How To Discover Your Passion and Purpose In Life
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”
—Bishop T.D. Jakes
What does it mean to be living passionately in your purpose?
Each and every one of us is unfolding their own unique path in life. For some of us, this sense of a higher purpose may come naturally when we are young. For others, it can take a lifetime to discover.
With that said, finding your purpose doesn’t always have to be something that comes naturally, and even the idea that we have to figure it out can actually only further confuse us if we get lost in our minds instead of being presently focused in the here and now. Regardless of whether we know our purposes or not, we all have this one secret key inside that can unlock the door to our purpose so much easier, and this key is called passion.
It all comes down to doing the things that bring excitement, joy, and a sense of wonder and expansion within you. When we live in our passion, the idea of “work” fades away, and we slip into a state of pure creation.
Our work becomes our play, because we are doing what we love and loving what we do. Living our passion is essentially channeling our creative energy, becoming fully present to what is moving through us, and allowing the excitement to carry our actions.
This powerful energy is contagious. When we are fully embodying this, we have the potential and capacity to uplift and inspire anyone who sees it. For example, when we look at a beautiful painting, it’s not the physical painting itself that mesmerizes us, but the care and love the artist put into it. The painting itself is truly just an outward reflection of the passion of its creator. It is not hard to tell when someone is living from their passion; you can see it by the works that they do.
Now, it’s not an uncommon thing for people to have difficulty finding what their true passions are in life. For many of us, these joys can fade as we grow up because of the expectations that are placed on us by our parents, teachers and authority figures.
So many kids growing up become internally displaced because even though they want to express themselves artistically, the structures around them insist that they become doctors, lawyers, or business executives.
Further, as we grow up we can experience pressure to get a job that pays well, or sometimes it’s just to find any job at all. We are taught that we are not worth very much, and that if we want to survive in the world, we have to work for someone else doing something we don’t want to do. In this, we put our passions aside for the need to feel secure and financially safe, and sacrifice our inner calling in the process.
What if we were able to combine our passions with our careers?
Finding Your Passion
Your purpose in life comes through your passion; it is a natural flow that will happen when you are living passionatelyevery day. Your passion creates the foundation for your purpose to be built upon. Your passions can also shift over time as you expand your awareness and experience new aspects of life. It may not be a single form of expression either, but rather a combination of many different elements.
When you’re seeking within yourself for what your passion is, it begins with an internal exploration first, which will then extend out into the external world around you.
One way to tap into yourself and explore your passions is to meditate on them. Sit in a comfortable position and allow your mind to settle. As you relax, your mind will pop up with many distracting thoughts; breathe through them. Keep coming back to your breath as you continually sink into a peaceful and calm state.
From this place of mental clarity, ask yourself “What is my passion? What do I want to create?” Keep your focus on your breath, and objectively observe the feelings, sensations, memories, thoughts, and everything that comes up. Take note of any especially vivid experiences or thoughts that get you excited. From this place, you will naturally begin to decipher the messages you are receiving in your mind.
If you, for example, experience a memory where you taught your little sibling how to fish, and the act of teaching them something brought you joy – take note of that.
Your passion may not directly translate to teaching people how to fish – but rather being a role model for younger children. You know yourself best, so the more you follow those feelings and explore the possibilities, the more answers will come to you. The ideas may seem vague at first, but continue to follow that feeling of bliss and more tangible possibilities will begin to form. This may take multiple times of exploring internally to create a solid idea of what your passions are, but the more you explore, the more you will discover!
An Exercise In Exploring Your Passion
Another great way to start exploring what you like is to get a pen and paper, and write down a long list of things you love. It can be anything at all, from colors, activities, animals, movies, music, emotions, smells, people – ANYTHING! No matter how obscure or silly it may seem, write down everything that comes to your mind; it’s coming up for a reason.
Once you’re done the list, go over everything you’ve written, and circle the things that get you the most excited. Some things may create a sense of excitement much more intensely than others – circle the ones that really invoke the most joyous feelings within you.
When you’re done circling them, write down the reasons why each thing brings a sense of passion to you. What are the core reasons for why each one gets you so excited?
As you explore this, you may find some reasons are more selfish, and some are more selfless. Some things you’ve written down may bring you joy because they solely make you feel good, and others things may bring you joy because they makes other people feel good. At this point, ask yourself why do you want to do these things? What do you want to accomplish? What are you trying to create? And who is it for?
When a painter creates from their heart, they may not be making the piece for anyone in particular, but yet their flow of passionate energy is an act of selflessness because it is a disconnection from the ego. It inspires those who see the painting, it can invoke a deeply emotional response and move others. While the painter might have not specifically made that painting for anyone, the love that went into it can truly inspire an audience, and in that, it becomes a selfless act.
When we create from a place of pure love, passion, and purpose, our outcome becomes selfless. We move beyond a mindset of “what will I get out of this?” and into a space of “I already have everything I need, and I want to share it with the world.”
When we give ourselves fully to our work, we are giving to the world. We are demonstrating to those who may feel lost in their lives, a way to find their path again. We become a beacon of light for those focusing on the darkness. If we put our ego to the side and allow spirit to embody us, our dedication to our passion doesn’t make others feel lesser, but inspires them to do the same.
Combining Careers and Passions
There is a famous quote along the lines of: If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
That is what you embody when you are living your purpose everyday. Your work becomes your play, and the continual effort put towards your creations becomes the reward itself. The feeling of “I HAVE to do this” no longer exists in your reality, and you are doing what you love, simply because you love doing it.
When you know what your passion is, the desire to make money with it should no longer the objective, but the product of your creations itself. When you’re doing what you love, the level of care you put into your work will speak for itself, and it will naturally draw people to it.
As your passion shifts into your purpose, the ability to make money will come as a by-product. When you begin to expand on your passions, a good place to start is within your own family and community.
There is also the advent of the internet! It is becoming increasingly more accessible to connect your passions with a career with the help of the virtual realm. If you love making jewellery, art, clothes or anything that can be sold online, it has become very easy to set up an online store and display your creations to the world. When you are doing this from a place of excitement, the question of “will I make money doing this?” should be an afterthought.
As you expand, you can connect with other creators and build a sense of community with people of like mind. When we connect with those who are on a similar path to us, inspiration grows exponentially and this lifts everyone up, further driving everyone’s passions forward.
The deeper we explore our passion and purpose in life, the more we will align with similar people who we resonate with. As we follow our hearts, life will naturally bring us more opportunities to meet people who are doing the same, and we can begin to build amazing communities of creators all around the world!
Keep growing and expanding your interests, for your passions will always continue to flourish as you evolve. Create from your heart, and you will open so many doors that you once thought were merely windows.