Discover Your Passion – How to Find Your Path to Success

Written By: The Planet D

In today’s uncertain times, it is the perfect moment to reflect on how you have been living your life. This past year has reminded us how delicate and precious life is. Things can change in a heartbeat. We are in difficult times, but many successful people (in life and careers) seize the moment during tough times.

I know many are stuck inside and tired of binge-watching yet another series on Netflix.

Instead of wasting time glued to the TV set, why not take some time to figure out what this new future will bring? It’s time to find your passion and have the best future possible.

Quiet Reflection can Change Lives

Dave and I have always believed that it is quiet moments that have helped us move on to the next chapter of our lives. The entire world is forced into a little peace and quiet today, so what better time to ponder what you really want to do with your life?

things to do in chiang mai

I always thought great things happened to other people.

I thought that you had to be born into something or you had to know the right people to get ahead. But that is simply not true. It is never too late to find happiness in life, and it all begins with listening to your heart and following through with your dreams.

To achieve success in all aspects of life, it helps if you know what your passion is.

Discover Your Passion

find your passion achieve success

It took us many years to find our passion and at one point in our lives, we didn’t think we’d ever find it.

We always said to each other:

I know we could be successful at something, if only we knew what we wanted to do!”

There was a time when I was sure that I was going to be stuck in a job I didn’t love. I was always dreaming of someday. When we were working in the film industry in Toronto we had good jobs – on paper.

We had a house, we had two cars and we were putting money away each month for our retirement. We were living a stable middle-class life. And we thought was all we were going to get. But that all changed when we made a choice.

Discovering Our Passion

At that time, we didn’t have a passion for anything. We were going through the motions of life, paying our bills, going to work and barely keeping our heads above water. We knew we had purpose and passion within ourselves we just didn’t know how to tap into it.

We loved each other and were passionate about our relationship, and when we were younger we had a passion for life. But over time we lost the zest that we once had.

passion equals success

Work and bills and expectations of what we should have achieved by now got in the way. We let “the noise” keep us from finding our true purpose.

Stop Living for Someday

stop living for someday live your dreams now

In the back of our minds, we knew that we couldn’t go on living day by day. I couldn’t keep living like this for the next 20 years waiting for retirement. I wanted a life filled with purpose and passion now. So we decided to take control of our situation and find our purpose.

Believe me, it wasn’t easy. We had been stuck in a rut for so long, we didn’t even know what we liked to do in our spare time anymore.

Say Yes, and Try New Things

find success step out of comfort zone dave skydiving

Well, when you don’t know what you want, it’s easier than you think to find it. Remember that movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey? He started saying yes to everything and opportunity came his way. That’s exactly what we did.

We started watching what friends and colleagues were passionate about in their spare time. And we followed their lead.

We went out and networked in places we had never been to before. It opened our minds to trying new things and helped us meet new and inspiring people. This motivated us!

Surround Yourself with Inspiring People

surround yourself with inspiring people
Some of Our Toronto Travel Tribe

The people above inspire us – (left to right) TravelingMitch, WanderingCarol, JustinPlusLauren)

When you meet inspiring people, they inspire you to do great things too!

It’s important to surround yourself with people that that lift you up. I used to have friends that brought me down and made me feel small. It seemed that no matter what I did, they would judge me.

Dave had friends who didn’t dream beyond where they were now. They spent their time complaining about their lives rather than taking control of their lives.

That wasn’t helping us become our best selves, so we started to look outside our circle of friends to find people to motivate us.

We made new friends at the rock climbing gym, we joined a cycling club, and we started to make friends with people who inspired us and motivated us. They made us excited about life.

It is much easier today, you can find groups online to make friends with people who have similar interests.

A simple Google search will give you ideas for groups and clubs that are targetted to your passions.

Even when in self-isolation, you can set up group chats to help each other through.

Learn from Others

how to become successful in life learn from others

Instead of judging what others do, learn from them. I am so excited now when I see people trying new things and taking risks.

I used to have jealousy if I saw people going for their dreams. I would judge them and say things like “who do they think they are?” Now I say, “Bravo for knowing what you want!

Before we knew what we wanted to do with our lives, we went to see a lot of people speak about their own passion.

