#LetsGo! is one of my favorite catchphrases in life.
I’m serious. #LetsGo isn’t just how I end my blogs. Ask anyone in my life; when someone is excited and shares a plan or an idea with me, my response is immediate:
In the last blog, “Igniting Your Passion,” I talked about the importance of identifying what motivates you. I had you brainstorm about what excites you the most and what gets you up in the morning. That was the easy part. But passion isn't enough to keep the momentum going. You must follow your passion with purpose. Your purpose is your why.
The challenge I have for all of you reading this today is to turn those conceptual passions into a definite purpose and mission. I’m going to help you dig deeper and execute concrete actions. You are going to be challenged to channel your passions into a purpose. So, yes, again: #LetsGo!
How do you define the word purpose?
For me, purpose is not a concept. Purpose is something tangible. It is what I physically do with my passion. I have the feelings, the impulse, the * desire* to know that going to the gym and reading my devotionals every morning is fulfilling. But, it’s when I act on my passions — actually “go” to the gym and “read” the Bible — that it becomes my purpose and mission. When I am finished, I feel fulfilled. I have meaning. Purpose is the reason I can get meaning out of my life.
“My life’s purpose is to execute — to do the things that are fueled by my passions.”
Purpose is pulling the trigger: turning your passions into something concrete and tangible. It’s about doing, not just thinking. The result of your purpose is having something tangible to show for it. You will have created something from your passion. And you will find fulfillment on the other end.
“Executing your passions into a definitive purpose will give you tremendous satisfaction and measurable success.”
I can be passionate in my heart about exercising while sitting on the couch, for example, and genuinely mean it. But, until I work out, there is no purpose for that thought. I must pick up the weights. I am passionate about serving others. But until I pick up the phone of a friend in need, there is no purpose. But after I execute these things — pick up the weight or pick up the phone — I feel GREAT. That’s the fulfillment of executing on my purpose that is fueled by my passion. See a pattern?
“Too many people get stuck in paralysis through analysis. The passion is there, but the purpose is not. Executing into action is what brings them together.”
I always knew I was destined to be an entrepreneur. Starting from the days at the car wash, I always felt I would create something from nothing. I am passionate about being creative professionally.
But, I knew passion wasn’t enough. I had to take it to the very next step and execute it. I had to create the company — with the countless tangible, laborious details that entail. (And, trust me, it is hard to feel passionate about going through the steps to form an LLC, for example). But my passion was strong enough to push through as it became my purpose to succeed professionally.
I am passionate about my relationship with Jesus Christ. But, it was only by spending the time “pen to paper” — picking up the Bible and studying or being physically at our church talking with the congregation and doing community service — did I feel more of a purpose. And, with more proof that my purpose — mission — was real and tangible, the more I wanted to grow further, fueled by my passion. Again, they are all directly connected.
“I like to think of passion as the fuel that drives my purpose.”
A buddy of mine reached out to me over a year ago to get together for lunch. He was someone that I did business with, so I figured we would discuss my account. Nope, it was many questions like, what do you think as it relates to his job? What do you recommend I do because he wasn’t happy. I shared my thoughts on why he needs to do what he loves and find his purpose. A few days later, he reached out to me, saying that he appreciated the convo and left his job. I didn’t expect that. He took a few months off to be with his family. Figured out what he’s passionate about and his purpose in business. Then he researched companies that align best with his passion and purpose. Today, he’s happy, his business is strong, his family life is excellent, and he has a purpose again.
Passion and purpose are intertwined — you need them both to get to the place you aspire to be. The result? Fulfillment and meaning. And let’s face it — what else matters in life?
Now time for you to get to work.
Get out your notebook where you have been doing work with me for the last few months. Reread what you wrote last time about your passions.
Only you know what you need to change in your life. The only reason you have read this far and continue to read is this: you want to ascend to a higher version of yourself. So, ultimately, you may not be genuinely fulfilled; you may not have the meaning you want. And, you may not be sure what to do about it.
So let’s start there. I want to focus on one aspect of your life: your career. You can do the following exercise for other parts of your life for sure: your physical, creative, or spiritual sides. For me? I genuinely believe that focussing on the purpose of your career helps elevate you on many of those other levels, so I always start with that.
- Let’s interchange the word “Mission” for “Purpose.” I challenge you to write a Mission Statement about who you are and what the ideal purpose of your career is currently and in the future. It may or may not be doing what you are doing. What is that idealized, highest version of yourself in your career? What is the ultimate purpose in your career? Dream huge!
- Reread the list of your passions from last time. Which one of them directly fits into this new Mission Statement?
- Which of your passions are you currently implementing on your path, and which are you not? Of the ones you are not, which ones do you value the most?
- Now, the hard questions: Are enough of your passions fulfilled by your current purpose in your career path? Does your Mission Statement genuinely reflect the forces that drive you?
- Take a few minutes and think. What steps can you take now to execute your passions at work in a way that you are not doing?
- Lastly, what could you do to integrate your passions into a purpose on an epic scale in your career? Do you need to leave your current role in the future?
I realize these are heavy-hitting questions. I realize most of you can’t just quit your job or change your career to start over again. So, again, the challenge I give you is this: what steps can you take NOW — even minimal shifts — to head you into that direction of your true purpose? I do not believe that anyone is completely stuck. I think that sometimes we can get trapped in our heads and fall into a vicious cycle. But that’s who I am: I believe that things can always get better. #growthmindset
Reread your Mission Statement from above. Are you in that cycle? If so, how much or how little? How much can you alter your path with concrete steps?
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” — John F. Kennedy
I challenge you to think deeply about this blog and your answers. I challenge you to not live the life most people do — without true purpose and thus without true meaning. I challenge you to take steps, leaps, wild jumps into the unknown, and push yourself to do things differently to find your purpose. I challenge you to start to think differently. I challenge you to channel your passions into something more significant than you ever dreamed of.
Let’s end how we started: