passion and purpose
passion and purpose

Passion: The Key to Unlocking Your Purpose

Warwick Fairfax

November 25, 2019

A key to living a life of significance is having a compelling vision you can devote your life to.  And one of the most critical factors in seeing that vision come to reality is the level of passion you have for it.  A vision without passion is like a car without an engine.  It may look like a sleek Ferrari, but without an engine, it is going nowhere.  An abiding passion for your vision is critical for its success.

So how can you make sure that you are passionate about your vision?  Where does passion come from?  Passion is often borne in a crucible moment.  You may have gone through abuse and have a passion to help other survivors find a way back to hope and self-esteem.  You might be a cancer survivor and want to help others going through cancer realize that they are not alone.  Perhaps you were an entrepreneur who failed spectacularly and wants to help other entrepreneurs minimize their likelihood of failures, and if they have failed, to learn to bounce back from those failures.

Passion sometimes comes from ideas we dream about.  We lie awake at night, thinking, ”What if this actually, really happened?  It could change the world.”

But there is a deeper level for passion that can give it, and the vision that arises from it, greater resonance and staying power.  That deeper level is rooted in your beliefs and values.  The more your passion — and thus, your vision — is linked to the very core of your soul, the very fiber of your being, the more your vision will soar and become reality.

Faith and Passion

In this day and age, sometimes we shy away from faith and beliefs, thinking they are either too didactic or metaphysical to be of use in our fast-paced, practical world.  But the reality is that we all have beliefs and values, whether we realize it or not.  You cannot be human without having faith and beliefs in something.  It might be in a particular religion or denomination, or it might not be.  Perhaps you have a philosophy of life that you believe in.  It might be something that you learnt from your parents, grandparents, or friends.  Perhaps you read a book that transformed your life, or a teacher in school greatly influenced you.

Either way, consider what you believe and what you value.  Write it down. Think about those times in life that were the most meaningful to you.  Think about events or actions you were a part of that meant the most to you and that you are most proud of.  Think about some of the most meaningful conversations you have ever had.  Then start connecting the dots.  What are the beliefs you hold most dear?  What are the values you believe in strongly?  Just a quick note on values: if beliefs are what we believe about the world and life, values are more about how we believe people should be treated. Typically, our values grow out of and are in harmony with our beliefs.  If we believe in a loving God who forgives us, it stands to reason that we should value the ability to forgive.  Living our beliefs is, of course, not always easy.  If our core beliefs are grace and acceptance, then we should place a high value on our ability to accept others.

Once we are clear about our beliefs and values, the next step is to think about what we are most passionate about.  Our beliefs, values, and passions should closely intersect. The more closely they intersect, the more you know you are on the right track.  Write down those times in life you were most passionate and excited about.  Perhaps there was something you accomplished in school or college.  Or perhaps you had a time in your job, or a volunteer job, that you were particularly excited about.  What were those things that excited you?  Perhaps you have always liked working with kids.  You loved volunteering to help kids at church, or at the local Boys and Girls Club.  You feel you have an instinctive ability to relate to kids, and they believe you really understand and care for them.  You might have beliefs and values that place great importance on caring for and nurturing people, which for you might mean kids.   In this example, the next step would be asking how to turn this passion for kids into a vision, which could be a business, a career, or a volunteer activity.  Again, write down some options.

Design and Purpose

Next, consider your wiring and your fundamental design.  If you have a background in social work or counseling using this example, you career path and vision might point you in one direction.  But you might have more administrative gifts, in management or accounting.  That could take your vision in a different direction.

Either way, you are well on your way to having a vision that is aligned with your beliefs and values, as well as how you are wired, and that you are passionate about. A vision that you believe in, a vision that gives your life purpose and meaning.  A vision that you believe leads you to having a life of significance.  A life that is on purpose, that helps others, and makes the world a better place.  A life that your family and friends, as well as yourself, can be proud of.  A legacy that you will be proud to leave.  At the end of the day, you will have lived a life of passion and purpose, a life that made a difference, a life that meant something.

Reflection

  • Consider the events and conversations that most determined who you are and what you believe, and write down your core beliefs and values.
  • Reflect on those activities and jobs that you were most passionate about.  What about them made you so passionate?
  • What vision that is in line with how you are wired would best be in tune with your beliefs, values, and passions?

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