I remember listening to a man talk about his climbing expeditions around the world. He was so passionate and inspiring. Afterward, we thought, “We want to be as excited about life as he is!”

Be Motivated By What Other’s Have Done

After watching so many people speak, we had visions of ourselves doing public speaking engagements. We had never thought of this idea before, but by seeing others do it, we were inspired to do it ourselves. But what could we talk about? All we had done was go backpacking a few times in between TV gigs.

So we brainstormed. We had traveled a lot so, maybe we could talk about some of the places we’d been to. And then we took a chance and contacted our local adventure gear store to see if we could speak about our travels at one of their presentation nights. They let us speak and we loved it. That lit a spark in us to make speaking a part of our future.

Focus on your Strengths Not Your Weaknesses

focus on your strengths not your weaknesses

We always looked at ourselves as Jack of All Trades and Masters of None. We had tried everything from Scuba Diving to Orienteering.

Every month we were checking out a new hobby and then moved on to the next thing. By trying everything, we felt that we had all these mediocre skills but weren’t experts at anything.

We didn’t see how we could possibly do something extraordinary without being an expert at something.

It was then that we realized that having skills and experiences in many things gave us the expertise to be the “go-to” people for advice on how to do adventures when you aren’t that uber athlete.

“Instead of focusing on what we weren’t, we focused on what we were.

We had enough skills to do adventures around the world and show people that they can do it too.

We shared our fears and frustrations and shared our training process while we learned about trekking over frozen lakes in the dead of winter, or learning how to whitewater kayak.

This made us relatable and gave people the courage to try things for themselves.

Our skills in many things ended up being the springboard to us becoming successful travel bloggers.

Write it Down – Make a List

how to be successful

If you don’t know where to start, we suggest writing it down. With a pen and paper, the old fashioned way. Don’t know what you are good at? Don’t know what you want to do with your life? Start writing.

Write anything. Write down your frustrations, write down your childhood dreams, write down where you want to be in the future.

I’ll never forget driving home from hiking in Niagara Falls and stopping at a Denny’s in a backwater town for lunch. We were feeling bummed out because it was Sunday and we had to go back to work tomorrow.

So we started writing a life list. Today everyone calls it a Bucket List. Call it what you want, it works!

We put down every single thing we have ever dreamed of doing. Nothing was off-limits. Every dream we ever had from our childhood came out. It was slow at first, but as we started writing, the dreams started pouring out.

We wrote down our goals from everything to going on a yoga retreat and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The list was long and it made me realize I really hadn’t done much in my life. I wanted to change all that.

Looking back now, I cannot believe we not only completed everything on that first list, but we’ve also added to it. Sitting in Denny’s, we never thought we’d be able to even conquer a fraction of our dreams, but by putting them down on paper, we committed to making it happen.

And you can too! – Stop what you are doing and start writing now!

What Are You Naturally Good At?

become successful do what you are good at

Dave always had a knack for photography. It was a hobby of his for years. Little did he know he’d be making a living out of it one day.

Everyone has a talent, they just don’t see it or realize it’s inside them. So start thinking about what comes naturally to you in life.

Are you funny? Are you a good cook? Are you a good listener? Do you love giving advice? Are you committed to going to the gym or do you love reading? Everyone has some kind of talent that appeals to others or that you could turn into a business.

Who would have thought that someone could give make-up tips online and become a millionaire? If I had a passion for make-up when I was a make-up artist in TV, I would have totally started a Youtube channel to give make-up advice.

I love to read, if I didn’t’ become a travel blogger, I might have become a book reviewer. The possibilities are endless.

What can you contribute to this world to help people or inspire others?

Find What You Love

steve jobs quote do what you love, don't settle

How many times have you heard the saying “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.

I heard that saying many times before and said “yeah right. nobody loves their work.” Only a few lucky ones like actors or rock stars truly love what they do.

It seemed like a pipe dream. Or it seemed like something those self-help writers and motivational speakers always say just because it sounds good. But then I found something that I loved and I understood exactly what that saying meant.

I don’t think Dave and I have ever worked harder in our lives, but each day feels like summer camp. We love doing what we do.

I cannot believe I Am Living My Daydream.

