The Power of Passion Projects

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Personal Development

Let’s start with a bit about what a passion project is and isn’t.

We (people) spend so much time chasing and searching for our purpose or passion it all becomes rather tiring and creates feelings of hopelessness. Which can, I think, impact our confidence and self-worth.

If, on the other hand, we simply slowed it down and undertook something smaller that ignites our spirit, we’d be far happier.

At least, that’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it…

By carving out some time for reconnecting with our womb of creativity through a passion project, which is driven by your genuine interests and motivations, we would reap many benefits such as:

  • Mental health
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving skills
  • And even your professional life

What Are Passion Projects?

A passion project is a creative endeavour you undertake voluntarily, driven by your interests, talents, or heart’s desires. It’s something you do purely for the love of it, not because you have to or for financial gain. You do it just because you can.

Passion projects can take many forms, from crafts to social initiatives, artistic pursuits, or educational endeavours. They are a way to channel your energy into something that brings you joy, satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

My passion projects have included knitting bears and strange dolls, which were donated to charity. Knitting is extremely relaxing, so this is a perfect way to do good and chill. I’ve designed and made a set of chakra mandala paintings. Other projects include creating greeting cards and writing eBooks and journals.

Recently, I made a set of Runes and on my to-do list is a set of oracle cards. See later there is a list of all kinds of things.

What Aren’t Passion Projects

Here are some thoughts about what they are not.

While hobbies can be enjoyable and relaxing, they may not necessarily be passion projects. A passion project typically involves a deeper sense of purpose and commitment beyond leisurely activities.

They are not about impressing others. Passion projects are driven by your intrinsic motivation, not by the desire to impress or gain approval from others. They’re about fulfilling your own desires and interests.

While some people turn their passion projects into careers, not all passion projects will become full or part-time jobs. They can exist alongside your regular work as a source of personal fulfilment.

A key thing to remember is that a passion project can evolve over time, and you might discover new interests and change direction. It’s not a lifelong commitment but more a journey of self-discovery.

And finally, it’s not always about a finished product. Sometimes, the process of pursuing a passion project is more important than the end result. It’s about the journey, learning, and personal development rather than achieving a specific outcome.

Why Start a Passion Project?

Rediscovering Your Passion

Life often leads us down paths we didn’t originally intend to travel. Starting a passion project allows you to reconnect with your interests and passions, rekindling the flame of enthusiasm for things you may have set aside. As you can see, I adore writing, knitting and arty projects, and I’d love to learn more about photography.

Personal Growth

Passion projects challenge you to step outside your comfort zone, acquire new skills, and expand your horizons. This personal growth can boost your self-esteem and sense of purpose. Painting mandalas and making Runes certainly did this for me, but I did it, and it was fab.

Stress Reduction

Engaging in activities you’re passionate about can be a great stress reliever. It provides an opportunity to escape from the demands of daily life and immerse yourself in something deeply satisfying. Knitting the bears and dolls came at a time of my life when things were horribly stressful, and it took me away from that.

Mindfulness and Mental Health

Passion projects often demand your full attention, fostering mindfulness. This mindfulness can reduce anxiety, improve concentration, and improve overall mental well-being. I know the world is far away when concentrating on a project.

Enhanced Creativity

Pursuing something you love can ignite your creativity, leading to innovative solutions in other areas of your life, both personally and professionally. It goes without saying that I love creative projects, but they don’t have to be arty or about writing.

Problem-Solving Skills

Passion projects encourage you to think critically and creatively, which can translate into improved problem-solving skills applicable to various life situations. When doing a passion project, I am flung into the world of big-picture imagining and back down into the details. How I do these things helps me solve other problems.

Increased Productivity

The motivation and energy derived from working on something you love can spill over into other areas of your life, making you more productive and efficient. Bizarrely, when I have engaged in a project, I have increased energy and enthusiasm for other things.

