On one side of the spectrum, some people think that their passion will just reveal itself to them and then others are in a perpetual state of searching through an array of self-reflection techniques. Jim Collins, author of (my favorite) Good to Great utilized a technique that I found intriguing as a new way to learn what helps you get in a state of flow.
Collins deployed the scientific method of observation to himself the same way he used to document movements of bugs in a jar as a kid (Yes, he was a self-proclaimed nerd!). Jim designated a notebook as “A Bug Called Jim” and for a year he recorded his actions and emotions as they related to work. Every day he noted the activities that excited him and those that drained him and after several months of doing so actionable patterns emerged that led him to leave his job and pursue teaching and research.
I have just started a “Bug Book” of my own but already have found that it has made me far more conscious of the tasks that bring fulfillment and those that are done from necessity. I hope I can use the insights to adjust some of my projects or at least to schedule them differently.
Maybe channeling your inner scientific nerd could help you identify happiness amongst that which bugs you.
(As told in Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley)