Chase Your PURPOSE, Not Your Passion
Steve Martin who playedNavin R. Johnson in the movie “The Jerk” struggled from one misadventure to another as well as having a lot of difficulty finding his special purpose in life. Eventually a simple invention did bring him a fortune, however the movie is a reminder about how we can all struggle to find our purpose. Clarity on purpose is knowing what you deeply care about and then of course, you need to bring that into reality. As a leader, focus creates outcomes!
Where Attention Goes; Energy Flows
In my blog, “Focus,” I highlight that FOCUS is a great strength and a great weakness. We can’t stop thinking – and our brains are always buzzing. With ideas, innovations and new solutions to problems. We love to take risks and we are all about action. Brilliant. I am always looking and saying to those around me -what about this idea! That one! Let’s do this! Let’s create that!
Well maybe not so brilliant at times. I lose focus. Sometimes it is difficult to really achieve something when your mind is focussing on several different things. You are confusing the market – and you are confusing the universe. You can also confuse your team, your clients – and ultimately this detracts from your purpose. Then we can get tired, lose our passion and energy – it can become a vicious circle!
I am not saying we are all like this. Also it doesn’t just apply to the entrepreneurs out there.
What I am saying is be careful on what you focus on – and what you are manifesting. One of my past mentors emailed a while ago and said to me; Sonia I know you love what you do, remember your focus. We need people like that in our lives to help and support us in bringing it back to why we do what we do. Life is way too short to be doing a million things. It is more empowering and powerful to focus on your rocks; those big things; your purpose; your why and do it brilliantly. I am truly passionate about my purpose and wanting to make a difference. However even I have to take a step back and look at where I am focusing my energy and thinking.
Remember – “Attention Goes; Energy Flows.”
Truly focus on what you really want, your dreams, your why and your purpose. Manifest it every day. You only live once and believe me time is our greatest resource. If there is something you are passionate about, something you truly want to achieve or you have that great idea, focus on it. It is amazing to see what will come back to you…
Remember to always celebrate those small successes along the way too, and don’t lose focus.
I still love chasing my butterflies; however my focus is always front of mind…and heart.
Passion is a BAD cliché
UJ Ramdas refers toan article “It’s Not about Passion, it’s About Your Purpose in Life” and also Ryan Holiday who is best-selling author of the Obstacle is the Way. We’ve heard the advice, “just follow your passion” again and again as a cure to life’s problems. It never felt right, but we could not figure out why. Passion often would be the fuel to launch new endeavours, but not enough to sustain them. Ryan Holiday, talks about why following your purpose in life is much better than passion.
Find your passion is a bad cliché. Early on in her political career, a visitor once spoke of Eleanor Roosevelt’s “passionate interest” in a piece of social legislation. The person had meant it as a compliment. But Eleanor’s response is illustrative. “Yes,” she did support the cause, she said. “But I hardly think the word ‘passionate’ applies to me.” She felt that she was driven by something better: purpose. If passion is driven by energy and emotion, purpose is driven by reason. Ultimately, the latter is more likely to make us successful than the former. Just because you have a lot of enthusiasm for something doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful.
Passion is about. (I am so passionate about ______.) Purpose is to and for. (I must do ______. I was put here to accomplish ______. I am willing to endure ______ for the sake of this.) Actually, purpose deemphasizes the I. Purpose is about pursuing something outside yourself as opposed to pleasuring yourself.
The critical work that you want to do will require your deliberation and consideration. Not passion. Not naïvete. It’d be far better if you were intimidated by what lies ahead—humbled by its magnitude and determined to see it through regardless. Leave passion for the amateurs. Make it about what you feel you must do and say, not what you care about and wish to be. Remember Talleyrand’s epigram for diplomats, “Surtout, pas trop de Zèle” (“Above all, not too much zeal”). Then you will do great things.
Ask yourself what you CARE deeply about
Jessica Stillman outlines in Inc., “To Be Successful, Chase Your Purpose, Not Your Passion.” “Follow your passion” is one of the most frequently repeated bits of work advice and one of the most frequently criticized, and for good reason. A new Harvard Business Review post from Harvard Business School professor Jon Jachimowicz offers a simple, research-backed reply. Focus less on what makes you feel passionate, and more on what you truly care about. Chasing passion, in other words, tends to make you less satisfied at work because work is often difficult, draining, and even boring. So, are you doomed to simply take whatever job you can do that pays the bills? Nope, replies Jachimowicz. All you need to do is substitute “purpose” for “passion” when considering your path.
Instead of asking what makes you happy and “following your passion,” instead ask yourself what you care deeply about, he instructs. By focusing on purpose, you align your work with your deepest values, and also relieve yourself of the expectation that the long slog of a career will be all happiness and sunshine. A well-rooted sense of purpose, in other words, gives you way more resilience than passion alone ever could. And that resilience is what is likely to make you successful over the long haul. So if you’re at the start of your career or contemplating a change of direction, stop trying to follow your passion to the right job for you, and instead ask yourself this simple question: What do I truly care about? Purpose is a far better career compass than joy.
10 TIPS to find Your Purpose
Jack Canfield, inspirational speaker, refers to “How to find your purpose in life.” When I was in college, I got to know people on a deeper level, I loved human behaviour, how they set goals and what human psychology was all about. I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. Over the next several years, one opportunity led to another, and I discovered that my true purpose in life was inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision in the context of love and joy. Since then, my whole life has been developed around that purpose. Once I was clear with that, I could align every single behavior and goal with my purpose.
For some of us, our purpose and passion in life are obvious and clear. For others, it’s not as easy! It’s never too late to start doing what makes you happy and the belief that it is too late is nothing more than another factor holding you back. Once you’ve identified the factors that may be keeping you from finding your purpose in life, you can silence them and follow your true calling are here they are:
- Explore the Things You Love To Do
- Ask Yourself What Qualities You Enjoy Expressing the Most in the World
- Create a Life Purpose Statement
- Decide Where You Want to Go
- Be Clear About Your Life Purpose
- Conduct a Passion Test
- Conduct a Joy Review
- Take Time for Yourself
- Align Your Goals With Your Life Purpose
- Lean Into Your True Life Purpose
Write down your answer as a statement, in the present tense, the way you see a perfect world. Remember, that a perfect world is a fun place to be. Once you determine this, go back and read it every day. Your purpose most likely has something to do with creating that world in some way. Maybe in a small way with your friends, family, neighbourhood, community, or workgroup, or maybe on a grander scale.
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Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.