How Close Are You To Living The Life That Truly Excites you?
Find Out In Less Than 2 Minutes!
Short answer: No.
Long answer: How much time do you have?
Well, let me ask you: Why do you do what you do? Or why did you start what you are doing now?
Let me begin with a story. Paul wanted to become a successful cherry tree farmer. When thinking about his dream, coincidently he realized the guy next to him in the restaurant is a successful farmer. He asked for advice. „I buy the best seeds I can get“, the farmer said. With great excitement, Paul ordered the best cherry tree seeds he could get. As he couldn’t see the result he hoped for, he asked another expert for advice. „Did you water them sufficiently? I drown my seeds in water.“ Time passed, and Paul consulted with a third farmer. „The secret of my success is the soil.“
I will spare you the details of expert No 4 - 99. All experts had good intentions and shared what’s most important for them, maybe assuming that Paul knew all the other necessary details. Others might be experts in a slightly different field - for example expert No 2 a rice farmer, not knowing the essential structures necessary for cherry tree farming.
All successful people have specific beliefs regarding why they are successful. This however doesn’t mean that they actually understand the importance of all ingredients that they are using, maybe they are not even aware of some of them (e.g. mindset, vibrations etc).
A question like Do things really just come together when we follow our passion? is like asking "How do I cook the best chocolate soufflé?“ and get as answer "Take Chocolate“. Or to discuss the most important part in a car. Some might say, the engine; others point to the wheels, the gearbox, the breaks, petrol - or even the radio.
Basically, there are two ways to success: by pushing (e.g. force, endurement, pressure), or by following the pull (e.g. passion, purpose, following the bliss, trusting your intuition, having faith, surrendering etc)
Most successful people achieve by pushing: they are eager, driven, using every way and method to succeed; they push through, no matter what. Surely, at least in the beginning, they might have chosen a career that was of interest to them, through which they were able to embrace passion. However, this is not true for many of these people - circumstances, society, upbringing or their social background pushed them into a certain direction. Most likely they found some passion in what they are doing, the passion for making money, passion for power, position or possession, or a certain life style. Maybe they are passionate about their wine collection that they could built by working hard and making money.
Most people who are succeeding by pushing and force however will never be free and fulfilled. Their driving factor is the pushing further, their short term happiness resides in winning and achieving. They often numb and repress their pain, the feeling of emptiness by pushing further - for some this might involve drugs and substance abuse.
Joseph Campbell describes in his book "Follow your bliss" that it's best to follow your pull. Passion makes up one component of that pull.
Coming back to the question above: Why do you do what you do? Or why did you start what you are doing now? Didn’t you start what you are doing now because you were interested in that? Was there at least some kind of benefit, some kind of passion that made you decide to start what you are doing right now? How did it work out for you?
In many job interviews the applicants are asked why they want to work for that company. Many applicants start to share their passion (e.g. serving clients; accounting; justice - if you are a lawyer; healing patients - when you are a nurse or a doctor). So why is that that many, if not most of us, do not fully enjoy their profession? What happened? What happened to the passion?
I believe passion to be one ingredient. It is the ingredient why you start something, however not the one bringing it all together. Through my observations, by working with many clients I see three major components that are needed to thrive: the alignment of meaning, belonging and purpose. Passion is just the starting block.
Let’s take a look at these.
Imagine, you are starting to work in a call centre, because your passion is to solve problems for other people, assisting them. During the first weeks everything is new and exciting, and your skills really help the clients to calm down. You are resolving the problems, offering that what is necessary so clients won’t experience these kind of issues in the future. Months down the line … still the same calls, still the same problems. You feel like nobody in your company is actually working at the root of the problem, getting it fixed. You start to question the meaning of your work. Your passion is still to solve problems, but you get frustrated. Things don’t come together for you, they are actually moving apart. You don’t like getting up in the morning, to go to work. Your whole life starts to feel wrong. Simply because your passion was not enough - you didn’t find meaning in your work.
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FREE QUIZ: How Close Are You To Living The Life That Truly Excites You?
Imagine you are passionate about marketing. Your skills and experiences lead you to a job in a pharma corporate - one of the best, helping many people. Your favorite pain killers are also produced here. With passion you start working there, and develop great campaigns. As your headache is not getting better, in your private life you start to investigate alternative ways. You are becoming more and more interested in natural remedies, healthy eating, a different lifestyle. You share your new learned information with your colleagues and your boss. They begin to look at you and treat you like you’re an alien... But whatever … you don't care. Over the time, your campaigns are starting to become less effective and profitable. Still passionate about marketing and always gaining new insights, you wonder why things are no longer coming together. No salary increase, the promised promotion and bonus doesn’t happen. And you start wondering what’s wrong with you …. What has changed? Well, you have changed. There is simply no feeling of belonging for you any longer. With your new learned understanding of natural healing you are no longer aligned with the Pharma marketing sector - you can no longer sell what you no longer believe in.
Imagine you are a young student, joining a political party. You are passionate about their program, and you believe you want to be a part of transformative change. Years later you realize that only those, who have that hunger for power, will climb the ladder further and further. Being an insider you understand that this party and its leaders do not fulfill a greater purpose. The more you realize that, the more frustrated you are getting.
If you don’t find meaning in your work, or live and work in an environment of belonging, or do not serve your own or even better a purpose for expanding humanity, your passion won’t bring you far.
Passion on its own can actually be harmful. There are passionate rhino hunters, bankers, money hoarders, soldiers, politicians, thieves and criminals; generals of each country and army are probably passionate about "defending their country", no matter what. If passion becomes the only driver, it can become a dangerous minefield - one will defend passionately their point of view, convinced that their perspective contains all that matters. It turns into a self absorbed game, where one is not able to expand their perspective and become more inclusive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jay currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa. A place he calls home. Jay’s expertise is to support and guide inspired individuals to transition from a profit oriented business career to a purpose driven business career. He recently started MasterStories.com, a platform on which individuals can share and process their personal story. Most excited however he is about starting The Bridge with his nephew Henri, who currently resides in Prague - two generations, inhabiting completely different parts of the world, coming together for the mutual intention of uplifting three and more generations! - Check out Jay and Henri's FREE QUIZ "How close are you to living the life that truly excites you?"