Everywhere I look - even in my OWN writing, I see phrases filled with "passion" and "purpose."
I got an email the other day, and I started thinking. (Which you all know can cause a lot of problems if you aren't careful.) I wonder if we've forgotten what true passion and real purpose are, because we overuse the words so much.
What is Real Love?
Many, many years ago, a spiritual mentor told me that she had learned to use the word "LOVE" only when it applies to God and people. She taught me that unless you carefully guard the word love, it loses it's meaning.
I mean, really - do you love summer? Or, ice cream? How about loving your favorite sports team or restaurant.
Can you truly love something when it doesn't have the created capacity to love you back?
I'll admit that I got out of the habit of watching how often I use the word love. I bet you've even seen it in my posts when applied to things like nachos and tacos!
The lesson here is this: do you mean the words you speak? Or, are they simply filler because you haven't invest the time to explain what you really mean?
Consider These Words and How Often You Use Them
And, will a phrase like "on fleek" hold any value two years from now?
What is Passion?
Check out the various definitions of PASSION at the Merriam-Webster site, and the first entry is: the sufferings of Christ between the Last Supper and His Death. It also states that "suffering" is an obsolete meaning for the word. There's another usage which means "the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces."
However, the typical use today surrounds ardent emotions, sexual excitement or even down to this bland, typical meaning: a strong liking.
How in the world did we go from a meaning that brings up visions of caring so deeply about someone or something you would DIE for them - to a strong liking of, well, anything?
As a result of this soul searching, I'm asking this question: what or who are you willing to pursue, protect and become involved with - to the death of other interests, loves and pursuits?
If you or I are easily distracted from a path - a pursuit - or a mission - are we truly passionate?
If we quit when it becomes hard, is that passion? Or simply passing interest?
When we are instructed (even when I challenge you) to pursue our/your passions - do we know what those really are? And, how do we figure it out?
The Practical Question
What about your business and life evokes true passion?
All things being equal, what things in life are you willing to leave behind, so that something else can live?
What Does it Look Like to Live On Purpose?
Purpose has an easier definition, so it's easier to wrap our heads around.
a : something set up as an object or end to be attained : intention b : resolution, determination
a subject under discussion or an action in course of execution
To live ON PURPOSE is to live by intent or intentionally.
Yet, I have a sneaking suspicion, and you may as well, that most of our days are not invested in living purposefully. Rather, we live a floating-down-the-river-carried-by-the-current kind of existence.
In order to clarify, let me state, I'm not a fatalist. I don't believe that our lives are written in stone and there's nothing we can do to change them.
Is Destiny a Real Thing?
However, I do believe in Destiny. And, Destiny, in my own definition, is that ethereal, bigger-than-me calling to something greater than we can know.
My belief is firmly established in one of the most commonly quoted Bible verses: Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. NLT
And, if that isn't enough, along comes Ephesians 2:10: For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. NLT
Isaiah 46:10 declares: I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please'. NIV
We do not have live as a people adrift with no clear destination. And, it doesn't have to feel like some woo-woo thing, either.
PURPOSE gives us an anchor to move through daily decisions.
When we live "on purpose" the demarcation between what we should and shouldn't do, pursue engage or invest in, becomes clear as crystal.
Purpose is our greatest ally in building both our personal and professional lives. Instead of looking at life with a what-can-I-get-out-of-it point of view, Purpose brings forth the greater question of Legacy and Destiny, "How does this help me live in my purpose?".
Done With It
So, when I say I'm DONE with passion and purpose, let me clarify a bit. I'm finished with the down-the-lazy-river attitude of modern society. And I challenge you to ask yourself these same questions as you are moving through your life and business choices.
- Is this [insert your choice here] worth letting something else go to pursue?
- Will this [insert your choice here] cause me to live with intent and purpose?
- Does this [insert your choice here] open an opportunity for me to move more powerfully in the direction of my Destiny?
- If this [insert your choice here] was the last thing I would be known for, would I be satisfied with the legacy?
What is Your Passion? What is Your Purpose?
Invest some time and energy into answering these questions. You may be one of the fortunate few that is 100% sure of the answers. Most aren't.
Finally, if you'd like to dig deeper into the subject, I'm giving you an easy-to-use tool to help you out. It's a Core Values Worksheet. Now, it isn't some magic formula that will reveal all secrets for you, but it will help you get a clearer understanding of what is most important to you. You can grab it here.