Why Not . . . Discover Your Purpose?
Wednesday June 23, 2010

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When a person realizes their purpose, they are in essence discovering their passion, what they could spend endless hours involved in and lose all track of time.  So why not spend your life pursuing your passion?

Easier said than done, I realize that.  It’s much simpler to take the route you’ve seen completed by your parents or an older sibling, but if it doesn’t electrify you, why continue down such a route? Now, don’t go and quit your day job, especially in this economy, but consider for a moment the possibilities of taking a chance in those hours you are not at your day job to begin puttering away on those things that seem to take you out of your stressful world.  Dare to dream. (For even more tips on how to use those hours effectively read The Other 8 Hours– it will be highlighted in the newsletter this Friday – do sign up – click here.)

For some of you, you may already be living your ideal life, and for those people I applaud you – what a wonderful accomplishment.  I would love to hear from those of you who have successfully found your purpose and are now spending your waking hours immersed in it – what helped you to arrive at this point?  Please do tell!

For anyone who is still searching for their purpose, or has figured out their passion, but doesn’t quite know how to make it materialize, this series is for you.  Over the next three Wednesdays, The Simply Luxurious Life will be taking you through detailed steps on how to create just that – a simply luxurious life for yourself.

Today’s focus is on discovering your passions, narrowing down what fuels your fire and adds energy to each step you take.  Here we go.

Be Willing to Grow

Just because you increase in age doesn’t necessarily mean you are growing.  Each person who takes on their dreams and challenges them to become their reality is choosing to grow.  They are intentionally choosing to expand their minds, abilities, talents and opportunities.  None of this can happen automatically simply because a person grows older.  So make a conscious decision today to grow.  Whether it be by picking up The Atlantic monthly magazine or purchasing a particular book to learn more about what you will have to take on, that is growth.  Begin now.  Decide now to grow.

Ask Yourself

If you aren’t quite sure what you desire, what you are passionate about, but you know you’re not passionate about what you’re currently doing, ask yourself these eight questions and actually write them down (this may take 15-30 minutes, but it is a good exercise if you are serious about narrowing down what it is that you are passionate about).

1. What do I do where I lose track of time?
2. What am I most often complimented on?
3. What do others look to me for?
4. What do I have the most fun doing?
5. What makes me feel great about myself?
6. What am I naturally good at?
7. What do I most often give to others?
8. What ideas, things, places and people am I most inspired by?

As you look back on what you have written, you should start to see a theme. For example: losing track of time shopping, receiving multiple compliments on my wardrobe choices, friends look to me for advice regarding their clothing, love flipping through fashion magazines, wearing fabulous clothes builds my confidence, having an eye for colors, textures and patterns that work well together, giving clothing as gifts – you get the idea hopefully.  A person who answers the questions this blatantly should be building a career as a stylist or consultant even if it just begins in their evening hours.  What do you have to lose by trying?  Realizing your dream, spending your entire life shopping?  There is not one dream that is too silly to pursue if you have a passion for it, a true passion.  Always keep that in mind.

Begin Today

The only way to achieve the life of pursuing your passions is to begin today.  Small steps taken every day will eventually get you to the end of the marathon. A funny thing will happen while you’re taking these baby steps repeatedly, you’ll realize (if this is indeed your passion) you don’t mind the extra hours you’re spending typing away on your computer in the middle of night.  You won’t even be looking at the clock until someone has to nudge you and say, put the computer down and go to bed.  The little steps will become a habit, and you’ll begin to see glimmers of progress every once in a while and no matter how little, this will motivate you to take the next steps tomorrow.  Have faith, take action and watch what happens.

The Benefits

You still may not be convinced that spending those precious eight other hours you have before and after work working on another potential career is the best idea.  In fact, you may have resolved to be content with how your life has turned out and feel it is much more “adult” to be responsible and keep the job that you can depend on even if it doesn’t electrify in any way what-so-ever.  But before you dismiss my suggestion entirely, consider the benefits.  Here are just a few people have attained by pursuing their true innate passion – that voice they couldn’t squelch: a strengthening of one’s self-confidence, reduction of fear, anxiety and worry, actually improving at your existing career due to a sense of fulfillment, improved relationships because you are aware of who you really are and you can present your true self with confidence, gaining more focus for life and, the ultimate benefit, gaining genuine long-term happiness and personal/professional fulfillment. Just a few things to keep in mind when questioning whether it would be worth it or not.

~Update: One more worthwhile benefit to discover your purpose – read more here.

So, if you haven’t nailed down what you are passionate about, sit down and answer the eight questions above. Then, just take one small step before going to bed tonight.  And then one more tomorrow, and repeat.

Click here to read the second part in the series as it focuses on turning what is right now only a dream into your very own reality.  I hope you’ll return and would love to hear your thoughts on today’s first part of Discovering Your Purpose.  Have a wonderful Wednesday and take that first step now – today (or another step if you’re already on the right path) – don’t wait.

20 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Discover Your Purpose?

  1. Oh how true, doing a job every day that you don’t enjoy is a horrible – but often necessary – way to live! I got to do something very different when I started working as a make-up artist – this was after years of studying hard (graduate school), always polishing my CV and working in an office so a complete change! It was a lot of fun. I’m looking for something else now… What about you?

