“Discovering Your Purpose and Passion”
As we begin to explore “the process of change,” last week’s introduction to Allyson Lewis’ book titled, The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Change,” provided the framework for achieving meaningful change in your personal and professional lives through small steps, called micro-actions. This week, we will actually dive into the process of discovering your purpose and passion. To do so, you will need to examine your life’s goals – which are closely linked to the pursuit of your purpose. Through these micro-action exercises, you should begin to have a clear vision of your goals in life, and work toward those things that you are passionate about and enjoy doing.
Your goals can be personal or professional, tiny or grand; achieved tomorrow or extending past your span on earth. Here are some examples:
- Personal goals: I want to grow in my faith. I want to spend more time with my family. I want to take more pictures of my family.
- Financial goals: I want to be debt-free. I want to increase my income significantly within the next year.
- Vocational goals: I want to be successful. I want to build a stronger reputation in my community and industry. I want to help others achieve a better life.
- Health goals: I just lost 10 pounds and I want to maintain my weight.
- Goals for leaving a legacy: I want to fund an endowment to help students with limited financial resources.
Your goals in life reflect and help fulfill your purpose. Spend seven minutes every day writing down a list of two to three specific micro-actions for achieving an identified goal. You owe yourself 7 to 15 minutes of personal time each day to work on you. Buy a notebook/journal and be very specific about the small steps you plan to take each day to propel you toward a goal. Begin the first step now.
Micro-Action: Take seven minutes right now and begin to make your daily list, or review a recent list you have made of your priorities and goals.
Caution: Don’t let unconscious actions and unexamined habits create priorities for you. It is important to align your priorities and dreams. Your success is determined by the choices you make and the priorities you set.
Micro-Action: Spend seven minutes brainstorming – positive dreaming. Our dreams influence our actions and, therefore, help form the blueprint of our lives – those things we like and are passionate about.
Micro-Action: While you are taking a shower or drying your hair, concentrate on your dreams and the positive attributes you possess that will help you achieve your dreams.
The author calls this micro-action, “differentiating yourself through your core convictions and strengths.” Our core beliefs about our work must match our personal values. In our private lives, our core beliefs are what makes us individuals – professionally, our core beliefs differentiate us from our competitors. “Everyone is gifted with unique talents, but only when we use those gifts to differentiate ourselves from our competitors can we truly succeed and move forward in our career.”
Micro-Action: List your core beliefs and strengths.
Good job so far. Now, consider this:
- You have acknowledged your passions;
- You have set your priorities;
- You have examined your dreams;
- You have identified your core beliefs and strengths;
- You have determined the unique skills through which you can differentiate yourself as a professional.
Are you beginning to understand and gain an outline of your purpose in life? If so, you have begun the process of changing your attitude and approach to life.
The author closes this chapter by stating, “What we do for others, defines our purpose in life. Deep within your soul drives your purpose, and your purpose will likely revolve around your natural passions and the things you love. I hope you will take the time to discover your purpose by completing this most important micro-action: write a short paragraph on “My Purpose in Life is . . .”
More next week on “Expanding Your Possibilities for Growth – Seven Minutes at a Time.”
Source: The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes, by Allyson Lewis, Kaplan Publishing.