How to find your passion (and live with purpose)
How to find your passion and purpose can sometimes feel like an overwhealming task. We are all looking for our purpose, and I’m guessing if you are reading this, you also know a thing or two about trying to find your passion, your life’s mission and your grand reason for existence.
I’m surely guilty of this eternal search and this desire to make things worthwhile, to execute that ‘something special‘ I feel I’m here to do. I’m almost expecting it one fine day to hit me in the face, and then to stay with me forever after that.
But unfortunately it doesn’t really work like this. No matter how I try, searching is not the answer here. We cannot find our passion or purpose simply because it is not outside of us.
It is not hiding somewhere behind a bush or on the shores of distant lands, waiting for us to stumble upon it. It is not lost, and neither are we.
How to find your Passion
Jay Shetty, a modern monk, reminded me in one of his podcasts how we simply need to align with our purpose. Searching essentially indicates that purpose is something outside of us, which is not the case.
We are all born with a purpose, a Dharma as he calls it, and it’s a question of aligning with it.
The trouble seems to be that we want to have it all, and we want it now. We want our entire life’s purpose to be revealed today, but how could it?
I got some clarity into this when I was thinking about my 1-year old son. I have the awesome responsibility to raise this little human into a functioning adult, into a man in this world.
That may seem like a daunting task, something quite large and difficult. After all, how does one begin to raise a human being?
Yet the answer is so simple; one day at a time, or better yet, one moment at a time. That’s all I have with him, small moments that turn into days, and when enough moments and days are intertwined, it turns into his childhood, and later on adulthood, and he becomes a man.
The entire task of raising him is not given to me today, because it cannot all happen today. What is revealed to me is a step of the journey at a time. All I need to do is one step, and trust that it will lead to something grand at the end of the road.
Your symphony starts with one note
Passion and purpose work the same way. We cannot have our entire life’s purpose today, because our entire lives are not happening today. What is happening are moments, one after another, and days, one at a time.
The same way as I’m raisin my son, we are all building our purpose; one day at a time, one note at the time. We are all composing a grand symphony, but on their own the single notes don’t really sound like much.
But when you string them together, one after another, at the end of the journey you will have a beautiful melody. A single day cannot hold your entire life’s melody. A single loop on a crochet quilt cannot hold the beauty of thousands upon thousands looped together.
Jay Shetty observes quite well the funny twist we get ourselves into. On one hand we would like to have it all, and have it now. And on the other hand we don’t spend enough time living our days with purpose.
He uses the analogy of driving with a car extremely fast, but when you are asked “wow, you are going fast, where are you going?” the answer is “I don’t know, but I’m going so fast!” This is us, daily.
Just going fast, without aligning with our passion or purpose. And then we feel lost because we feel our lives are somehow lacking of meaning.
Related: Don’t put pressure on your passion.
How to live with passion and purpose?
How can we align with passion so that we live more purposefully?
The difference with searching and aligning is that searching is external, whereas aligning is internal. In order to align with our passion, which eventually leads to aligning with our purpose, is a journey of getting to know ourselves.
Having a more moments of intimate connections with our selves underneath all the layers, and asking ourselves – what makes me happy today? Where is my joy? I’m a believer in following joy, because that’s essentially our passion.
What gives you energy, what makes you joyful and happy? What is something you cannot wait to be doing, and you don’t really care if it pays the bills or not? You just love doing it for the sake of the activity. There is your joy, your passion, your purpose.
The trouble we get ourselves into is believing that if the passion doesn’t pay the bills, we are not living with purpose. We are somehow not living with passion.
But what if your passion is a like a creative little child who just wants to play and express itself?
As Elizabeth Gilbesrt says, you can be the adult and take care of your creativity. Cherish it and nurture it, instead of making it immediately responsible for adulting with taxes and budgets. That kind of responsibility easily stifles any creative pursuit.
Start now and find your passion in life
Start now, start today! Just doing more of what makes you happy little bit at a time.
During the evenings, few hours in the weekend. Quiet down during the day enough to hear your own inner voice. This means a little bit less external stimuli, a little less time on the social media, on the phone, on the podcasts or with music.
A little bit more time nurturing your connection to within. Who is there, underneath it all? What does that person love to do more than anything?
And then, when the impulse comes, following your joy.
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