I used to daydream about sipping a coffee and writing words on a computer like a real writer. I always said to myself, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could write for a living?

live your day dream

I never thought it would happen, and yet here I am. Now that Dave and I found our passion, we are not dreaming of someday or retirement. We don’t want our career to ever end.

If we have to work for the rest of our lives to pay the bills, we will.

Even now with an uncertain future, we are thinking about how we can pivot our business.

We know everything is about to change, but we are ready to grab life by the reins and make the future work.

Even Steve Jobs lost everything once. He was kicked out of his own company, but he pushed forward and eventually he got it all back.

Because we love what we do, we’ll keep doing it no matter what our lot is in life.

If we have millions of dollars, we’ll still work on the blog and on our videos and photography because we love it!

If we have an epic failure and have to start over, it’s okay. We have goals and dreams and will continue to push forward

And that’s your goal to do this week while sitting at home is to Find Your Daydream.

Think about what it is that you were dreaming about when you had a quiet moment at work, or when you are doing the dishes at home. What is your daydream in life?

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Stop comparing yourself to others
Image by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

People often spend too much time worrying about what others are doing. I know I did it. I spent my time comparing my friend’s accomplishments to my failures. I was so focused on how other people were doing, I ended up not getting ahead in my life.

It was a friend in college that really made me wake up one day. I was jealous of a classmate that won the role of Fantine in the Toronto Mirvish production of Les Miserables. My friend Deanna saidDeb, can’t you be happy for her and be inspired that if it could happen to her, it can happen for you someday? ” I didn’t take her advice then. It was about another decade before it really sunk in and I remembered those words of wisdom.

Once I stopped focusing on what I wasn’t getting and instead started focusing on making things happen, my life took a turn. When I started to feel joy for other people’s accomplishments, great things started happening for me too.

Take a Social Media Break

how to succeed in life lay off social media

I highly recommend staying off things like Facebook when pursuing your passion. It can be a real drain to be on social media. You can get sucked into a Vortex. (It’s even worse during these times). Not only is it a time suck, but it can also be really tough on your self worth to see what others are doing.

Instead of being on Facebook browsing an endless stream of noise, connect with your friends in person. During this crisis, chat online with friends. Join inspiring groups to chat with like-minded people.

We have seen our industry mobilize to start chat groups and mastermind gruops. Many people are making the most of what they can.

Social media may be a big part of our travel blogging careers, but we really aren’t on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for kicks. We prefer to meet our peers and friends in person and use social media for promotion.

When we are on social media we are interacting with our peers and supporting one another.

Never Give Up

Dave jumping find your purpose
Dave’s jumping for joy!

It is a wonderful thing to know your purpose and I am so glad that we never stopped searching. We always knew something was missing, so we kept on looking for our passion and our reason to get up in the morning.

You are never too old and it is never too late to find your purpose and achieve success.

In fact, having success later in life is the sweetest thing. You appreciate it more and because you know who you are, you are comfortable with the success and being in your own skin.

I think the biggest mistake many people make is assuming it is too late. They think their chance has come and gone and there won’t be another one.

I remember wanting to be a singer in my teens and early twenties. When I turned 25 I thought I was a failure because I wasn’t Brittany Spears or Christina Aguilera. I thought I was a failure and that my life was over.

I had decided that I was too old to make it now, and I might as well find a job that pays well and get on with being a normal human being. I did just that. I found a job in the film business as a make-up artist and I spent the next 10 years making a good living while being completely miserable. I’m glad I woke up and decided to start looking for my passion again.

Happiness Takes Work

art of happiness dalai lama

We were all put on this earth with the knowledge that it will all end one day and that is a difficult thing to live with. I remember reading the Dalai Lama’s Art of Happiness and he said ‘happiness is a choice.’

You have to choose to be happy and it takes a lot of hard work each day to achieve happiness. (I am paraphrasing, but that is the message that I came away with)

Every day in life is hard… even for those who are successful

Everyone has fears and frustrations, insecurities and questionable moments but when we sit down and think about where we want to be and what we want each day of our lives to be like, we can find comfort.

When you love something, you will keep working on it to make it a success no matter what obstacles stand in your way.

Success is different for everyone.

For some, it could be a mansion in Malibu, for others it could be raising a loving family. Other’s may want to give back and dedicate their lives to helping others and some may simply want to lead a life of happiness and be doing good while hopefully inspiring a few people along the way to take a chance and live their dreams.

