Perhaps you’ve heard the statement about the two greatest days of your life: “the day you were born and the day you discover why.” That statement is about discovering your purpose and pursuing your passion. When you connect the dots between your purpose and passion you will make a true and impacting difference on your world. (Read The Voice Of Vision for more on this)
“Do you know the “why” behind the “what”? If you cannot clearly state why you want to do something you will be vulnerable to discouragement when things aren’t going your way. This is an issue of motivation. “Motivation Matters!” (Voice Of Vision post)
I read the story of a lumberjack who was offered double his salary for simply chopping wood for a day with an axe. There was a catch. The edge of the axe was dull and not to be sharpened. He spent an hour swinging the axe, hitting the wood, but cutting nothing with the dull blade. Then, he quit. When asked why, he said that “as a lumberjack I need to see the wood chips fly.”
The lumberjack understood the “why” behind his chosen profession. He loved being in the forest, the serenity, the smell, completely surrounded by nature. He was passionate about the wood that he cut, knowing that it was needed to build homes and for the many necessary uses in our daily lives. However, his motivation was not swinging an axe for the sake of swinging an axe. While he celebrated the fact that he was able to make his living doing what he loved, he was not motivated to be a lumberjack to simply make more money. His motivation, his “why” was to chop wood! He had connected the dots of purpose and passion. While swinging a dull axe at a log was paying more money, the lack of progress toward his desired end result killed his motivation.
Take Some Action
Knowing the “why” of your life is important, however many people get stuck there. What do you do once you have connected the dots of purpose and passion? Here are four initiatives to take today.
1.Take The Initiative
When you have discovered your purpose and are pursing your passion and the two align, the next step in to take the initiative. Every day. Even if you are not at a place where you can dedicate your entire day toward your purpose and passion, take the initiative and dedicate a portion of each day toward it.
2. Go Public
One of the ways you can begin to walk in accountability with your purpose and passion is to share it with others around you. Tell them about your journey of discovery and your hopes and dreams for your future. Ask them to help you stay the course. Warning: make sure the people you share this with are people who know and love you and want you to succeed, you don’t need another naysayer in your life trying to keep you from living your purpose; you need cheerleaders!
3. Find Others Further Down The Road
If there are others who have a similar purpose and passion and have already begun the journey, get connected. You don’t have enough time in life to make all the mistakes necessary to succeed. Everyone who has ever succeeded knows that they are standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before them.
4. Be Willing To Pay The Price
Everyone who has fulfilled a dream has paid a price for their success. The price may include monetary sacrifice, the sacrifice of time and energy, a willingness to let go of the past and live in new disciplines for the future and a commitment to personal and professional growth.
Next Steps Towards Your Purpose:
You had very little to do with the first greatest day of your life, in fact you don’t even remember it other than to celebrate the day once a year. (The older one gets the more they tend to not even want to celebrate this great day!) The second greatest day of your life, discovering “why” you were born and beginning to act on your purpose and passion is completely in your hands. Take action today! First if you have not yet discovered your “why” and second put into motion the process of living out your purpose and passion with the four “Initiatives” listed above.