We find our lives full, we have everything and all the right things going on, and if we really think about it they are MOSTLY good! Yet we sometimes we feel as if we’re missing something, we lack clarity or direction? Or maybe it’s just me. A few years back I was confronted by this big dilemma, lacking connection and really wasn’t sure of how to resolve this big black hole. It may be an early life crisis—but I wouldn’t call it midlife (I was just hitting the big 3-0 that was all).
Immense turmoil. That’s what I would call it. I’ve always have this love affair with life and adventure, always! It was somehow not enough; I was looking for more but didn’t know what “more” means. I realized I was looking for P-U-R-P-O-S-E. Looking for proverbial purpose not related to my career, my accomplishments, not by any roles or responsibilities and the authority and money that come with it.
I took a step back and for a long time I wasn’t able to find clarity until I shift my perspective. I’ll tell you more about what “stepping back and shifting my perspective” mean on my next post to not make this post too long.
We can’t analyze our life’s passion and purpose otherwise it will be clouded by “shoulds and should haves” influenced by outside expectations. There’s a lot more to this process than what I wrote here but I hope it gives you an idea. So here goes about finding your Purpose and Passion…
1. Do Not Overthink, Take Action.
I’m a CPA by profession and thinker by nature; my profession itself requires analytical, logical thinking, pros and cons, complicated by risk and regulatory consequences, I am wired to think. Applying this way of thinking in certain subjective aspects of life doesn’t help with trying new things and sometimes even complicates clarity on simple stuff like “Do I want to do this fun thing?”
The more we act, the more we get clear on what we want. So instead of overanalyzing— Will this work? Should I try this or that? What if I don’t like it? Will I be wasting my time, effort and money at it? Taking action towards your goals and trying things is one of the few ways to figure out your passion. When I started taking action even if I was scared is when things changed for me and realized, Oh, I have other passion outside calculators☺. My favorite quote is “Do one thing every day that makes you happy, even if it scares the heck out of you”. One way or another you will see results, good or bad at least you’re more clear.
I tried many different things… I ran marathons, traveled to many different places, skied (which I discovered I don’t like landing on my butt a lot), volunteered, made friends with strangers, knitted, meditated, tried difficult yoga poses, hiked many mountains, read a lot about different topics even topics that will bore you to death, skydive, shared my ideas, shared myself to people such as say things as it is, speak my mind and was also open to be vulnerable such as admitting my mistake, shutting up when I need to and learn from a child. I was determined to not keep myself small anymore and hide “ME”. Through all that I figure (and still figuring out) what works and what don’t but it doesn’t really matter “what things” I tried. I’m learning a lot about myself, how to stay true to who I am and what I stand for, something about making real life connections that are meaningful and fulfilling and the virtue of being totally present, accepting and immersing into life as it happens. It’s a daily practice and guess what? It never ends.
2. Pay Attention and Listen deeply
Follow your heart is a cliché I know, it gets a bad rap because it gets overused by people who don’t get results because they don’t have any idea what following your heart means ☺ If you listen deeply enough to what your soul’s longing, you’ll see and feel what I mean. Close your eyes breathe deeply and then ask yourself what do I really love to do? This answer should be coming from deep within you not from your head, it should literally come from the area of your heart. If you’ve always been a thinker this may not be intuitive. Think about the time in our lives when we encountered situation(s) that your head is telling you one way but you know deep inside it doesn’t feel right…this is the process you need to use to dig deep and figure out what you want, love and passionate about….this is a whole lot of information and maybe someday I can clarify this more…
Use our heart to search your true purpose and passion.
So what is my passion and purpose? I have a passion for adventure, learning, health and wellness, self-discovery and connection. My life purpose is to fully enjoy life, be present and authentic with life as it happens and be present and love the people around me. Secondarily my life purpose is to touch people’s lives as I share my passion.
I just don’t want to be successful (whatever that means) in this world; I want to be the fulfilled and be the truest expression of myself. Deep huh? I hope I didn’t scare you ☺
3. Keep an OPEN mind
We all cannot be Oprah, or a Mother Theresa or Sting. We cannot just be ONE thing…a painter, a singer, a some “ONE “although that is still a possibility as long as we are breathing, but let’s not hold our breath to just being that one thing. Misconception of purpose is that we are meant to do JUST that ONE BIG thing. We limit ourselves and stresses ourselves out that way…you look at your watch and say oh my, I’m 55 and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!
Think of all the jobs you held over the years, some were fun and must have made you feel alive and brought delight to your life, in reality a lot of jobs don’t make you feel this way. Most jobs we had or have, we felt no passion for (that’s why they call it job). So if you are passionate about your job and you feel like you are making a difference and you feel alive doing it, hold on to it….you are one of the lucky ones. If don’t have all these, it’s okay too…that’s just life. We still can start getting in touch with your passions outside the jobs that’s sustaining us, or better yet find a job that combines both! When you lead a passionate life you are living your life on purpose.
Don’t tie yourself into that ONE Big dream, you can start living life with purpose now, you don’t have to wait until that one big moment. We can live with purpose by fully living our lives as it is with passion and be an awakened and active participant of our own lives, let’s not miss that boat! Try new things; embrace change and be fully engage in what is happening right here, right now with people around you. You want to be in the moment, feeling, experiencing and living your life on your own terms doing what you love as well as making someone’s day better. It all takes practice. You don’t have to somebody big to do this…you just gotta be great at small things. My husband is great at small things, he is so thoughtful that he makes people’s day by showing them small, little random acts of kindness. That is a life of purpose whether he knows it or not.
Passion is the energy you infuse to life to give it purpose. Like breath to our body, it makes our body move and does wonderful things. If we lack passion we lack that connection to life and thus connection to people who matters to us.