There is room for everyone and everyone’s version of success.

I don’t know what your goals are and where you want to be in life, but I do know that if you are passionate about something and couldn’t dream of living without that in your life, it is the thing that you should pursue.

Business is Pleasure

become successful like the rolling stones
Do What you Love Like the Rolling Stones and You’ll continue to work forever

I have heard many people say that one shouldn’t mix their hobbies or what they like to do outside of work,  with their careers. We disagree. I think of all the successful people I have read about who love what they do and have turned that love into a career.

Every interview I see with Slash of Guns n Roses has him holding a guitar.

I am pretty sure that Jeff Bezos loves his work and that is why even though he has all the money in the world, he keeps working on creative and innovative ideas.

Tom Cruise gets a kick out of pushing the limits of innovation while performing his own stunts. And The Rolling Stones will never stop performing because they love being on stage!

Our hobby of travel and adventure is also our career. Does that make us an obsessed workaholic? I don’t think so.

Do What You Love

how to succeed in life do what you love

It is easy to work hard and put in the long hours and work through the frustrating moments when you love what you do. Sure, we have interests outside of travel blogging, but travel was our passion long before we began blogging.

Now we have the joy of not only being able to do something we love every day, but we also get to make a living doing it.

So while we are at home now, we are contemplating the next phase of our life. While we are all stuck inside, it is the perfect time to make a plan for the future.

Have we given you some ideas on how to succeed in life and plan for a new future?

Read more inspiration to help you live your dream

If you enjoyed this post, Why not save to Pinterest for future reference so you can get inspired again and again.

How to Be Successful, Achieve Your Dreams and Find Your passion

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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30 thoughts on “Discover Your Passion – How to Find Your Path to Success”

  1. Heu Great post, guys! Sometimes we take it for granted that we do what our biggest passion is: travel the world and blog about it! We don’t mind the long hours because we love what we do, and we hope we’ll keep going for a loooong time… our passion for travel will definitely not disappear ?

  2. I’ve had The Art of Happiness on my desk for what seems like forever. Thanks for reminding me to read it. Starting today. Cheers!

  3. Hi Dave and Deb
    What a wonderful post and a true inspiration to all of us no matter what our age is. I began my travels when I was in my mid-thirtiesn during the ’80’s I travelled through the UK and Europe in a camper van for six months. Best thing I ever did. I have been travelling ever since and though I ran three different business, one of which took me to Hong Kong, China and Taiwan I decided to give up the business and follow my passion for writing. I swopped my three offline businesses for three online websites and have also started writing my first novel about travel and romance.
    I am now 67 years young and haven’t lost my zest for adventure and travel.

  4. So well written, Ruth! You touch on a lot of points about “finding your passion” that most people don’t. I think a lot of people often focus on figuring out what you like to do in life and working towards that but it’s not always that easy. My favourite bit was you mentioning that you basically needed to get out of your own way and stop being jealous of what others received and instead focus on making things happen for yourself – that’s such a huge part! If we people tried to make something happen for themselves half as much as we compared ourselves to others we’d all be successful by our own terms.

    Thanks for sharing, it’s always nice to have someone let you know it’s ok to be in a rut and it’s ok to take some time figuring things out 🙂

  5. Hi Dave And Deb,

    Thanks for sharing this motivational article. Very useful

    Thanks and Regards,
    Gurjit Singh

    • I am so glad you discovered your passion. It can be difficult to find, but it is worth it to keep searching until you do!

  6. Wonderful post that has inspires me to plan a visit to Phuket, Thailand. Hope I’ll discover many new people and new things through my travel. Please keep writing such insightful posts.

  7. Because I know travel blogging is a labor of love and passion. I wouldn’t have stuck to it if I truly didn’t love what I was doing. Great post!

    • Well said Erica. It is easy to stick with something through the good and the bad when you love it. There will always be times when we have to struggle but when you love what you do, it’s easier to get through those times.

  8. I’ve always heard that you figure out what you love and then find a way to get paid to do it. I’m still figuring out what I want to do next. I’ve had new opportunities come my way recently but have hesitated on them because it’s not my passion. I would enjoy the challenge but I really have to think about what I want for the future.

