Living a life that revolves around passion sounds thrilling and exciting. When we see others live their lives this way, it can be both impressive and intimidating. How do they do it? Most people who’ve built lives around their passions have had to work to identify what they are passionate about and bravely bring their lives into alignment with those passions.

Living life this way can be challenging for a number of reasons. If you want to identify your passions and build a life around them, you should get started right away.

Where do you begin? If you don’t already know what you’re passionate about, you have to start with finding your passion. To do that, we’ll first have to look at what passion is.

Passion is a strong emotion. When you’re passionate about something, it will be difficult for you to ignore it. If you walked past a store window with an object you cared a lot about in it, you’d have to double back and take a second look. When your passion comes up in conversation, you’re likely to cut in and begin to speak faster as you dive into the discussion about this subject that’s so important to you.

To find your passion, you might begin by asking yourself what it is you talk about when you are around other people. When podcasting comes up in conversation, are you the first to recommend your favorites? Do you get excited when you have the rare chance to discuss 19th-century philosophers? Your passion may be broad or narrow, and it may be incredibly niche or fairly common. The important thing to remember when working to identify your passions is to stay true to yourself; it doesn’t matter how many other people love what you love, and it is more important to embrace your passions for what they are.

When you find something you’re passionate about, it should also be something that gives you a feeling of purpose. Whether you are writing about the topic in a formal or casual context, sharing information with friends, or participating in an activity, if you are passionate about something, you should feel positive and enriched when engaging with it in various capacities.

Doing work you’re passionate about isn’t always easy and fun. As you regard your work at scale, you should find a purpose in it that is fulfilling. That fulfillment from your work will keep you motivated through the difficult times.

When you believe you’ve found something you’re passionate about, the job then becomes working to develop your passion. This requires consistent effort and time. No one becomes great at anything without practice. The best bakers spent many hours working in the kitchen before they were at the top of their craft.

Keep in mind that, as you work on improving your skills, progress isn’t always a straight line. There may be ups and downs as you go. This is part of the process and is an expected part of learning and developing. Even if you are already knowledgeable or skilled at your passion, remember that there is always room to grow.

Once you know what your passion is and you’ve worked to develop your skills, you may wish to find a way to start monetizing your work. This will make it possible to hopefully spend more time engaging with your passion down the line.

Keep in mind that turning your passion into your job is difficult in many ways. One of the obstacles you’ll face is staying passionate about your work and finding the joy in it once it becomes something you’re required to do for money. To ease this transition, it’s often best if you have a day job where your financial concerns are taken care of for a while. This way, you won’t put too much pressure on the financial success of what you’re passionate about before building up your business. This is the era of the “side hustle,” after all.

Building a life around what you’re passionate about takes time, consistent effort, and work to mindfully stay in alignment with who you are. Once you find a greater purpose with your passions, keep it in mind and return to it often. That purpose, and the fulfillment it provides, will help guide you through the challenges as you build your new life.