Minimalism talks a lot about it too – creating space for your passion. I have talked about it. I even have a necklace, from a dear friend, that says ‘find your passion’. There is an energy in these words.
They are exciting, motivating, and catchy. As a culture we know we get bogged down and busy with things that are extra. Finding the thing that makes you feel alive, finding your passion, makes a huge difference to our lives both in our heads and in our actions.
But I have always had a nagging dislike for this word. I love it, but it doesn’t seem to include the full picture.
I believe strongly that we need to clear out the clutter and the junk in our lives so we can have time to live. We need to quit trying to look successful in everyone else’s eyes and play everyone else’s games in life. Instead, we need to find and follow our own life.
We have one life, and if we spend it trying to live someone else’s, we have wasted it.
I believe clearing out this clutter of stuff, busyness, societies approval, and always living in the future is so important. I believe we make room for our passion.
But it just doesn’t seem like this is enough.
Finding a passion seems very inward focused. I am finding my passion, what I love to do, what I do well, what I was meant to do. But why?
The word passion doesn’t mean it has to be only inward focused, and when people talk about this word they are not just talking about making themselves happy. But the word passion doesn’t seem to clearly convey a meaning beyond self.
If I am pursuing something that is my passion and things become hard, or I get tired, or life gets in the way, it is easier to give up on and put on hold. It is something that is mine and primarily affecting me.
But the word purpose is different. Google defines purpose as:
The reason why something exists.
Purpose, at least in my mind, seems outward focused. But it also doesn’t leave the self focused side out. It seems to take the definition the step farther to really make it a worthy goal.
… this really isn’t any great wisdom. People use the word purpose, and finding your purpose all the time. I love the book ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. So nothing new or earth shattering about this realization. But I have been figuring it out with my own thinking and my own life.
Often purpose is used as a religious word and I believe God put each of us where we are for a reason. But this word doesn’t have to be religious. I believe we all have a desire to make a difference in the world – to leave it better than we found it.
Passion vs Purpose
I have lots of passions in life. There are so many things I love to do and would love to try. Things I love working on, growing with, and even offering to the world. But there is never space for all of them. I need purpose to clarify the why behind doing these passions.
A few months ago I was thinking through a my writing and several of the things I considered ‘my passions’ and I realized that through all these passions I was trying to encourage people. My passions might be writing, talking, and teaching, but the reason behind all these is that I really want to encourage people.
I want to encourage my kids to grow up believing in themselves and what they are able to do. I want to encourage people reading my blog to break free from all the clutter in their own life and discover their own. I want to encourage homeschool families to focus on the true things that matter with raising a child and not get frustrated over the details of schooling.
Realizing this underlying purpose, this piece from all the different things I am working on that is the most exciting and the most rewarding, was exciting. I am not just writing to get better at it or to get published. I am not just keeping my blog up to practice writing and try to grow my number of followers. I am not staying up at night working on these things to try and make a bit of money to help fund our travels.
None of these things are worth pushing through when things get hard, schedules change, or my site gets hacked. But encouraging people makes it all worth it. I love writing but what I really love is hearing from people who have taken my writings and it has helped them. Where one is a fun past time the other makes my day.
What about you?
What are your passions? Have you discovered your purpose? It think both passions and purpose can mold and change during different times in our life, but what are you doing now? How is it affecting those around you?
Thanks so much for reading!
Photo: Yesterday we went to ‘The Modern Toilet‘ restaurant. I remember reading about it years ago but quickly putting it out of my mind because I figured I would never end up wandering around in Taipei. haha, well we ended up here so I figured we should take the kids and make a memory. It is a restaurant with a potty theme. You sit on potty’s to eat. All your dishes are potty’s. It is potty humor at it’s finest. I ate soup out of a miniature western toilet and had ice cream out of an Asian toilet. Definitely paying for the experience and not the quality of food, but pretty fun for the kids 🙂