How many times have you been watching Masterchef only to hear the contestants say, ‘Cooking is my passion. I know I want to pursue this now,’ and they wax lyrical to the judges about how their life would instantly become better if they could do what they love?
I’ve often found myself, talking back to the TV in reply with a well meaning, ‘well quit your job and go and make yourself happy,’ but I know as well as the next person that quitting your job to pursue your passion wont necessarily make you happy and instantly rich.
Instead, I believe the intention of finding your purpose in life should be the focus of your career hunt, as opposed to turning your passion in to a career, because let’s face it I love singing but alas, Beyonce I will never be!
It is very easy to confuse the two because often we believe our purpose should fill us with passion and use all our inherent skills and attributes. While this is true to a degree, the #1 significant difference between your purpose and your passion is the ability to create something that fulfils a need for others – not yourself.
For example, if you spend your weekends reading, consider yourself a bookworm and have always dreamt of writing a book one day, to follow this path would be to fulfil a passion.
However if you woke one morning with the brain wave that ‘someone’ needed to write a book about XYZ because there was a real need and you believed you were the person to do it, then creating the book would be your purpose and could consequently become a career.
The easiest way to differentiate between your passion and purpose is with one simple question; is this about others or me?
If you find yourself establishing a business, product of service to solve a problem or fill a need to benefit others, then your work would be considered to be your purpose as opposed to a passion or hobby.
The good news is, you can always find purpose as a result of investing in your passion, as the two are not mutually exclusive. For some business owners this is often the case.
Consider Lisa Messenger, Founder + Editor of Renegade Collective, a magazine for business owners, thought leaders and game changers, who has been quoted as saying the overnight success of the magazine (and her own Entrepreneurial journey) was 14 years in the making.
Despite years managing marketing, sponsorship and publishing at the helm of her company The Messenger Group, it was her passion for being daring and disruptive in the business space that allowed her to consider creating a specific new product for entrepreneurs, which has in turn helped others and filled a gap in the market.
Bingo: passion + purpose unite!
So how do you find your purpose?
That is a great question and one I intend to answer in another blog post, however the best action to take from here is, to start considering what others may be need that aligns to your passion.
In the end, your purpose will be revealed to you when you’re doing what you love, getting to know others who have similar interests as you, and when your mindset shifts from yourself to being of service to others.
Tell me in the comments below, what is one of your passions and could you imagine turning it in to a life changing career with purpose?