Real passion beats addiction every time. Passion is the fuel that people use to overcome impossible obstacles. Human beings are incredible. When we put our minds to something and really go after a goal, we can do almost anything. All you must do is find passion in recovery. Easy right?

The truth is once we know what we are passionate about, it’s easy to achieve it. A study found that talent is less important than passion when it comes to challenging careers [1].

In fact, for most of us, we have trouble with the first step. How do you figure out what you are passionate about? How can you figure out what motivates you after rehab? It’s easier than you think, and we know exactly how to find passion in recovery. Let’s start by defining what we want.

Ikigai – A Reason to Live

Ikigai (pronounced: ick-ee-guy) is a Japanese concept which translated means “a reason for being”. Perhaps the sum of our goals, our dreams, our motivation and a version of ourselves we hope to be.

Ikigai diagram

So how can you find your Ikigai?

There are lots of different ways, and if you are feeling a little lost, it’s a difficult to get on the right track. We hope to outline some of the very basic tasks you can do to find your passion for work, to find your passion in life, to find real motivation, to find Ikigai.

So that’s your ultimate end goal, finding your Ikigai but before we rush there, you need to start taking small steps to find passion in recovery, and it starts with understanding what you like and don’t like.

Important Note About “Not Caring” or “Caring Too Much”

When it comes to following your dreams or being ‘happy’ there are usually two schools of thought.

There are people who say you should just not care, just go with the flow, and stop worrying about finding a passion [2] and then there are people that say that passion takes some hard work, a plan, and some risks [3].

We think it takes both. You should not over complicate your own thoughts and dreams because you might drown out your inner voice, but you should also not wander around aimlessly hoping that passion drops from the sky and lands at your feet.

How to Find Your Passion – Step 1: Likes and Dislikes

This step is for the guys in recovery who have no idea where to begin. Maybe you’re fresh into your stay at a men’s sober living home, or you have been in recovery for a few years and you are unsatisfied with your progress. You can find passion in recovery by knowing yourself a little better. You can start here.

Take a step away from being happy and let’s just start with what we like and don’t like.

In the past, almost all your energy was spent on the wrong stuff; drugs, alcohol, substances and activities that remove the feeling and thinking of the present.

So, the first step is to pay attention to the present as much as possible. Make a note of things that you like and things that you don’t like. Keep that list on you and keep it growing.

Figure Out What Your Dreams Are – Step 2: Happy Moments

Pay attention to moments when you are happy and moments when you are unhappy. You can amend that to moments when you are “satisfied or content” and vice versa.

The point is that you should take note of your surroundings, the people you are with and what you are doing when you feel happy or unhappy.

Figure Out What Goals to Have – Step 3: Try Something, Anything

Now that you have a better idea about what you like and dislike, try something new that incorporates those likes and moments.

Try anything new. Because passion won’t just find you, you have to find it.

Give yourself 6 months to really try focus on something. It could be anything, painting, photography, website design, poetry, carpentry, cooking, YouTube videos, miniature model making… dedicate yourself completely to something for 6 months.

When you try new things, you’ll discover what you do and do not like. Finding your purpose is easier when you have tried something new.

The Difference Between Discipline & Motivation

Once you begin recovery, you spend a lot of time avoiding unhealthy habits and (hopefully) trying to build better habits.

This discipline can really help you focus on finding your Ikigai.

You can’t expect to find your passion if you can’t when you have trouble getting out of bed at the same time every day or you can’t make your bed.

Motivation is not nearly as good as discipline. Try to be as disciplined as possible and you’ll find your purpose!



[1]: Applied Psychology – Follow your heart or your head? A longitudinal study of the facilitating role of calling and ability in the pursuit of a challenging career.

[2]: Mark Manson – Screw Finding Your Passion

[3]: The Art of Manliness – Does Your Passion Show Through?

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