Are You Driven By Pursuits or Led By Passion?
Contributor


Sometimes, instead of being led by divine guidance to a place of ultimate fulfillment, we are driven to acquire round pegs as we waste our energies trying to pound them into square holes. We feel a void that we try to fill with “stuff” we feel the need to attain, titles to earn, and status to achieve. However, here’s the dichotomy – those empty spaces can only be filled with what we are willing to give – our time, talent and resources that we use to serve others in a way only we can.

One thing to clarify is that I am not talking about charity in this article. Although there is a time and a place for giving back to your community, to your church, and to those in need, it isn’t the topic here. 

I firmly believe you have been given special gifts and talents, uniquely tied to a purpose-led passion in your life that can be utilized to reach others in a way no one else can, and that your intrinsic gifts are directly related to a profession in which you can excel.

The problem for many people looking for their path in life is that the waters get muddy. Some of us end up focusing our efforts on building an acquired skill versus investing in our natural gifts. When we try to build a life or a business based on a skill, it takes a lot more effort than if we build our life and business around something we were born to do naturally. This is the difference between running on a treadmill and getting nowhere, versus hitting the road on a gorgeous spring morning and taking in the sunrise as we move forward towards a destination of achievable joy through visible accomplishment and internal fulfillment.

If you feel more like a treadmill runner going nowhere, maybe it’s time to realign your profession with your passion – but first, you have to know what your passion is. If you have not thought about it in a while, or wonder if you’re on the right track, it’s time to stop and do a quick assessment to confirm what it is that could keep you focused and motivated for the rest of your life, leading you to the fulfillment and success you deserve.

Remember, your true passion is not about an object like a nice car, big house, the trendiest wardrobe, or a multi-million dollar company. Those are things that will change, become passé, and fade away. You have no control over the outcome, longevity, or results of attaining those objects and possessions.

If that is your pursuit, you soon come to realize that those possessions start to own you, instead of the other way around. Soon your time is taken up by maintenance, feeling the need to take time away from that which is most important (people), so that you can continue to acquire and then maintain even more “stuff.” It soon becomes a dizzying downward spiral that leads to a miserable, unfulfilling life.

Your passion also is not your profession. For example, for the longest time, I believed that writing was my passion. However, my very wise business coach sweetly informed me that I was mistaken. My profession – writing – was simply the vehicle for my passion. My passion is to give a voice to the voiceless, to help people understand their past is not to be hidden or run from, and that they can squelch all the negative voices from their past by embracing their story and using it to change their stars! Instead of building walls, they can build a second story that takes them to new heights! This is something I can accomplish regardless of my profession, or my possessions, and I can do it as I go about every moment in life!

The same is true for you. Instead of looking at a possession or profession as your passion, your true passion will be tied to something of value that cannot be bought, attained, or earned – your life’s purpose!

Here’s a little exercise that might help you clarify your passion and purpose in life:

Without thinking and evaluating your response, quickly list out your three favorite movies (or books) that you turn to and can watch or read again and again.
•______________________________
•______________________________
•______________________________

As you examine those three movies (or books), think about their focus and plot, the obstacles the characters have to overcome, and the personal development they experience. What is the common thread you see?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

This answer will generally hint at something you are deeply passionate about, which will inevitably be linked to your purpose. This provides some insight into what your life would involve if you were living in alignment with your heart-felt values and calling.

Are you ready to get your family and/or peers involved? If you still need help in pinpointing a specific passion, send a quick email to those closest to you and ask them, “What’s my thing?” "What are my natural gifts, talents, and abilities?" and “What would YOU say my passion is?”

You’ll be surprised at how similar the answers will be, and they will all hint at your giftedness and purpose! Once you know, you can begin to better align your profession with your passion so you can serve others in the way that only you can.

It’s time to get off the treadmill and tap into your natural gifts so you can actually get somewhere. Go find your wings and change your stars! 

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