Sense of Fulfillment

Completing a passion project can provide a profound sense of accomplishment and fulfilment, boosting your self-worth and happiness. Even when I’m not too fond of something, and this is usually when I attempt to paint, I still feel my self-worth, inner peace and contentment increase because I was forced out of my comfort zone, and I did it.

Building Relationships

Passion projects often connect you with like-minded individuals, creating a sense of belonging. I love the camaraderie and giggles of a workshop.

Professional Benefits

Beyond personal growth, passion projects can also positively impact your career. They can showcase your skills, improve your resume, and even lead to new job opportunities or entrepreneurial ventures.

10 Ideas for Passion Projects

OK, are you ready for some ideas beyond art and writing?

Photography Blog

Start a photography blog where you document your adventures, sharing your passion for photography with others. This project allows you to improve your photography skills and connects you with a community of fellow photographers. Places like Instagram are also a great way to show off your pics.

Gardening and Sustainable Living

Create an urban garden in your backyard or even on your windowsill. Document your journey towards sustainable living and share tips, tricks, and insights on your blog or social media platforms. I confess that gardening is not my thing, but I am incredibly happy that the first shoot on some ginger I planted is coming through.

DIY Craft Workshops

If you’re crafty and enjoy making things, consider organising DIY craft workshops in your community. Teach others your skills. This is great for creating a sense of creativity and community. One of my artist friends runs greeting card workshops that are always full.

Volunteer for a Cause

Find a cause you’re passionate about, such as environmental conservation, animal welfare, or education, and dedicate your time to volunteer work. You can also use your skills to create awareness campaigns. Where I live, there is a massive dog abandonment problem, and this is an area where people love to give their time to dog walking, fundraising, and even looking after the kennels.

Learn a Musical Instrument

Always wanted to play an instrument? Start learning one, whether it’s the guitar, piano, or violin. Record your progress and share it online, inspiring others to pursue their musical dreams. I would adore doing this, and I am often found on Amazon looking at flutes, but in truth, I don’t have the time or will to do this right now.

Write a Novel or Memoir

If you have a knack for storytelling, write a novel or memoir. It’s a cathartic way to express yourself and could potentially lead to a published work. With November around the corner, there is NaNoWriMo, and I have a memoir planner that will keep you busy for a while.

Home Brewing and Fermentation

Experiment with home-brewing beer, making kombucha, or fermenting vegetables. It is a fascinating hobby, and you can also share your recipes and experiences with a broader audience. I made Kefir once, and I kept it up for a year. I loved the Kefir, but after cocking it up one time – that was it for me.

Outdoor Adventure Journal

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, start a blog or YouTube channel to document your adventures, sharing tips, gear reviews, and breathtaking landscapes with fellow adventurers.

Meditation and Mindfulness Practice

Deepen your mindfulness practice and share your journey with others through guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and personal reflections. Help others find inner peace and tranquillity. I’ve enjoyed making meditations for workshops and have thought about doing more, but for me, doing them for workshops is as far as my project skills go.

Eco-Friendly Art Projects

Combine your love for art and environmental conservation by creating eco-friendly art. Use recycled materials to craft unique pieces and raise awareness about sustainability. Imagine the fun of rummaging in second-hand shops, beaches or woods.

And all of these lend themselves to blogs if you also love writing and engaging with others.

But What If You Don’t Know What You’d Love To Do?

This is an interesting point, especially if your life has been a round of work, looking after family or other commitments.

Discovering and pursuing a passion project can be a transformative journey, but it’s not always easy, especially if you’re unsure what excites you. If you find yourself in a position where you don’t know what you’d love to do.

Connect with me, and let’s explore. We can brainstorm ideas, and I can help you design a project, stay motivated and hold you accountable if you need extra support.

In the meantime, take the time to reflect on your interests, values, and experiences. Think about the moments in your life when you felt most fulfilled or when time seemed to fly by. Consider the activities you enjoy in your free time or topics you find yourself researching online. These can be valuable clues about your passions.

Let your journal be a mirror reflecting your true self, unfiltered and raw, capturing the essence of your journey through life.

Dale Darley