Orientation – Self-knowledge

       How to spot Interests



Most frequent phrases:

"In general, I don’t know well what do I like".

"I’m unstable and I’m never clear or agree with what I choose”

“I don’t like anything very much… because I don’t find anything interesting”

“I like a lot of things, but it is difficult for me to see preferences”

What is Interest?

Interest is distinguished because it makes you curious and you assign it a greater importance that the rest of things.

The joy produces pleasure, entertainment and it comforts doing it.

Levels of Interest

Interests can be expressed in three levels:


You refuse to do them. For instance: “No, Don’t give that to me!! It is hard for me to do it, it makes lazy and when I have to do it, I always postpone it, I leave it for the last minute”

Average Interests

These are interests that after foraying into them, they are fulfilled and we don’t go further. For Instance: “Yes, I like it, but not as much to devote my life to this”.

Or you can find it nice in other people but it is not something made for you, so you don’t see yourself doing that.

Keen Interests

This is what inspires, sparks energy off, where concentration is reached, that is to say, nothing distracts you.

For Instance: “I’m connected to this, time goes by and I don’t notice”.

But we should keep in minds that at first, personal preferences are often delicate; they are not introduced with the passion that describes them as when you already have forayed into them, but they are things that you have kept close to you in some way, because they draw your attention more than others.

How to spot Interests

To spot them, you must devote yourself only to observation of specific personal features such as pleasant activities, stuff that catches your eye, what amuses you, etc. Don’t think about a certain career, neither about conventional factors like pros and cons of a choice, or financial remarks, etc.

You should keep these factors “frozen” for the moment.

When considering your likes, you shouldn’t think only on academic subjects, or well-formed hobbies, but also on aspects that seem to be the most insignificant ones or details.

For example: “When a friend comes to my house, I like when we make new hairstyles” or “It amuses me and draws my attention when I regard fish behavior of my aquarium” etc.

They can also be feedback about an activity, thoughts, ways of reading, kinds of climate, etc, up to what you think it seems to be smaller.

When something pleases you, try to specify in which aspect you like it.


For the following statement: "To look at the leaves and flowers calls my attention a lot”.

They can please you fundamentally in the aesthetic side, because of their colors, the beauty of their forms and textures, or mostly in the biological aspect, because of their structural features, sort of plant, what they have in common with other plants (plant group to which belongs to), for their medicinal qualities, the sort of soil where they grow, etc.

These are two different aspects why they can draw your attention.

Keep track of your interests

Start writing them down in separate columns; things that draw your attention more than others and what you don’t like (rejections); set aside everything that is indifferent to you.

Make this register bigger as a logbook you’ll carry for a while; when you encounter with something or remember something you can classify as pleasant or displeasing for you; take notes right in that moment, not afterwards.

Try to make sure the entry is explicit when feeling, by this I mean you don’t have to worry about wording, but rather how it comes out at the moment.

When collecting and reading them it is possible to glimpse a line of likes towards the ones you prefer or patent aspects of your personality.

Help yourself responding the following questions:

  • What things do I find entertaining ones?
  • What makes me curious or lets me “poked”?
  • In which things do I always  focus on and don’t overlook?
  • In which things do I perceive details? Do they have a meaning or sense to me? (Do they tell me something?).
  • In relation to the topics talked around me, which ones do I always pay attention to?
  • Regarding which things I hear about only once and I am interested on the brink of not forgetting it anymore?
  • Which things rarely make me lazy to do? Which of them always wake my energy up?
  • What kinds of thoughts frequently come to me when my mind digresses? (For instance, when I’m traveling and my mind has no worries, then I always tend to think about those things, for fun).
  • For which things do I sacrifice other ones to do them? (For fun, not for responsibility).
  • What kind of achievements do I always serve more than others? (For instance: I always focus on sports records more than other achievements like the musical, biological ones, etc).
  • When a magazine ends up in my hands, Which kinds of articles do I read first?
  • When I’m zapping on TV, in which kind of TV programs I stop, aside from the entertaining ones?
  • To what kind of things I’m always resorting to? May I leave them for a while, but I always come back to them?
  • In what kind of things, when they don’t come off, sooner I turn to resume my hopes on them?

Invalid Reasons of Interest

You like it because:

  • You’re good at that.
  • It is convenient for you.
  • You can solve problem it.
  • It gives you status.
  • With this, you could show the rest what you are worth.
  • Because the atmosphere where it is developed is nice.
  • It would make you famous.
  • It would be welcomed by your family.


That doesn’t mean that they can also exist, on top of that, some of these other reasons; the important thing is that you cannot forego the true ones.

Analyze your activities


Once you have realized which activities you like or you would like to do, you must analyze them, because it is not enough only to know which they are, because these ones could be very varied and apparently of different kinds.

In the same activity, there are many people, and not all of them have reached out for the same reason.

For this reason, you must discover which aspect is what you like in each one of them and you’ll realize that you look for the same thing in different type of activities.

