wilson

      Excellent post Onder. This is such a tricky subject. So many of us are stuck in jobs doing work we hate for people we don’t like. Even those of us fortunate enough to have a great work environment and bosses we respect still find ourselves lacking something.

      And that something is passion.

      Passion should be the fuel that fires our work each and every day, but more often than not, it’s relegated to the weekends . . . if we have enough energy leftover from the work week, that is.

      It’s really a curse of modern society that so many of us are simply cogs in the machine. Each and everyone of us has so much to offer the world, yet few of us ever truly live up to our potential. We never even give ourselves the chance.

      I love the message here. Doing work you love is vital to creating a fulfilling life. I hope more and more people take the time to consider things and start pursuing their own passions.


      • Onder Hassan

        Thanks Trevor,
        I was in that situation for years since graduating in 2005 and couldn’t figure out why what I was doing was making me depressed and lacking of energy.

        I would wake up each morning dreading to get out of bed. It would usually take 6 months to get over the ‘honeymoon’ phase of a new job before realizing how unhappy I truly was.

        I think the key trick to finding out what you truly love is to notice what really makes you happy. A lot of people will say “Well what I love can’t be something I could make money from”

        I think in today’s economy and with the aid of technology, we can make a business out of any passion. Something Gary Vaynerchuk talks about a lot in his books and seminars.

    • Hiten Vyas

      Hi Onder,

      I loved your interview with Maya! You really do some excellent interviews, by the way.

      Hey, one thing I wanted to say is that you’re not too old! At 28, and what you’re doing, you’re planting the seeds for a real bright future! Keep up the great work.

      I can appreciate the discussion on creating variety. I’m doing this at the moment with writing some fiction. So far, I’ve only ever written non-fiction and believed I couldn’t write fiction. However, I know that I’ll never know whether I can unless I try and give it go.

      Thank you.

      • Onder Hassan

        No problem Hiten,
        Thanks for the compliment 🙂 I still have a very long way to go before I make something out of this, but it will be interesting where it will lead to a year from now.

        We really do create our own destiny 🙂

    • Minecraft Games

      Wow, really good. thank you for sharing. The information is useful and necessary for each of us.

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