In my last post, “Your Passions: Pathway to the ‘Real You‘,” I shared how knowing and engaging your passions, with what and whom you truly love, helps to align you with your life purpose and what gives meaning to your life. This generates a spark of aliveness that becomes a powerful motivating factor in your living a truly fulfilling life. Now I let’s explore how to uncover your passions.
Proust said: “The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
I like to help people start to uncover their passions by reflecting on their greatest achievements, what they are most proud of, and reviewing their strengths, talents, skills. This can provide fodder for opening your eyes to your true passions.
People often say: “I really haven’t achieved anything important.”
Please don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, reflect on what you feel good about or where, even in some small way, you made a difference. Your strengths, talents and skills are what you do naturally with ease or what gets you through challenging situations.
We also look at what you treasure and love most in life and the people who have inspired you and why. Everyone can come up with a list of these. We don’t discount anything, even if it may seem incidental.
We explore what you stand for. This can relate to family, friends, nature, cultural, civic, work, morals, beliefs, faith, etc. This is a brainstorming project, like an “archaeological dig” where everything can provide clues.
We reflect on unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. We look at what you truly want for your life. This is not about material things. Rather, it’s your deepest heart’s desire, or how you want to live or be in your life.
We shine a light on all of these things inside you. We can then sift and examine each part, like fragments of different aspects of yourself, and determine what fits and what may no longer serve you.
We’re now ready for the next step.
The Passion Test
Here is where I draw from an inspiring little book called, The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose, by Janet Atwood and Chris Atwood. Take your FREE Personal Passion Test Profile Here.
List 10-15 passions that would give you a life of joy, passion and fulfillment reviewing all the information we’ve compiled for clues. The heading of this page is: When my life is ideal, I am…. List each passion in short concise sentences each starting with words like: being, doing, having.
Essentially you are writing these statements in the present tense as though you are already experiencing them. For example: being creative, or inspiring others…………Passions are not goals or what you want to achieve, rather how you want to live your life.
Next you select your top five passions by comparing the first to the second, second to the third, etc. much like an eye exam. Once you have these listed you determine markers. A marker is actual evidence that you are indeed living that passion.
People are often surprised when they have come to me to find a path to a better job or career path, we find that most of their passions appear to have nothing to do with work. This is okay, since we are looking at the whole of you.
Once you define and refine your passions and start living them, the work or career piece falls into place quite naturally with often unexpected surprises.
In a future article I will discuss how to engage your passions – how to match your unique gifts to your passions and overcome obstacles. In the meantime, you have plenty to keep you busy. This process is truly a gift you give yourself.
As my mentor, Richard Miller, often says, “What you do for yourself you do for others. What you do for others you do for yourself.”
Are you ready to start uncovering your motivating passions? Join one of my upcoming “What’s Next in Your Life” courses to get you started.