Example 1:

Let’s assume the following point:“ I like when we get together and play the guitar with my friends.”

The reason could be because you love to play guitar, playing new melodies and chords, or mostly because it provides you the chance to share with your friends (It could be that both reasons exist).

Obviously the first one would indicate your attraction for music and the second one interest to socialize.

It is important to define it to spot if this like is repeated in other activities that you do and if your mind devotes a considerable amount of time to think about this kind of things.

Example 2:

A professional electronic engineer (who got his career right) told me when he was a child that he wanted to be a firefighter; it wasn’t just a passing idea, because it was insistent and it lasted a lot of time.

After adolescence, an entomology course that was optional at school drew his attention a lot. It could have been thought that he was attracted by Biology, but he didn’t pay attention to the rest of the subject, only on that.

Analyzing his activities, it could clarify for his comments that in both things he was looking for the same thing: technology. Why? Because the subject matter of being a firefighter didn’t move him to a desire for service as it could have been thought, but that he wanted to drive that fire truck that had so much interesting instrumental for him, so he wanted to know what each of those buttons were for.

In entomology, he was surprised to learn how insects figured out a set of problems with very interesting and varied skills.

As you can see in this small and quick sample, what he follows in both activities is the same, the technology, although they are absolutely different activities.

Check your interests

Circumstantial Reasons .
It must be consider that it could be an interest due to circumstances.

Example 1:

“I like to learn History with this teacher, because he is super entertaining, it’s like he is telling a tale”.

If it is like that, you should observe if this like is expressed also in other circumstances, such as articles related to these topics you find in magazines draw your attention, or when someone talks about these topics in a conversation, or inquiring aspects that haven’t been discussed in class on your own, etc. If it’s not so, it could happen like some who have paid attention motivated by teacher’s class, and after a while, their interest disappears.

Example 2:

“I don’t like legislation because all lawyers are such thieves” What you refuse there is not the advocacy but how you consider people practice it.

Your reason points to the circumstances and not to the inherent work of the career.

Painful Rejections .

If it hurts you to reject it, then it may be due to a liking that has been damaged or frustrated, in that case, the situation should be refocused and overcome to be able to take up that liking of yours.


“I always liked to be the bursar in the classroom, I liked to keep a record of everything, to organize money to spend it in intended instances, the incomes, etc, but once, I spent money and I couldn’t put it back, from that day, I don’t want to know anything about that kind of things”.

Misconception in the Object of Interest.

Aptitude can lead us to confuse our interests.

For instance: There are students who say they like math because of the fact they are good at it. Indeed, who doesn’t like something that reinforces their self-esteem, but the true joy would be entertainment and curiosity that math itself produces… and not for what you will get through it, whatever it is.

What distinguishes an interest from the discipline itself and motivation to express ability, is if curiosity of this discipline exists in daily life.

For instance:

If you think you are interested in physics, then observe if you are facing a construction, it is common for you to notice the relation of forces that are exerted on its physical structure. Or when observing a mechanism, you show curiosity for the movement transmission on it. Etc.

It is important to make clear that interests don’t have any relation with factors like: convenience, image, status, or needs of approval, appreciation, a solution to a problem, climate around working area, etc.

In other words, nothing besides the curiosity and entertainment that is produced by the job itself from the one that says is interested, or nothing you are going to get through it.

Interest in Many Types of Knowledge

It may happen that you are interested in having all kinds of knowledge because there is worth for you, in other words, you value the knowledge itself or you can associate your self-esteem to the appreciation of a good performance in a big range of tasks.

But not for all those kinds of knowledge you feel the same curiosity and level of pleasure in obtaining.

Interest To Do

It is essential to emphasize also that interest or joy must be for the development of discipline and not only for the results of this one.

For instance, it may be that I’m interested in the lasts advances in genetics and to know about them but it turns out that Biology never had drawn my attention mostly; neither would I have enjoyed the work done during those outcomes search; which equates to I’m not a creator respect to this discipline but only a “consumer” of it.

Meaning, “Everyone likes cakes but not all of us like making them”.

An Interest as “Passage Object” towards another thing, and not as “Ultimate End”

Sometimes the joy for something is only a passage towards what you really are interested in.


You are interested in English because it allows you to open a prospect to great and better technological information, which is what really interests you. In this case, English is a channel and not a goal.

Therefore, what really matters to you is technology and not the language. The real interest in English should be for the curiosity about vocabulary, its structure, phonetics, etc, that you find it fun and that calls your attention in itself.

Both reasons could exist and maybe a lot more, but the important thing is that the liking for English itself is present.

Image Pursuit

Sometimes an activity or occupation attracts us not because of an interest in the job itself, but in the image we would project to others with it.

Put it to the test, imagining you will perform that job without anyone noticing you are the one who does it, would you still like it?

Or if you like glamour around a certain job. Imagine that climate changes, would you still like it?


This does not mean that they also can exist, in addition, some of these other reasons, the important is that it #can not do without the true.


Let’s start the change