Before we move on, it’s important to reflect upon step 2 from last week. A grasp of the difference between happiness and fulfillment is a cornerstone in the foundations of the pursuit of purpose. Throughout the day, be aware of what brings you happiness, what beings unhappiness, and why.
Once we recognize what brings fulfillment in daily life, we can begin to steer toward it. A realization is brought forth; there is no longer a reason to accept a day to day superficial life. Indeed, by making this one small change in how we view how external circumstances make us feel, we begin to control the universe around us.
I have a friend who was on his way to an important engagement, sharing a ride with colleagues in a car. It’s dark, it’s raining, they are running late. Suddenly, there is a puncture, and the group pulls over. Anxiety, temper and frustration fill the car. Except for my friend, who announces to the group:
“You know, of all the places to get a puncture, this is actually a good one! We have plenty of room to pull over, it’s safe, and we are under a street light.” This man is controlling his universe.
Let’s move on to passions. Identifying our passions will give us the second cornerstone.
The Passion Test is a process used by many teachers of wisdom, in one form or another. It begins as a written list, that you may have already begun. Last week we began this enquiry, looking back through our lives, at the times when our hearts and minds were most alive. The times when everything seemed right; when we were doing what we love. The things perhaps, that matter the very most to us.
Make a list of these times. Brainstorm and download. Take time. Some people will have just a handful in their list. Others will have many. There is no right or wrong.
Get specific. On my first list, I wrote the word “Mountains”. What is it about mountains that fills me up? Is it being with nature? Is it being alone? Is it being with others? Is it being challenged? Is it the practice of outdoor skills and survival? Is it a primal urge from being a man?
Sift through your list. Look for the times when your ‘happy meter’ was reading full. What were you doing?
When you have finished your list, go back over it, and pick the most important 4. These are the things you would choose before all others.
For the next week, make all decisions in line with your most important 4 passions. Steer toward your top 4 passions in every opportunity, and in every possible moment. Choose from the top 4 each and every time.
This is not to say that the other things on your list are unimportant. On the contrary. When we begin to follow our highest passions, everything else gets taken care of. This is not a shedding of responsibility or commitment – but beware, what you have grown to believe is expected of you may not be the truth.
Further, this is not necessarily the time to be walking out on relationships or handing in your notice at work. Try bringing your passions into relationships, at home and at work first.
Put another way, the world will be at a loss if you choose not to use your extraordinary gifts and talents during this life. These top passions are the key to this unique gift that you bring to the world. The key to your song.
Be open, be aware, and extraordinary opportunities will begin to open up.