    Just more to contemplate but I think the real theme is found right in the title passion is the key to success.

    • Wise words Jeremy. We always heard that saying as well but didn’t know what it truly meant. We said, how can we find what we love when we dont’ know what it is. We knew we liked rock climbing and travelling. We enjoyed cycling and camping and we’ve always been extroverts who love to share and support others, but how could we turn any of that into a meaningful career. And then we did! It wasn’t one thing that we were particularly great at, but we when we combined all of the above, we found that it made for a good life as adventurers and travel bloggers. It allowed us a venue to give advice, hopefully inspire, and do what we love. We were lucky that we never settled. It is easy to sit back and relax once we got a house and high paying job, but we both felt that something was missing so we kept looking.
      Sometimes it takes doing something different to find your passion. Maybe the opportunities that have come your way now, are stepping stones to finding what you really love. We always remained open to anything and gave it a try. Maybe that is the next step to you finding your next move?

  9. This post reminds me of a quote: “It is fine to be happy with what we have but not with what we are”. I believe we have to be grateful of all the good things we have but there is always room to improve and keep searching for what we really want to do.

    • Beautifully said Ruth. The one thing we are glad that we did was never settle. We constantly looked for our passion and we still are. We keep looking for what makes us happy. What did a year ago, may not next year and as life moves forward, we evolve and make changes with it. It is easy to fall into the same routine and the same patterns. It is a little bit more work to keep searching and striving for better. But life is way more exciting that way:)

    • Well said Nancie. It is harder than it sounds to find your passion though. I really wanted to be passionate about something for years. I tried so hard and kept searching all the time. Yes, I was happy and my work was fun, but I wasn’t fulfilled. Something always felt missing. I didn’t know what it was like to have a true passion for what I did until I found travel blogging. So many of us reach a certain age and settle. We have too many bills, too many responsibilities and we decide that having a paycheck is better than being truly happy. I hope to inspire people to keep searching, because it is wonderful when you find it. I’m glad you found yours:)

  10. Great post – very inspiring and encouraging! My passion would definitely be travel writing, but it’s so hard to know where to begin. It’s not one of those careers where there’s a degree and clear career trajectory. Just keep writing, I guess! 🙂

    • Wandergirl, you are already 90% of the way there. I reference in my post that “We knew we’d be great at something, if only we knew what we wanted to do!” Knowing what you want is half the battle. You now just how to figure out how to make it work. And yes, keep writing, sending out queries, networking and you can even write for your fellow bloggers. We accept guest posts here and are happy to share and promote. Promotion is difficult, but you can do it. I don’t think a lot of careers have a clear trajectory anymore, that is why it is so important to do what you love. It makes the hard work less difficult. good luck!

  11. Great post friends. I couldn’t agree with you more. What’s the point of living if you aren’t spending each day loving what you are doing. I wrote a similar post a couple of weeks ago after a friend sent me the following quote:

    “Don’t ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

    Let me know what you think:

    • Beautiful quote Kristen. It is wonderful to see that so many people are taking the initiative to live their dreams. It took us longer to figure it out than other people, but when we finally did, it felt great. I love being passionate about not only my hobbies and interests, but also, my career.

  12. Great post, guys! Sometimes we take it for granted that we do what our biggest passion is: travel the world and blog about it! We don’t mind the long hours because we love what we do, and we hope we’ll keep going for a loooong time… our passion for travel will definitely not disappear 🙂

    • You are so right. We always have to keep reminding ourselves how lucky we are. Sure, it is hard and work is hard but we get to do what we love every single day and when we keep it all in perspective, it is pretty easy to get up in the morning and live our lives to the fullest. I can’t believe that I am sitting here in Venice right now answering comments. I’ve always wanted to go to Venice, and now, here I am not only visiting, but making a living out of being here. It’s amazing.

  13. Such an awesome post! I also think passions can evolve in life and we have to be aware of that too. 🙂

    • Well said Andi, we do have to remember passion does evolve. When we were younger, Dave wanted to be a drummer in a band and I wanted to be a singer like Whitney Houston. I’m so happy with the way our lives turned out. It was our passion to be musicians at one point and now we love travel and writing. Who would have thought?