In my last blog, I talked about the difference between passion and purpose. I discussed the sweet spot where your passion(s) in life meets your purpose.
But what do you do when your passion isn’t your purpose?
First, you have to recognize whether or not your passion is your purpose. If you don’t realize this key factor, then it will be more difficult to move from where you are right now. However, if you have come to the realization that your passion is not your purpose, then your passion might fall into the category of a hobby. Hobbies don’t have to be things like collecting stamps, building model airplanes, or playing video games. They could also be things like volunteering, traveling, and cooking. While something like volunteering has an outward impact, it may not necessarily fall into the category of “purpose.” Volunteering is the “what,” but purpose is the “why.” If you volunteer because you enjoy helping or serving others, then it may be a hobby or passion. If you volunteer because you feel that you were put here in this world to make an impact by serving others, then that is purpose-related.
The Battle: Purpose vs. Security
Many of us don’t chase our purpose because we don’t want to compromise our security. We like the income our jobs bring and our social lives, and they have become a form of stability for us. People may feel a calling toward their purpose but ignore this calling because of the perceived hardships or sacrifice of security that may come along with it. However, security doesn’t have to keep you from fulfilling your purpose. You can still hold down a 9–5 job that keeps your bills paid while you work towards your purpose. You can, but don’t have to, trade purpose for perceived security. After all, if you have a family, you don’t want to put them at risk. Take care of your family first. Structure your life in such a way that you can do both. It will take discipline and focus, but you can do it.
When or if you do reach the point where you realize that your passion is not your purpose, here are some tips to help you move forward and into your purpose:
Examine yourself to identify your talents. Get a sheet of paper (or device) and start your list. Call it “My Talents.” Make a list of things that you’re good at, and don’t overthink it. You don’t have to be the best at it, but something in which you have a talent. This can be anything from singing, cooking, cleaning, speaking, selling, writing, teaching, etc. You get the picture. If you get stuck, ask friends or family members what they think you’re good at. This may be good to do anyway. Sometimes we don’t see our talents because we’ve always had them, and they don’t seem like talents to us. Everybody has a talent, list yours.
2. Evaluate Your Talents
Now that you’ve listed your talents, think about how to use them to make an impact. For example, if you have a talent at cooking, your impact may be starting a restaurant for healthy eating to improve the lives of people in your community. If you have a talent for working on cars, then maybe your impact is improving the lives and removing the stress of others by providing honest, affordable car repair services. These are just a couple of examples, but as you go through this exercise, you may unlock how you can connect your talents to your purpose. You might even be able to combine several of your talents to use towards your purpose. Again, brainstorm and come up with different ways to use different talents. Do the think work!
3. Take a Growth Journey
Now that you have a better understanding of your talents and possible ways to use them towards purpose, it’s time to do something about it. I recommend making a personal commitment to your own growth and development. Become a perpetual student, reading books and articles about purpose and life-planning. As you read, reflect on how you can use tips and tactics in your own life to live towards your purpose. Personally, I offer my program, E.D.G.E. Academy, designed specifically to walk you through how to maximize your talents and purpose. However, there are also other programs and resources out there besides mine that can help. The point is to find one that will work best for you so that you can be in this world who you were designed to be, fulfilling your purpose along the way.
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