“Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing. Something we were born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be taught to you or learned. Something that got to be remembered.” -- The Legend of Bagger Vance
Here you are, all of 7 years old, and it’s a crisp September morning. Though it seems like any other morning, today is different. Today, you’re told you are beginning a new adventure called school. You know, that place that will have your presence every day for the next 20-25 years.
In you go as a normal kid with only the experience of backyard fun and games and neighborhood interactions with other kids like you. And out comes this knowledgeable, well-educated, well-rounded individual who is expected to change the world in some way, somehow.
You’re asked to stand up in class, state your name, and — to further put an identity as to who you are and how you think — the teacher asks you that all-important question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Fireman, policeman, doctor, nurse or teacher are the most common answers. But what your 7-year-old mind is really thinking is, “How in the world do I know?”
And there it is. It's the single most important question that is in the back of your mind throughout your entire school career. Unless, of course, you are born with the singular thinking of wanting to be a doctor just like your parents, or a lawyer just like your favorite relative. But what about the rest of us?
Well, we’re stuck in perpetual purgatory where we get questioned by others and ourselves as to what on Earth we want to do with the rest of our lives. After all, it is a paradox in terms: wanting to be good at something that will bring you success, but having no clue as to what it is.
It requires a much more different mindset: one that requires more soul-searching. You must understand the true core of who you are and what motivates you to know how you want to make a difference to the people around you.
Here’s hoping that we can find out together if your passion is your purpose in life.
1. Focus on what doesn't bring you any interest.
Make a list of things that you feel are a waste of your time and creativity. Once you have identified one, identify the next one. This is an effective way to clear the clutter in your mind and what does not resonate with you. List things you are mediocre at or that you don't like doing. The process will start opening up the airwaves for you to focus on areas you do excel in and are effective at undertaking. A string of mediocre skills, when pulled together, can wind up making you discover your passion.
2. Your passion is not necessarily your job.
Your passion is sometimes over and above your job. It is not necessarily a moneymaker, however, the possibility that it can be does exist. This is where being able to crystallize how you want your life to look like — and what you are prepared to do to create it — comes in to play.
Align what you feel in your core with what holds your interest. Remember, finding out what your passion is comes in small increments based on different experiences that leave footprints in your life. Along the way, and with enough time, a path is created where you will be illuminated, and it will manifest itself right before you.
Almost all successful people are never defined by just one skill. They have fused their skillset in an exceptional way to create this high-achieving work model that allows for maximum performance. And it ultimately aligns with their passion and purpose.
3. Remember your childhood dreams.
I don't mean what you were told to say in school, but your innermost intimate thoughts about what filled your dreams and what made you smile. As a child, the term “limit” still remained an unknown. Try to remember what brought you joy and fulfillment before you got saddled with school and homework. The lesson here is to let your imagination soar and be unbridled and free, like the mind of your 7-year-old self. You would be amazed at how liberating and creative this process is when trying to find your true calling.
4. Remember your passion — your one true authentic gift.
If you want to make your life enjoyable, you need to be living your purpose and engaging with your passions. You can try new hobbies, new interests, a new career, or other things that are attractive outside of yourself. But the key — the secret that no one seems to remember and that I am here to reaffirm — is that your true passions have been inside you all along. It is the pool of knowledge and wisdom you need to draw from to find what you were meant to do all along, hence your purpose in life.
Remember all that has brought you joy, stirred your interest, deepened your thoughts, made you think, made you wonder and made you question the world and everything in it. Create a map that brings you back to the first day when you realized you could contribute a verse to the world. Adjust your sails and forge ahead. Your life will be ever more fulfilled if you do.