What Are Your "Tropisms"?

"Follow your passion, and success will follow you."
~Arthur Buddhold

Yes, I said "tropisms." Well, before we figure out what your tropisms are, we have to figure out what tropisms are! So, let's do that...

What is a Tropism?
A tropism is a term used in biology to define that which a plant naturally moves toward or away from. There are positive and negative tropisms. A positive tropism for a plant is something like water, or the sun. Plants will orient themselves to face the sun, and will grow roots in the direction of water. A negative tropism for a plant is something like cold. Most plants don't care for the cold and will orient themselves in such a way to minimize their exposure to it.

Human Tropisms
Now, you may be thinking, "Ok, thanks for the biology lesson, but what does that have to do with me and my career?" Well, let me posit that just as plants have tropisms, so do we humans. And, we have positive and negative tropisms. For the sake of our discussion in this article, I'm going to deal just with positive tropisms, and for the sake of simplicity, I'm going to eliminate the word "positive" and just call them "tropisms."

The Importance of Identifying Your Career Tropisms
So, what's the bid deal with tropisms? In terms of career choice, it's important to identify yours. What do you naturally move toward? What naturally fascinates you? For some folks it may be cars, for others, sports. For still others it may be animals. There are many. And, of course, once you've identified your tropisms, the question becomes - how can we make use of those in a career?

Tropisms vs. Interests
I see a tropism as more than just an interest or something enjoyed. I enjoy cats, but I have a tropism for dogs - or vice versa for some. A tropism is pretty intense. It is not only something you're interested in, it's something that draws you, physically, mentally, and perhaps spiritually. It's something that you could spend all day doing, or spend all day in the presence of, and never get tired of.

Using Your Tropisms in a Career
Now, if we can identify that tropism and, if we can figure out a way for you to make it a career - wouldn't that be a kick?! To make money doing something that you would just naturally love to do, to get paid for something that you would do for free. In career counseling I attempt to help my clients identify their tropisms. And we talk about them, and we brainstorm, and we strategize, and we dream.

Tropisms are just one piece of the puzzle, but I contend they are a very important piece. So... what are your "tropisms?"

"Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night." ~Glade Byron Addams

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