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Find Your Path to Passion

In the self-development world where I spend much of my time, the words passion and purpose are all the rage. They buzz of inspiration and excitement, and their effervescence tickles with possibility.

Of course we all want to live in alignment with our purpose and in pursuit of our passion.  But, as you know, that’s not so easy to accomplish.

Pursuing the path that will make our souls sing prompts some tough questions, and more than a little doubt. Where do I start? Can I really quit this job and try something new? How will I feel if I turn my world upside down?

Just the other day, a friend called and revealed to me her dream of leaving her big corporate career, moving across the country, and starting her own business. “I just wish the path was clear” she winced, as if her wish could will it so.

“Maybe there’s magic in the unknowing,” I consoled, offering advice I’d like to believe myself. “Once we’ve shaped the dream, we just have to commit to taking action on it, whether the course is clear or not.”

“But how?” she asked.

I fought the urge to say, simplistically, “one step at a time,” as we’ve all heard ad nauseum.

Instead, I tell her that following your passion can feel like driving at night with your headlights on. You can only see what’s right in front of you, but as you move forward, your headlights continue to shine—illuminating your path.

So, it’s not as important to know now what’s ahead in all that night-black darkness—which turns you should take, the right spots for a detour, or the places you should stop and redirect—but rather that you trust that your intuition will guide you moment by moment as you forge forward. Just as you’re confident that your headlights will light the way on your nighttime drive, you have to believe that your inner wisdom will be there for you, directing your journey.

Of course the doubt and uncertainty of pursuing your passion without a clear route is unnerving, but you’ll get to a point when it’s more painful to live in a “safe” world than it is frightening to get in the driver’s seat and take action on your dreams.

You know what’s calling you forward now—you can see it right in front of you. Follow it. Trust it. Keep your headlights on.

Alexis Sclamberg is a lawyer-turned-writer. She contributes to publications including and Cosmopolitan magazine, blogs for The Huffington Post, and writes an advice column. Alexis is at work on her first book about pursuing an inspired life as a twentysomething. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Find her at www.alexissclamberg and on Twitter @AlexisSclamberg