How to Find your Passion & Motivation In work

It happens to the best of us - when you're a naturally passionate person - in fact you thought you WERE pursuing your passion - and one day your alarm goes off and you don't want to get up. When it doesn't feel like the normal tired feeling of not sleeping enough but more a heaviness inside your chest. You hit your snooze button until you can't anymore and you think "maybe I just need coffee!".

That feeling is normal when it happens every once in a while - it's called life - but when you wake up day after day and the things that once inspired you just don't anymore - it's time to take a serious look at WHY and to face it head on.


The problem is not necessarily you or even what you are currently doing. The problem is that something inside of you may have changed. You may have just overcome a personal struggle, be battling a health issue, or even that you are bored with what you do - but it's normal. People change - and that's a good thing. It's just that when you're feeling unfulfilled inside, it's time to explore a little deeper as to why, and then what you can do about it.

Maybe you've just lost passion for what you used to love, or that you've now been exposed to a lot of different things that seem "more amazing" than what you are currently experiencing. I mean, who hasn't gone on Instagram and went from "everything is ok" to suddenly wondering why everyone else is smiling and seemingly having a more amazing life than you?


If you are experiencing any sort of dissonance with what you want and what you are currently experiencing, listen up. There is another way and it's really not what you think. It's not some "woo woo" magic secret - it's actually a practical change in MINDSET. Your mindset.

If you're thinking - "But I do positive affirmations already. I already have a mindset." that's great - but that's not all of the picture We have 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day, 95% of them are unconscious, and an astounding 80% negative. With that much unconscious thought floating around in your life, what you think isn't just what you think, it's actually who you now ARE. 

Passion is not something you do. This is the biggest mistake that keeps many people stuck and looking for it. You've heard and seen the people "doing what they love" and making lots of money at it. And that's GREAT for them. But being a blogger, an entrepreneur or a nuclear scientist who is "living the dream" is not the goal to be aiming for.

Why those people found their success is that they didn't go "looking for their passion". They actually just decided to own it and not judge it. And maybe you thought that you had it "all figured out", but then you were forced to show it on social media and then realized you had no idea what it looked like. It's not that there is anything wrong with you. It's just called being human.

The reality is, our minds are designed based on an outdated model. Our human minds are based on a the outdated model of the caveman.

It turns out that our human brains were designed back in a day when people had to fight of saber tooth predators, and a time when not only did we have to fend for our lives, but we literally depended on being "liked" and "friended" by our tribe.

That means that success in today's day and age, means being the type of person willing to put themselves in situations where we could be rejected everyday.  And having to be "liked" by our tribe of friends (let's call that social media) - has to now become our everyday lives. Our means of survival. Or our plunge to our confidence decent.

And because of this, it's the entrepreneurial and human struggle to take proactive action to what goes on between your ears, so that you can proactively take the actions and have the beliefs that will become your success in your day to day life and in your business.

Your actions are the result of the thoughts that go on inside of your head.


The first step is to recognize that you HAVE a mind. And with that mind, you have a choice.

Once you understand that you have a mind and you make a DECISION that solidifies your commitment to following that truth of what you want, you're half way there! This decision and commitment means that you are committed to doing the work and achieving the goal - regardless of the outside influences and distractions that are constantly being thrown at you.


It turns out the answers to what you need to do to live your amazing life and reprogram your mind, rest in in the quality of the questions you ask yourself.  

As Tony Robbins has said, "The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life."

The truth is, you may not have lost your passion at all - you may just be bored with the way you are doing it - comparing yourself to other people, or just stuck in a mindset that is keeping you stuck! You actually can't achieve fulfillment in what you do until you actually realize what is fulfilling to you - what success is to you and what it actually looks and sounds like.

Here are a few to get the ball rolling:

  • What is your definition of success? 
  • How are you going to feel when you are successful?
  • What will you see when you are successful? 
  • Where will you be living?
  • What will you be doing every day?
  • What is holding you back now? 
  • Is that what is really holding you back?
  • What do you find yourself complaining about and wishing did NOT exist?
  • What are the actions you are taking (or not taking) now that are NOT leading you to the success you want?

The questions you ask yourself become the thoughts in your head - those subconscious feedback loop that could be keeping you from your success, or, if reprogramed, can be the catalyst that will catapult your actions towards it.

Could your success, money, time, freedom – all come down to managing how you think? Let's move your questions into actions and really get started living your amazing life.



