“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” - Maya Angelou.
Everyone needs a purpose. Many live aimlessly, go through the day like a robot, and find they have lost the joy life can bring!
What is your passion? What is your purpose? Passion and purpose work together to make our lives worthwhile.
The definitions of passion and purpose are:
o An intense, strong feeling or emotion towards something or someone.
o An overwhelming desire or enthusiasm for a particular activity, subject, or thing.
o It often drives people to invest time, energy, and resources into activities or pursuits they deeply care about.
o The reason for which something is done, created, or exists.
o A specific goal or aim; the intended or desired result.
o An individual's resolve or determination to achieve something is often seen as a deeper meaning or calling in life.
While passion is more about emotional drive and intense feelings, purpose is more about direction and intention. Often, when an individual's passion aligns with a sense of purpose, it can lead to profound satisfaction and fulfillment.
I am still working on this area of my life. I am participating in many things I find joy in doing. My problem is I can get so involved in the “good” things that I am doing I neglect my passion.
For years, I struggled with what my passion might be. I know my number one passion is living my life pleasing to Jesus Christ. Should I have other passions?
One of my passions is working with the mentally ill. For twelve years, I worked in a long-term psychiatric facility as a team leader and then as the social services director. Most days, I looked forward to going to work and teaching residents skills to survive with a mental illness, encouraging them to work towards living in a lower level of care and talking and listening to them. My heart went out to my clients, and my life has changed. I do not have the opportunities I once had to interact with the mentally ill in an institution. However, it is interesting that when I meet people, they often feel comfortable and tell me their hurts and fears. I am honored that others trust me to that extent. I also can talk to people struggling with suicidal thoughts. I have played a pivotal role in helping others live and work through their issues. I enjoy learning about mental illness. Those who read my blog regularly know that I am diagnosed with bipolar and have learned about my illness and others. My purpose in this scenario is to educate the mentally ill and people who do not know about mental illness.
My passion is helping people. Some of my friends have cancer, others have had surgery; I check on them and do what needs to be done. I have learned the hard way that I need firm boundaries and the ability to say no. I am still learning how to keep those boundaries. My purpose is to meet the needs of people that need my help.
Above are two examples of how passion and purpose work together in my life. Finding your passion and purpose can lead to a more fulfilled life.
Ten strategies to help you discover and define them:
· Self-reflection: Set aside quiet time regularly to ask yourself questions about what makes you happy, what activities make time fly, and when you feel the most alive. Journaling can also help process these thoughts.
· Experiment with new activities: Step out of your comfort zone. Join a class, learn a new hobby, volunteer, or travel. New experiences can introduce you to passions you never knew you had.
· Ask friends and family: Sometimes, those closest to you can see your passions more clearly than you can. They might recognize when you're at your happiest or most engaged.
· Look back to your childhood: Often, the things we loved as children can provide clues to our passions as adults. Did you love drawing, dancing, and building, or were you curious about certain subjects? Those inclinations can still be relevant.
· Notice when you lose track of time: What activities cause you to forget everything else? How you spend your time is often a good indicator of your passion.
· Evaluate what you're willing to sacrifice for: The things you're willing to wake up early for, spend money on, or even sacrifice other things for can be indicators of your passions.
· Seek feedback: Engage in activities and ask for feedback. Whether it’s a project at work, a hobby, or a side hustle, others' perspectives can help you identify your strengths and passions.
· Seek a mentor or coach: They can provide guidance, ask probing questions, and share their journey, which might resonate with you.
· Set personal goals: Once you know your passion, set small goals related to it. Your goals will give you a sense of purpose and direction.
· Trust your intuition: Sometimes, our gut feeling is the best indicator. If something feels right, even if it doesn't make perfect logical sense, it's worth exploring.
Remember, passions can evolve over time, so it's okay if your purpose or passion changes. What's essential is to remain open, curious, and willing to explore different facets of yourself.
Have a great week!