  2. Oh, this is such a great post and addresses a very important truth. I don’t think I could live without feeling passionate about something. But passions are also like hot love affairs to me – they end. E.g. I’ve been so passionate about yoga for 15 years that I became a physiotherapist and yoga teacher, now I’m passionate about tennis and photography (again). But to feel truely alive there needs to be something you can immerse yourself in, for sure! xoxo

  3. As a first generation Filipino-American, my parents had high expectations of me becoming a doctor one day. It’s not uncommon for individuals of Filipino decent to journey down the medical route as it is very highly regarded in our culture. From a very young age, however, I expressed a great love for music, singing in particular, and I was lucky enough to have parents who were willing to nurture that interest. Although they had hoped to add an “M.D.” at the end of my name in the future, they felt involvement in music would help me to be a more fulfilled, more well-rounded person.

    At the age of ten, I began singing in our church choir, and I was advised by our choir director to study voice with one of the parishioners. Little did I know that meeting my Barbara would change my life forever.

    Barbara was a dramatic soprano who laid down a strict discipline for me from the get-go when I began studying with her at the tender age of eleven. She trained me in the bel canto style, and through her guidance, vocal expertise, and complete freedom in the Spirit, it wasn’t long before I fell in love with Opera. There is nothing more exhilarating to me than the Gift of Song, and from then on I decided to dedicate myself to the Art which had found, chosen and uplifted me. It didn’t come without complication – my parents wondered for a while whether or not I could make such a decision about my future as such a young age. Thankfully, they came around and have supported my music ever since.

    Now, twelve years later, I have enjoyed two solo recitals in Carnegie Hall and have received my Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from a major US conservatory among many, many other fulfilling musical adventures. Although I’ve accomplished some wonderful things, my musical journey as it stands is really only just beginning. Now it’s time to venture out into the world doing what I love above all else. With my Barbara (who has become my Godmother), I know there is nothing I can’t do, so long as I remember that this Gift must be nurtured, cared for and shared for something greater than myself… and I believe with all my heart that it is my purpose to sing to the glory of He who gave me this blessing and live a full life of Song.

    My apologies for this epic comment, but my greatest thanks to you for writing such an amazing post. It reminded me of just how fortunate I am.

  4. This was an AWESOME post! I truly believe in every word you have written! I was in a career I “thought” I supposed to be in b/c I went to school for it, but I was COMPLETELY miserable, so I quit and followed my passion, and I have never been happier! I have an amazing job that I love, and now I never feel like I am actually “working.”
    I have a very entreprenural spirt and I am always trying to improve myself, never settle for average, shoot for the stars!
    <3 Cara
    PS. Come enter my fabulous giveaway!

  5. Chanteuse – thank you so much for sharing your journey. It is truly inspiring to hear and such encouragement to those who are contemplating whether they should take a chance on their dreams. Thank you, truly.

  6. I thought this post was so well written and provided a lot of great information. I just wrote a REALLY long comment with info that I thought would be helpful and how I arrived at my own passion/purpose in life. My computer went crazy and I lost it. 🙁 I’m not going to re-write my huge book of a comment (gotta get back to work) but I did want to say that I would like to perhaps use this as a featured guest post with links to you. I thought it was a great jumping point and then people can come back for the rest of the series.


  7. I also adore this post and its message. (Though I wonder if the very first idea should be flipped?? When a person realizes their passion, they are in essence discovering their purpose??) Even when we’ve found our passion, as SabinePsynopsis said, sometimes it ends or changes. But that’s not a bad thing! More passion! More purpose! More life!

    And is that an adorable Norma Jean kicking off the post?

  8. Oh this is just fabulous! And oh so true. It’s really wonderful how you lay it all out like this. I’m a huge believer of following your passion.

    Hope you’re having a fabulous week! 🙂

  9. I found myself nodding to every point of this free and positive post. I just wish someone had let me read this when I was a little girl. It takes a lot to let go and let live, but when you do the possibilities are endless. Have a wonderful day sweetie!

  10. this is beautiful!!! i’m at that stage in my life where i’m discovering my purpose and all that i’m passionate about! Blogs like this help me to fall more in love with design, fashion and all things beautiful 🙂

    thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    p.s. this idea is brilliant (to help people like me discover their passion/purpose)

  11. Laura, I know how you feel a bit. I too wish I had it such advice earlier in my life, but at least realizing it now is a gift as well. Perhaps to make us appreciate the our successes even more. Just a thought.

    Kristen Joy – you are more thank welcome.=)

  12. Brilliant post. To begin with I am passionate about Life itself. I see it a bit differently; my passions never run out; they are the opposite of hot love affairs; Passion is the Key ingredient in my life. It urges me on; that and love;-)

  13. Awesome post! I really needed this today. I feel like I’m “stuck” in a safe yet unfulfilling job and have so many ideas and interests I’d like to pursue. Looking forward to all your future wednesday posts. Thanks for this one.

  14. I truly grateful that you’ve created such an informative blog. I’m a courageous person, always have been, but now I want to reach for even more, it’s time for more changes, shifts to make room for the new. This as well as other posts on your blog are making me think in new ways. Thank you.

  15. This Time Now – I am the same way, once I have attained a goal, I’m looking to see where I can challenge myself next. I know you will be successful in your pursuits and thank you for your compliment. It means a lot. 🙂

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