A fellow entrepreneur and I were discussing our respective businesses. “I help people put their passion front and centre,” I explained, “to prioritise what lights them up, instead of just relegating it to the time left when everything else is done.” -“Oh ok,” she said, “so you help them make time for their hobbies?”
I winced a little. You could probably boil down my work to that, and creating time and space for a passion is certainly part of what I do with my clients. But that’s only the starting point, perhaps the first 10% of what’s happening in my programs.
This is so incredibly important for people to understand. Not because of me – I’m just one Coach and don’t carry much weight in the grand scheme of things – but because it’s at the heart of most people’s issues with life. There is a huge political and social dimension to this as well. Discussing it in full would go beyond just one article, so I’ll only touch on this part.
The importance lies in the relationship between your passion – or multiple passions – and your personal life purpose. In the following, I’ll explain how they are related and how you can make this work for yourself.
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What’s the purpose of life?
If you ask people what they think the meaning of life is, you’ll get beautiful, often spiritual replies. “We’re here in order to love”. “The meaning of life is to leave the world a better place”. “We are meant to learn and evolve”. The rub is, once you look at people’s lives, their priorities are completely different.
Most of us get caught up at least occasionally in making ends meet, getting our work done and organising our daily lives. Spreading love and light, learning and evolving sounds great, but who has the time?
There’s a good reason for this, and as I mentioned above it is deeply rooted in social and political structures. Simply put, our lives aren’t set up to bring us joy, they’re set up to feed our economy. We input our labour and bring up new humans who’ll also be able to input their labour once they’re grown. Meanwhile, we all consume what the economy produces.
Is that just the way it is? I say: No, it isn’t. Read again what most people believe is the purpose of life. There’s a big disconnect between what we believe and what we actually do. It causes all sorts of problems, on a large global scale and for each of us individually.
From passion to purpose
Everyone agrees that things we love doing should have a higher priority in life. There is, however, a difference between just pursuing a hobby and finding your passion.
A hobby is anything you enjoy doing, from walking in nature to playing tennis. I’ll always support you in making more time and space for these things! However, a passion is something that truly lights you up. If playing tennis is something you feel you couldn’t live without, if you completely forget time and don’t ever want to go home when you’re out in nature, then you’ve found a passion.
The best guideline for distinguishing the two is how you feel. This feeling, the state of being on fire and radiating joy, is what “broadcasts” your purpose out to the universe. I know, I know – it’s sounds a little woo-woo, but experience shows that human beings achieve most when they’re in this state of joy and, dare I say it, purpose.
Prioritising these activities – the ones that truly light you up – sounds like common sense. Obviously, we all want to experience joy. But it goes a lot deeper than this.
In order to arrive at your purpose and discover what you were truly put on this planet to do, you need to show commitment. The universe is a funny thing: It requires you to trust first, and only then will you be showered with all the abundance of joy (and other things) you can handle.
How do you show commitment to your joy? Certainly not by spending half an hour on a Sunday evening! It takes a lot of courage to prioritise a passion over whatever it is that earns your living, but in the end, it pays off hugely.
This is exactly what I do with my Coaching clients, and the results are almost uniform: A living suddenly comes easily, and so does time for family and other loved ones. It’s like magic.
Dare to do what you were meant to do. If you find the courage, you’re practically guaranteed to succeed.