If you’re anything like me, chances are that you are the type of person that can get passionate about a thousand different things at once. It’s often been said that I could get passionate about a spoon if I wanted to . . . meaning that whatever I focus my attention on at that moment can become something that I can get excited about and want to share with others! It may sound silly, but have you ever met anyone like that? The Problem Few would argue that, in our society today, we are constantly being bombarded by a myriad of things throughout our day that all vie for our undivided attention, begging us for more of our time. It’s estimated that the average American sees or hears up to 5,000 advertisements a day asking us for just a moment of our time and a small commitment from our wallet. That averages out to three requests per minute! Couple that statistic with the fact that our spouses and children are competing for us in a world where most bosses each week are asking us to stay just a little bit later and work a few hours longer. It goes without saying that, after all of that, there is very little time left at the end of the day for things like hobbies, recreation, and things that we are passionate about (second to our families, of course), leading many unfulfilled people to ask the question, “Is this all there is?” and “Is this what life is all about?!” I believe that there are four simple principles that offer a solution to this predicament that, if followed, can change a person from being frustrated and lacking purpose into one who lives life with an unshakeable passion, focus, and clarity. 1. Figure Out What “Lights You Up” Let’s face it, we all can think of a handful of things that we can do and probably have some moderate success at. The problem comes in when we spread ourselves too thin and take on too much causing us to be “jacks of all trades and masters of none.” There are two excellent questions that I love to ask people when helping them to clarify and singularize their passion. The first is, “ What is the one thing that you love doing so much that you lose all track of time when you’re doing it ?” This would be the thing that, before you know it, two hours have passed by and you don’t even realize it. It’s what you look forward to diving into and you are completely captured by, focusing so deeply on it that the world seems to fade away. For some, it may be spending time with their family. For others, it may be golfing, travelling, writing, sharing their faith, communicating with others, or tinkering with little projects. The list is endless, but the important factor is that you understand what your “one thing” is. The second question that I ask is, “If money was no object and failure wasn’t possible, what would you choose to do?” This, by the way, is your license to dream! It’s staggering how many people are prohibited from doing what they truly would love to do because of money, time (or lack of), job commitments, or fears of failure. When someone is faced with a question like this, it forces them to look past all of the reasons why they “can’t” and shifts their perspective to how they “can.” 2. Ask the Author of Your Life Simply put, ask God what your passion and purpose is. He is the One who created you and knit you together. And, up to this point, all of the circumstances of your life and all of your cumulative experiences (both positive and negative) have shaped who you are. The key here is to develop two critical daily habits. The first is spending time with God in prayer asking Him what He wants you to be doing with the time that He’s given you. Secondly, you must practice the daily habit of reading your Bible, God’s Word to you. It makes sense, doesn’t it?! This step, for many, may seem to overstate the obvious. However, if you truly want to know what makes you tick, it really depends on where you are at spiritually. Unfortunately, many people don’t run to God first and seem to try every other way to figure out who they are and what they were made to do. Most of the time, it leads to a deep lack of satisfaction and frustration with life. So, wouldn’t it make sense to go to the Source for our life’s purpose and direction? Despite what popular culture tells us, we were not built to go through this life flippantly or casually! One of the biggest dangers of living life casually or without purpose is that it causes you to lack direction, passion, and excitement. When you are focused and have a clear passion and purpose for something, it becomes the driving force that motivates you to wake up and tackle each and every day! Each person is uniquely designed by God to live with meaning and purpose and by spending time with God on a daily basis, He will begin to show you what He created you for and what He wants you to do. Trust me, you can take Him at His Word! 3. Inventory Your Gifts, Talents, and Desires Being that we were all created uniquely, each of us has certain talents and gifts that we were born with. Now, before you argue this point or deny that you are unique or special, ask yourself these three questions: What activities do I naturally gravitate towards? What seems to come natural to me? What “lights me up” or makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt while doing it? Too many people spend way too much time looking for their “big thing.” In doing this, they seem to forget that the little things always add up to the bigger things. This is such an unfortunate way to live life because those who think like this tend to spend their time focusing on the “grand scheme of things” so much that they end up missing the mark when it comes to discovering what their passion is. By spending all of their time figuring out life’s “big” plan, they miss out on the everyday talents and abilities that God has built them with that, cumulatively, will guide them minute-by-minute and day-by-day into what they were created to do with PASSION! 4. Ask The People Closest To You Although each step of this process is equally important, this last step is critical. By asking the people in your life who love you the most and know you most deeply, you may gain an insight into yourself that you’ve never seen before and possibly never would have. Feel free to ask them questions like: What would you say that my talents/gifts are? What am I good at or what do I do exceptionally well? What do you see that “lights me up?” After asking these questions, it is vitally important that you LISTEN! Don’t respond. Don’t defend. Just listen and write down what they say. By asking the people that you love and trust to give you an honest assessment, you will gain a deeper perspective of yourself than you could ever get on your own! Lastly, take these results and cross-reference them against the results that you’ve compiled from the first three steps. Compile The Results It is at this point that you will overlay each step of this process on each other, forming a grid that will ultimately help you to understand which of your passions and strengths stand out from the rest so that you can live a life of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. As you prayerfully walk through each of these steps with the goal of making an impact in this world, inventory the passions and purpose you were created for and be willing to make the necessary changes that need to be made in order to live the way you were intended to! It’s often been said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” How about you? What steps have you taken to discover your passion? Meet me in the comments and share your thoughts! This guest post is part of the CPF Writer Auditions . It was written by Adam Simon: a devoted Christian, husband, and father of four. Through his writing, speaking, and love of God, Adam shares his personal message of faith and family with people everywhere. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Related Articles: 3 Keys To Finding A Job You Love Purpose + Passion = Performance New Years Resolutions and the 80/20 Rule The importance of devoting time to thinking How to find money to save Money Mistake #2 – Thinking that money solves money problems Life’s Meaning and Stockholm Syndrome This article was written by a Guest Author. If you would like to write a guest post for our personal finance blog , you can find out how here . As a thank you for subscribing to our newsletter you can download our quick eBook ” 25 Ways To Save Money in 2011 ” for FREE! The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
4 Keys to Unlocking Your Passion