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The context I am referring to is when someone, for instance, comes into contact with something, a subject ( mathematics, archeology or computer science, just to name a few), a religion or a sport, and discovers that he/she has found a new passion, something he/she didn't know before or didn't think it could be so fascinating. Is there an expression or an idiom to describe this ?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You could describe the event of discovering something as:

  • the eureka moment
    Definition: (idiomatic) The moment of a sudden unexpected discovery.

The first eureka moment

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True calling

discovers that he/she has found a new passion, something he/she didn't know before or didn't think it could be so fascinating.

You could say that he/she has found his/her true calling. It means that this person has a divine gift/talent for said passion/profession.

Sources have defined it as: the activity by which one regularly makes a living (which I think isn't doing it justice), and a great etymology of how the term came to be used can be found here.


Example of how it can be used:

Person 1: Hey, did you hear about Roy? He's started painting, really seems to enjoy it and is quite passionate about it.

Person 2: Yeah, I guess you could say he's found his true calling.

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Such a person could be described as having an epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation, striking appearance" [thanks, Wikipedia]) or a revelation. They could also be said to have become infatuated with their new avocation or object of enthusiasm.

If you are specifically required to produce an idiom, consider also be consumed {heart and soul / body and soul}.

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I thought of epiphany too but he requested an idiom or expression. Hence, 'head over heels' or when one is [limerant][1] for the first time [1]: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence –  Third News May 11 at 6:00
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The idiom "light-bulb moment" would work well in this context.

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Discovery is a generally accidental event that occurs when one's mined is preoccupied with some subject. For example, I made a significant discovery in discrete mathematics while sitting in a class discussion on basic tree theory. This led to over a year of research and is culminating in several papers to be published in mathematics journals.

To describe such a moment of self-discovery using something as short winded as an idiom may be sufficient, depending on how much of a role the moment plays in the individual's existence. If the individual is central to the telling of a story and the moment of discovery has an effect on the entire timeline, something more descriptive may be necessary:

"Something about that moment changed everything. Sammy couldn't get it out of her head. It kept her up at night, her mind feeding off of the intricacies and interplay of the universe that she suddenly felt she understood. Life was new, meaningful, and exciting. This could change the world, and nothing else mattered anymore."

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I think a good word would be serendipity.

the fact of finding pleasant or useful things by chance

And one of my favorite quotes:

Innovation is serendipity, so you don't know what people will make.

Tim Berners-Lee

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Consider "discover (or develop or grow) a passion for (something)."

He developed a passion for mathematics at the age of 12.

I've discovered a passion for archeology.

I first thought it would be in baseball, but then I grew an acute passion for the game of football.

Also, "take to" might work for what you're looking for.

take to: become fond of or attached to.

He took to mathematics at the age of 12.

I just took to archeology.

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