Passion, Purpose, & Meaning
Having passion in your life is important. It serves an important purpose. But that is vastly different than being a passionate person.
The common assumption is that passion always burns hot. Right? It’s about charisma. Getting fired up!
That is simply not the case.
True passion is about the things that define and guide you. Which can be crazy, over the top sexy. Perhaps you want to become the next Richard Branson or J.K. Rowling?
Or it could be simple, you want to do right by your kids. That's the cause that defines you. That's where you focus your energy.
In both cases, passion quietly operates in the background, influencing your life choices. And this remains true for entrepreneurs, social activists, artists, creatives and about everyone else.
But not all of your passions serve you. Some can be dangerous. Some of your passions can actually get in the way.
For example, if you struggle with avoidance issues, you can get very passionate about something that becomes a way to tune out. Which can range from booze to video games and more. Not good!
When used properly, however, passion becomes the foot soldier for that Zen-like state we commonly associate with purpose and meaning.
Which is great news! Passion is not about personality, but rather, it's a tool that everyone can learn to use. It's not a mystical state of being that is reserved for only the elite of the elite.
You don't have to be Tony Robbins to be a passionate person.
Which leads us to a very simple but powerful truth.
As you feed your passions over an extended period of time, the natural byproduct is a greater sense of purpose and meaning.
My passion for directing and producing was born of a curiosity and nothing more. But then I made my first short film and my world exploded. It was like nothing I had ever experienced.
I studied everything I could get my hands on. I attended workshops in here in Austin, as well as in Los Angeles. Then I directed my second short film and then a play.
It all felt so ... fantastic.
My sense of Zen, my sense of purpose and meaning, soared.
Which is to say, your sense of purpose and meaning will grow over time. Per a set process. It's not random. And it's not about achievement. This is where folks tend to get lost.
They confuse monetary success with purpose and meaning.
Some of the most fulfilled people I have ever met have very little monetary success. It all comes down to meeting your needs. The real ones, not the superficial ones. Are you meeting those needs?
Are you meeting those needs?
This can be a tough question for some.
As you get better at this, you’ll bring more of the things that feed you into your life. Which requires intention. Mindfully walking with life versus randomly reacting to it.
Mindfully walking with your business versus randomly reacting to it. Mindfully walking with your leadership, with your creative work, with your kids ... versus randomly reacting.
Slow down and take notice of the things that make life worth living, then do more of those things.
So how does all this apply to building a business or a personal brand? On the business side, it has to do with HOW you choose to scale your brand.
On the personal branding side, it has to do with WHY you make the choices you make. How do you measure success?
But honestly, it's about something far more important.
We spend a HUGE amount of our lives working. About 90,000 hours for the average person. That is a lot of time! How will you spend that time?
The secret to a life well lived is a career that feeds you on some level. Which is not to say that everybody should turn their passion into their profession.
It just means that whatever you do, it needs to serve the big picture in a way that is deeply meaningful to you. That's the big takeaway.
Are your choices feeding you? Are your choices as an owner, a creative, whatever the case might be, are those choices fuel? Are you living, leading, and creating in a way that keeps you optimally motivated and focused?
Which brings us back to my questions from a moment ago. You got needs. Are you meeting them? It all comes down to walking that path with intention.
In my very successful post, The Three Traits Of Highly Creative Entrepreneurs, I do a super deep dive on this idea of being an intentional creative and/or entrepreneur.
As you bring more things that matter to you into your daily life, your sense of purpose and meaning will grow. Personally and professionally.
That's how this rodeo works.
Life wrote you a check for 90,000 hours. How have you been spending those hours? Have you been spending your time in a way that feeds you?
Many folks never ask these tough questions and that's a
shame. Life is too short and precious to not live it with intention. But it goes beyond that heartfelt truth.
When you put legendary entrepreneurs and creatives under the microscope, this is THE DYNAMIC that you will see. Introvert to extrovert, they found the passion that gave them fuel.
Find your fuel.
(5) Questions That Will Push You As A Creative Incredible things can happen when you go off the beaten path. It’s the best possible way to grow as a creative