Purpose & Passion. What if I don’t feel either?

In corporations ‘passion’ has become the newest buzz phrase. On Instagram there are millions of posts about pursuing your passion first and then business will follow.

Almost as elusive as passion is finding your purpose. There is no limit on the number of people we could help, or the number of ‘passions’ we could pursue. Yet life purpose often feels just out of view. Can I find it selling insurance or marketing credit cards? What counts?

Purpose and passion are universally searched for, but they seem elusive for many of us. Posing this question means you are thinking one of two things:
“What is all this talk about passion?” or “Maybe there is something more?”

It requires a mindset shift.

We work more, play less and neglect the very reason we strive for success in the first place–to experience joy in life.

Our days are run by ‘fear of not enough’ and focus on all the things we don’t want to have in our lives. This is negative thinking and living. And it impacts our body and creates a division between our mind, body & soul.

You cannot separate the mind, body & soul.

What you think drives your behaviours. Your brain reads clues from your body to evaluate situations. Hormones influence our thoughts and emotions. And just as your words affect your DNA, understanding that your contribution to the world matters too. It influences what you think and how you behave.

Working towards an ‘external plan’ made up of doing the right thing, following the path people expect, slugging it out– this zaps your energy, disrupts balance, erodes creativity and prevents you from pursuing personal passions. It affects your productivity, stealing away your time and happiness. You work to produce with a negative sense of obligation, sacrifice and a lack of control.

Fulfillment comes from designing your own life.

When you tap into your core – your values, beliefs, & what is important to you — and stop looking for external affirmation, that’s how you find your purpose.

It is less about the content. You can have a very purposeful life selling credit cards. You can align the work you do to your values and enjoy the people you work with. Your passion may not be finance or retail sales. But perhaps it’s leading people, helping people solve problems, making sense of complexity or simply making things happen.

If you’re looking for more passion in your life, try to look in places where it involves reaching out.   

If you’re looking for it in menial tasks you probably won’t find it there. If you look to relationships, personal development, social interactions, and things like that, you’ll stand a better chance at finding it.

How to find your passion and purpose:

1. Know that the definition of a purposeful life, is highly personal—your answer is the only one that matters.

Make life about being true to who you are and not who or what others tell you that you should be.

2. Look at the big picture.

We may spend 40+ hours a week at work, but our job description does not define us. Identify patterns and themes in your life. What do others come to you for advice about? What comes easily to you, but is a struggle for others? These are where your gifts and talents are…

3. Do the 40/10.

Work 40 hours, but also schedule 10 hours outside of your job to ensure passionate pursuits are a part of your life.

Spend time doing self-reflective work. Learn who you are, your strengths, your values, your beliefs and find ways to include
Network and meet new people & connections.

The more aligned your thoughts and beliefs are to who you are (your purpose and passions), the easier it is to make decisions, set goals, and enjoy work and life. We can’t all be rock stars and talk show hosts. But we can all make sure that we discover what makes us tick, what excites us, what inspires us and then make sure we include those activities in our lives. At work, at home, in our future plans.

Don’t let the exhaustion of life deter you. Don’t let the overuse of ‘passion corporate speak’ confuse you. We all need passion and purpose to feel fulfilled. But it is unique to you and it is up to you to ensure your life includes it. There is always something more… Start with mindset.

Heather Cavanagh

Heather Cavanagh

Mindset Ambassador

Heather is a communications executive and change management professional with an accomplished 25 year track record in advertising and marketing, spending the last ten years on Bay Street.

A high-energy, ingenuous, 'people-person', Heather is a natural leader, passionate about the outcomes of collaborative work, pride in a job well-done while seeking that glorious state of balance amongst work, motherhood, challenge and happiness.   She has parlayed her vast personal and professional experience into a successful coaching business, now focused on mentoring other high-achievers to shift their mindset and perspective to find their balance, uncover their resilience, improve their networking and ability to make critical connections -- allowing them to thrive!

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