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  • Neil Dolan

How to Align Passion and Purpose to Light up your Life


A few weeks ago, a new client got in touch with me, and we meet up online.


She said to me, “I don’t know what to do, I just want to be happy, is that too much to ask?” To which I replied, “Ok, so what makes you happy?”


She replied, “I don’t know. To which I asked, “When was the last time you were truely happy?


She replied, “Probably when I was a lot younger, maybe all the way back into my teenage years!”


You see, if you want to experience true happiness, joy, and personal fulfilment in life, you must look in the direction of your passion and purpose. For most people, these two often take the back seat because of the way in which we are conditioned to think through schooling and societal norms.


And because societal mind-sets are based around individuality and the need for survival, we find ourselves working around the clock to pay the bills, buy nice things, have luxurious holidays, and live a good life.


But what’s so good about this good life? Not so much to be honest, as it tends revolve around consumerism and seeking external pleasures for comfort.


And where do we find ourselves? In a job that’s never been truly rewarding to us, to who we are as a unique individual.


So, rather than facing up to this, we use every excuse and justification under the sun to make ourselves feel better about the job.


For example, the female client said to me, “I’ve worked very hard over the years and progressed nicely up the career ladder”. To which I asked, “You must have experienced so much satisfaction along the way?”


She didn’t reply, instead she went inside herself to explore for an answer.


I patiently waited as this took some time. Her eyes started to well up and when she was finally ready to speak, she said, “I don’t know if I ever have, really.


So, how is it that we find ourselves so stuck in life like this?


It’s because we are conditioned to think in a superficial and shallow ways. And, because of this we are always at risk of becoming a slave to the economic machine. Were all passengers on an economic bus that speeding along to god knows where, even the driver has NO idea.


Where does this leave us? Repetitively repeating all those habituate patterns of behaviour that we have been schooled to follow. And, that’s why we often feel stuck, stressed, trapped, stagnant and under fulfilled, and often void of pleasant emotions.


However, when we think deeper rather than shallow, we find that nothing else satisfies that deep-seated longing in every person for fulfilment other than living purposefully and exercising their true passion. This rest of this article focuses on how you can connect your passion and purpose to find fulfilment in life.


Passion Vs Purpose


While the two are certainly connected, they are also distinct entities and should be understood apart as well as together.


What Is Passion?


Passion is what releases your positive emotions, what motivates you, and what makes you feel good, what makes you feel on fire! Passion is often connected to your own innate abilities, talent, and desires. It is what you love to do and do good without feeling stressed or pressured to do.


Passion is an essential ingredient for success. Most successful people are people of great passion. When you a real have passion for something, you will strive towards its mastery, and this boosts your productivity. Passion also boosts your energy and confidence, and confidence leads to success. With passion, you can muscle the required strength to forge through life challenges and other hurdles that stop others from becoming successful.


What Is Purpose?


Purpose is the reason you do what you do. It is the motivation behind your actions and pursuits in life. Purpose is often connected to an understanding of a reason for living—the reason behind your unique life story, your background, and the future ahead of you.


Purpose is very important in life; it is actually the true yardstick for measuring success and impact. Purpose gives your life a direction and keeps you focused. When you know the reason why you are who you are and what you are meant to do, your life ceases to be accidental; rather you will be living with conviction, and life becomes way more meaningful.


The Differences


There are key differences between passion and purpose, although you should bring them together to live a fulfilled life. Purpose is based on conviction, while passion is based on energy, feeling, and interest. Passion can burn out over time. However, purpose is for a lifetime.


Passion is about “what,” and purpose is about “why.” You can be passionate about different things, but purpose is usually singular and focused.


How to Connect Your Passion with Purpose


The challenge with most people is that their passion and purpose are disjointed. Some do not even have any conviction for living and only to live for the moment. Others deploy their passion for the wrong things, and when passion is not connected with purpose, it eventually leads to burnout. And this is why people lose enthusiasm and energy when they face a major life crisis. But when your passion is connected to a purpose, you become super resilient, and you will record extraordinary results in your life.


Think about lighting a fire; passion is the fuel required to make the fire burn, while purpose is the reason the fire is lit—what you want to achieve by kindling the fire. When you have the conviction to spark a fire, your passion is ignited, and your entire energy is released. Therefore, it is essential for your passion and purpose to work together.