We all have them - and for most of us, they live in the thoughts in our heads. They get mixed up in the mindless chatter and the day to day interruptions - and suddenly - your beliefs and values become versions of things we saw, other people's goals and successes, and our values remain undefined.

It's not enough to "think" you know your beliefs and values. Write them down. Take out a pen and paper now and write down everything you believe to be true about your success, your life, your potential, etc. 

Knowing what you believe and what you value is like your rulebook for your amazing life. Read it often (maybe daily!) and always be aware of when you get off track.


We are all given the same 86,400 seconds a day. You and Oprah and Bill Gates all have that in common. So if you aren't living a life of passion and loving what you do, changing it, requires a little planning. Even as a creative entrepreneur, you need a framework to work within. Setting priorities IS a priority. Paradoxically to living a "freedom-based-life" all creative thinkers are better when they are given not a box, but a frame. And remember - it's your frame and you can change it as you wish.

Set priorities based on what is important to you.What is the highest value goal, and what makes you feel most alive when you think about it.


This article is about your passion! You actually have to choose what that is and then decide to go for it. Time is limited. You can make your passion your life or you can spend your life trying to "find your passion". What do you love to do? JUST START. Just start. Get it out of your head. Out of your heart. Out of your mouth. 

I need for you to start talking about it. Because the moment you do, is the moment you can start figuring it out. You don't need to know how it will look. You just need to get it out there. Your next steps, the right people - they will appear if you just start.


I know, that sounds the opposite of achieving success. You were taught to "work hard", go faster, "do it all" - I get it. But the truth is, all of those thoughts in your head - the 95% unconscious ones and 80% negative ones? If you don't look for and do things that "feel good" to you, you will spend your life in self doubt, stress, and the opposite of loving what you do.

Listen to your gut. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, know the difference between your fear and your self worth. Fear feels almost like excitement. It may feel terrifying but once you do it, it is exciting and fun.

Something that challenges your self worth, feels tight in your chest, like you were punched in the stomach, or it eats away at your soul.


Do something that matters - that matters to you. If it makes you mad when people aren't doing it, or if you see people suffering and you know you could help them - those are things you care about. Doing things that have purpose, are what gives our life purpose.


Surprisingly, this may be the most difficult for those of us that were raised under the "work hard" mindset. It's not that working hard isn't required it. It is - maybe even more so when you are living your passion - but it's about changing the way you think about "hard work". 

People living their passion and loving what they do actually work so hard because they love what they do. When you are working towards your passion and not just working to work hard, it produces greater fulfillment and joy. It's a subtle difference but when you find it and pursue it, you'll understand. 

In science, that feeling is called FLOW. It's that feeling when you're doing something and all time stands still. You could work for hours and aren't looking at the clock for it to end.


This article isn't so much about finding your passion. It's really about deciding to live what's inside your head now. To allow yourself to actually pursue the thing you WANT to do and not the thing you think you HAVE to do.

We all have dreams - you had them when you were a child - so now if you are looking for your passion, looking for what you should do next, maybe the first place to start would be inside of you. 

Quiet the negative voices in your head. The ones telling you it's too late; it won't work; you can't make money doing that. You can do anything you put your mind to. 

Retraining what’s in your head and then discovering what is in your heart, will produce a success you want. It comes down to understanding yourself and to stop fighting what it is that you think or other people are telling you success is.

Anything is possible when you understand that things like fear and avoidance of personal shame and guilt is something everyone experiences - you, your colleagues, and even the people you admire and aspire to become.  It is now your job as a human - a leader - to find ways to move past those blocks and retrain the negative and repetitive patterns, so that you - yes YOU - can live a passion filled life that you love.

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.
— Maya Angelou

Shana Lynn Yao

Shana Yao is a strategist, a healthy lifestyle advocate and Chief Experience Officer at Total Genius. With a passion health and helping others achieve personal success, she, along with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive, she has spent years studying the human mind, neurology, psychology, and neurolinguistic programming to help others create their own definition of an amazing life. She works with high achieving clients to discover their "genius" - their passion and purpose - so they can use it in their work, do what they love and make a bigger impact in the world. She is host of the My Amazing Life podcast on ITunes, dog mom, and lover of life. You can find her at the coolest coffee shops in LA working on her mission, or connect with her on her favorite social media app, Instagram (of course!) @total_genius