How To Start A Passion Project From Scratch When You Have No Time Or Ideas

You wake up and hear the most annoying sound on the planet. Yes, I’m talking about your alarm clock.

Ugh!

You hit the snooze button because all you want to do is go back to sleep.

As soon as you fall back to sleep, the alarm clock rings again.

This keeps on repeating until you’re running late and have to wake up with a grumpy mood to get ready for the day ahead.

Now imagine another scenario.

It’s time to wake up. The alarm clock rings as it normally does. As soon as it does, you turn it off and wake up with excitement. You jump out of bed, not because you’re getting late, but because you’re looking forward to something so exciting that you can’t wait to get off your bed.

Now I know what you’re thinking… “I’m too lazy to make that happen.”

You’re not lazy. You simply don’t have a good reason to wake up. When you have nothing to look forward to, you dread the day and have no motivation to wake up.

But when you have a reason bigger than your urge to sleep in, you can’t wait for the alarm clock to ring.

Now you may be thinking…

That’s only possible for those who love their jobs. What about me? I’m not passionate about my job.

If that’s you, I have good news for you.

You don’t have to have a passionate job to have a passionate life.

How could that be possible?

The answer lies in starting a passion project.

What Is A Passion Project

A passion project is a project that you do out of love. It’s something you enjoy so you get an intrinsic motivation to pursue it. It’s a source of flow, joy, meaning, and fulfillment in your life.

The possibilities of where you can take your passion projects are endless. You could keep doing it on the side, involve your friends into it, meet new people because of it, turn it into a business, and so on.

Even when you don’t have any other interest outside work, friends, and family, you can try out new things to find out what you can get passionate about.

But why is it important that you start a passion project and how do you find the time?

Well, because we’re doomed.

According to research, an average human with a lifespan of 72 who starts using devices at the age of 10 will spend nearly 6 years, 8 months on social media and 8 years, 4 months watching TV.

That’s 15 years of your life if you combine both — social media and TV. I’m not against social media and TV as they can be great tools for connection and relaxation if used well, but that’s a big chunk of your life, don’t you think?

In 15 years, you can move mountains. But sadly, most people won’t because they’ll be looking at screens for that amount of time.

The social media, TV, news and other forms of media have us hooked into their products and experiences. They have taken our attention away. Although It feels good to use them at the moment, overuse them and they can turn into a source of addiction and depression.

So how do you escape the trap and fight for your freedom? That’s right — with the help of passion projects.

A passion project can save your life because it still has the power to beat the designers and engineers behind crafting addictive products and experiences who play with your “feel good” neurotransmitters.

A passion project also helps you diversify your sources of fulfillment. Just like your portfolio, you don’t want to depend on one source to get all your returns.

The solution? You can derive fulfillment from different sources like work, passions, family, friends, health, wealth, personal growth, etc.

When one source falls apart, others keep you up so you can keep standing still and get the fallen source back up again. But if you depend on only one source and if that falls apart, you have no base or support to get back up easily.

Now that you know the importance of a passion project, let’s get to the fun part…

How To Start A Passion Project

If you already know the passion you want to pursue, then you’re already one step ahead. But if you’re confused about where you should start, you can get your passion project ideas and examples from this list of passions.

Once you’ve picked your area of interest, it’s time to start learning and practicing. And while you’re at it, you can document your journey through a blog, a YouTube channel or a podcast. Or you can do it on your own if you wish. It depends on the purpose of your project and the time and energy you have for it.

The purpose could be to pursue a hobby, create a side hustle project, start a business, go through a personal transformation, etc.

Related: My top learning resources and a list of 300+ educational websites.

The next step is to decide the time and place for your passion project to happen. For some, it may be the first thing in the morning while for others it could be the last thing in the night.

It depends on when you get the alone time to work on it with deep focus. Then, decide the amount of time you’d work on it. Even 30 minutes a day are enough to change your life.

The specificity and the structure can help you establish a daily habit of showing up for your work. But don’t let it come in your way when you need to be flexible with your schedule.

Once you’ve established the habit of showing up regularly at your given time and place, it’s time to face the elephant in the room — self-doubt and the feeling of incompetence.

That’s where the Dunning-Kruger Effect and the concept of The Dip by Seth Godin can help you out.

Dunning–Kruger effect passion projects
Dunning–Kruger effect
The Dip Seth Godin Passion Project

Both concepts convey that as the effort and your knowledge increase, there comes a time when you get all-time low results and feel the least confident. It may seem like you’re declining but that’s not true because it’s a necessary process for the next stage of your growth.

It’s normal to not yet have the skills that match the level you want to perform at. It’s normal to get poor results until you start seeing growth. Achieve mastery one day at a time and over the years, you’ll be surprised how much you can improve.

Most importantly though, a passion project is about adding more flow, joy, meaning, and fulfillment in your life. So do what must be done and fight against the big corporations that want to steal you of those things by grabbing your attention and selling it for your soul.

It’s our job to create passion and find purpose in our life. Let’s do it one day at a time, win the war and gain back our true freedom.

Prakhar Verma

Prakhar is the creator of Design Epic Life. His mission is to help ambitious people design their epic lives so more people can truly live before they die. Sign up to the DesignEpicLife newsletter to stay up to date!
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