Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Finding your true purpose in life

I'd like to refer back to a comment on an earlier post "Some Characteristics I've Seen in Leaders."

"Identify your passion....Some people spend their lives searching for their passion. It's not very easy to do. It's a lot easier to identify what isn't than what is."

I suppose it's easy to spout platitudes like "identify your passion." What does that mean? The comment got me thinking. What career will best allow you to follow your heart's desire? What leisure will fuel this same fire? What location will best facilitate it? Good questions all! The challenge is to identify your "heart's desire."

What is the guiding force around which we can build our lives? True passion transcends our activities. We say we are passionate about reading, mountain biking, running or cooking. I'm pretty passionate about my motorcycle! Activities are not a bad place to start but to find the real deal, we need to delve deeper. What is it I love about motorcycling? Is it the freedom, the speed, the adventure, the "becoming one with the machine?" The answer to "why do I love that activity" can point us in the right direction.

A "life passion" probably transcends personal pleasure. To my mind, it should involve others. Hopefully, helping to make the world a better place. I love to deliver keynote speeches; I have enjoyed writing my memoirs. I truly love to teach - especially at the college level. Why? In my case, I think it has to do with helping people become the best version of themselves. Maybe others can learn from my mistakes.

On the positive side, I've been blessed with unique life experiences. I have lived in Ireland, Spain, Italy, USA, Mexico and Gabon. On business travel and vacations I guess I have been to at least seventeen countries. I speak some foreign languages. Thanks to others, I received a splendid education. I have known and observed some amazing people. In other words, I believe I have something to share. These experiences are too valuable for me to keep them to myself. I suspect that is why I love to teach. It's my way of giving back.

A young friend of mine climbed Mt. Everest without an oxygen tank - the youngest climber in the world to do so. He says he learned a lot and he wants to share it. Meanwhile, he works as a flight attendant in Europe. His job keeps him close to the mountains he loves. One day he'll share his stories. His activities and choices suggest to me that his passion is climbing mountains. I must ask him why he climbs! Then we'll discover his true passion.

I guess our true passion is what gives meaning to our lives, unifying our activities, guiding our decisions often on an unconscious level.

Years ago, I worked for an outplacement firm helping senior executives adjust to "being fired." Many of them cranked out their new resumes in 30 minutes. When I counseled them, I'd go back to those resumes with them digging ever deeper. What did you do? How did you do it? What results did you get? Why did you do what you did? Eight hours later, the executive would have a powerful resume - and, most times, an inkling of his or her passion in life.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Trishanu said...

I've a dream.. but my urge to achieve it, simply doesn't coincide.I know I want to be that but yet as most my mind is unstable and uncontrollable for now and thats hurting a lot.
I'am probably moving away from my home..... to a far away lonely place,
hopefully I will understand myself .... because my dream over here if said,is a obscure unnatural thing for almost everyone....
They say you need to be extremely genius ...and I'm NOT!

but yet I want this dream....

I want to be an Astronaut.
And I know it isn't easy, but that's what my heart says...and that's what my mind never accepts.

I know ... probably there is no point why am writing here ..I really don't know...I just felt ,so I wrote...

Hopefully in case someday.... you return to your blog... then you can try to read it :)

Till then I will leave....and bye bye :)

Trishanu Kaushik