Have you ever wondered what your purpose was in life? Do you ever feel like you are just surviving every day without really moving towards something? Do you wish that there was a way that you could just get some clarity?
I believe that we have little clues that we are already experiencing that can help us find our purpose in life.
Those little clues are our passions and those passions can leads us to our purpose.
As creative people we can sometimes feel as though we are being pulled in many directions with our many interests and passions. Sometimes we can even feel like we have no idea what our passion is. It can be really confusing, frustrating and down right depressing.
I used to marvel at people around me who seemed to know exactly what they were supposed to do in life. They would live with such focus and seem to be content that they were on the right path while I floundered around trying to figure out what I should be doing until that magical day when I would all of a sudden figure life out and fulfill my dreams of being an actor…or actress for those of you that want to get technical. (But technically actor means both actor and actress.)
I studied theater in college and always thought that eventually I would start an acting career. I had no idea what it really took to become an actor other than I had to work at my craft. I had no idea about marketing, networking, or business. It’s counter intuitive to think that a creative degree should include entrepreneurship but I think it’s necessary.
After college I got married and my husband and I started a family. I realized that I didn’t have the time to go to extensive play rehearsals. By this time YouTube was starting up and I used to peruse it wondering if I could do something like that. 6 months after wondering my husband gifted me with his hand me down laptop and a flip camera.
With my new instruments in hand I started a YouTube channel and blogging for a creative outlet. I was able to continue to grow in my creative passions and over the years I wrote and directed my first show called A Song for Peace that would continue to run for 4 years.
(I started doing much of this while working full time, pregnant and raising kids so please don’t think that you can’t find time to pursue your passions as well!)
I continued to write and eventually got to fulfill a dream by performing a one woman show for moms called Sweatpants and High Heels. In between I started a few businesses but never really felt like I had found my passion. I always felt like something was missing. Like I was doing all of these disjointed awesome things but I wasn’t building towards one thing.
The problem was that I was searching to find out something that I already knew. I knew that I had a passion for acting and telling stories. I already knew that I had a passion for writing and producing plays.
The problem was that I hadn’t found my purpose.
If you are looking for your passion…pause.
You probably know exactly what your passion is. You probably have several of them.
And that’s okay.
I used to think that I was only allowed one passion in life.
That’s totally ridiculous! There is no rule that you only are allowed one passion!
You probably have a passion for your friends, your family, your art, music, your pets… the list could go on and on. Don’t feel like you have to pick just one (at least right now).
But I still don’t know what my passion is, Dija!
Okay. I feel you. I’ll slow my roll. Everyone has felt this way at some point in their life. I’m no exception. There were times when I didn’t really feel clear on what my true passions were. I was merely experimenting and trying different things.
But what is passion really?
Passion means a powerful or compelling emotion.
So your passions will result from anything that draws out that strong or compelling emotion of yours. But we’re creative, sensitive people who feel things deeply, right? So it can be quite confusing that you feel deeply for so many things causing you to be unsure of which passion to follow.
That’s okay too.
But remember this…
Passions are discovered through experiencing more and more of life.
At the end of the day no one can tell you what your passions are. Knowing your passions comes from getting out there and trying different things.
For example, if Michael Jordan never saw anyone playing basketball he wouldn’t have known that he wanted to try it. Even though he tried out for his high school team and didn’t make it, didn’t stop him. He kept going because it was his passion and he became one of the greatest ball players of all time The fact that he was great at it, enjoyed it, and excelled at it makes me think he had a passion for it.
And he found it relatively early in life.
Some of us take a little bit longer to find out what our passions are but all of us have to keep trying different things until we discover them. Usually your passions will be linked to your talents and your gifts. Your talents and gifts can be great indicators as to what direction you should go to discover your passions. When you find something that engages your natural abilities, gifts and enjoyment you’ve found something to be passionate about! Congratulations!
So why do many of us still feel unclear about our life’s direction?
It’s because we aren’t asking ourselves the right question.
Instead of asking yourself “What is my passion?”, ask yourself “What is my purpose?”
WHAT IS PURPOSE?
Purpose is the reason that something exists. When you find your purpose you feel like you know why you were put on this earth. All of us are here for a reason and all of us have a purpose.
Your purpose will be the through line of all that you do in your life. It will permeate every area of influence. The wonderful thing is that you can live out your purpose no matter what you are doing or where you are living. You do not need to be engaged in your passion to live out your purpose…but it’s a whole lot more fun that way.
I am slowly discovering my purpose which is to encourage people to embrace and share their gifts, talents and passion. I LOVE to see people shining and doing the thing that they were born to do. It took me a long time to embrace this for myself because it sounds so…
My purpose is to see other people fulfill their purpose.
I know. I’ve barely begun to figure that weirdness out. But I embrace it now.
My passion is in acting, film making, and writing. It’s most enjoyable to me to be doing my purpose while I’m engaging in my passion. Those are the times I feel like I’m in my flow. When time stands still and I’m so happy that my cells feel sparkly.
(Kind of like Edward Cullen without the vampire-ness)
Can you tell I’m struggling to find the words to tell you what it feels like to have your purpose and passion meet? You might have had those sparkly moments in your life too. Where everything just seemed to come together.
By pursuing your passions in life you can get great insight towards your calling and purpose.
Think about your passion as clues towards your purpose. As you engage in your passions they will help you grow as a person, meet more people and get more insight into why God put you on this earth.
I used to think that your purpose was this thing that you discovered one day like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But purpose is slowly revealed along the journey of life. I learned that you cannot receive the full vision of your purpose until you reach certain milestones of understanding and growth. If you got it all at once it just wouldn’t make sense to you.
It’s frustrating and lovely at the same time.
Here are some practical tips to discovering your purpose:
1. PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS
By pursuing your passions and growing in them you will meet more people, grow as a person and discover what things you want to let of and what things you want to keep investing into.
You will be surprised by what you discover when you listen. If you need to get away and get quiet, make it a priority.
Ask yourself those hard questions about what you want in life and write down your answers. Ask yourself if you’re happy or not. Ask yourself what your dreams in life are. Ask yourself what you would regret if you found yourself on your death bed in the next minute.
Morbid I know. But do it anyway.
Ask your friends and family what talents and gifts they see in you. When do they see you light up and become most yourself? Sometimes it’s hard for us to see what comes so naturally to us and it helps for those who know us well to provide some reflection.
Listen to the one who created you. He knows you better than anyone else. Ask Him and then listen.
3. DON’T GIVE UP!
The worst thing you can do is to stop seeking out time to pursue your passions. Most people just give up because of…
- time (I repeated this on purpose)
It’s important that you make time do what makes you sparkly. If you are a parent find ways to include your kids so they can see an example that it’s possible to find a little time to do what lights your heart on fire.
If you don’t you will surely sink into a mediocre life.
4. STAY INSPIRED
If you ever find that you are not continuing to learn new things or your beginning to feel uninspired that is a clue that you are not moving in the direction of your purpose. When that happens start to shake things up by trying something new and getting out of your comfort zone.
If you need some more ways to get inspired you can sign up for my newsletter and receive a free copy of my e-book “10 Ways to Feel Inspired When You Don’t Feel Inspired Anymore”.
By continuing to move along this path of passion your purpose will continually be revealed to you as you hone in on the most important things in your life through growth and wisdom.
So share with me your passions and how you discovered it.