Before you can connect your passion with purpose, you must first identify what your passions are and what your purpose is. Below are some guides on discovering your passion and purpose.


Discovering Your Passion


In order to discover your passion, you must pay attention to yourself. This is because your passion stems from your expressions. The following are some insightful and reflective questions to ask yourself to uncover what your true passion is:


  • What things do I do that give me joy?

  • Which subjects interest me to learn and learn more?

  • What job/work can I volunteer to do for a long time without financial reward?

  • What would I use my time for if I could do what I like and still get paid?

  • What makes me feel “in the zone” or “on fire”? What do I do very skilfully, easily, and delightfully?


When you have discovered your passion, the next thing is to find out what your purpose is so that you can begin to channel your passion in the direction of your purpose.


Discovering Your Purpose


Purpose actually precedes passion, though we often get to discover our passions first because they are expressive. Your passions can be a clue to help you figure out what your purpose is. You can ask yourself some questions to gain an idea of your purpose.


Using our fuel-fire analogy, it can be asked: Why do I have a fuel? Is there a need for a fire? And if there is a need for a fire, what is it meant to burn?


Practically speaking, you can ask:

  • Why do I have this gift?

  • Why do I have that talent?

  • Why is it so easy for me to do this while I struggle to do other things?

  • Why do issues like these bother me when I don’t care about some other issues?

  • Why am I experiencing this in my life?

  • What are my past and present experiences saying about my future?


The issue of purpose might require some deep soul searching and possibly divine inspiration. One of the proofs you have found your purpose is strong conviction. This is what makes you become resolute, ready, and willing to commit yourself to a life-long assignment.


Connecting Passion with Purpose


To start connecting your passion with purpose, the following are practical suggestions to consider:


1. Examine Your Life


In whatever stage of life that you are, you can re-examine your life and journey. There’s no better time than when the kids are, or about to fly the nest. This time is a prime opportunity for you to redirect your focus on to looking after you and serving your own needs.


So, do a soul-search on what your true passion and purpose are. This may require that you take time out of your current schedules and retreat to a place where you can focus only on yourself. You can plan this for your next holiday.


You can also start by reading more on the subjects of passion and purpose to prepare your mind and guide you in your own inner enquiry, to truly find you.


2. Expect Discomfort


Or brains love familiarity, because we are hard wired for survival. So, anything unknow, or unfamiliar, is cognitively processed as a potential threat. This is why change can be difficult, because resistance pops ups as we are going against the grain, our programming.


3. Begin to Live with Conviction


When you have figured out what your passion and purpose are, let it reflect in your life. Begin to live every day with your new conviction. Let it reflect in how you spend your time, what you read about, what you talk about, and what you devote yourself to. Begin to see things in your life through the lens of your conviction.


You’ll also begin to consider how you can use your daily encounters to keep yourself in the direction of your conviction.


4. Redirect Your Passion


To connect your passion with purpose, you might have to begin to redirect your passion. This is because you might have been using your energy and abilities on the wrong things. But when you have figured out why you have those energies, desires, and interests as earlier mentioned, then you should redirect your passion towards your conviction.


5. Embrace New Opportunities


What you are currently involved in probably does not represent your true passion and purpose at all. It might be your job or chosen career, things you’ve spent a good part of your years pursuing and developing. You may not have to quit those things, but you can look for new opportunities to express your true passion and purpose.


6. Make Major Adjustments


To really experience fulfilment in life, you might need to make major adjustments. This might affect your current career path or whatever else you are involved in. There is no price that is too much to pay to earn yourself the kind of life that you truly deserve. You don’t have to continue to be what the “system” has made you be when you know that it won’t lead to where you truly belong.


Final Thoughts


Life becomes vibrant when you identify your true passion and discover your purpose, and lots of things start to change. When you are able to connect your passion with your purpose life starts to blossom. Your life will be more meaningful, rewarding, impactful, and fulfilling. You will be proud to be alive, knowing that your energies are being channeled in the right direction.


What is your passion?

What is your purpose?

How do you know these to be true?


Are You Ready to Commit and Change Your Life?


If your feeling lost with it all and would like some friendly guidance, to get you going in the right direction, simply get in touch to arrange a chat.

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