Truth bomb: your passion is NOT your purpose.
I know, confusing. The two words are used interchangeably these days, like they’re the same thing.
But take it from someone who’s tried to monetise every passion she had for the past 15 years. Passion alone doesn’t work.
You get excited for a while… and then that nagging feeling of dissatisfaction creeps in again. There’s something missing, but you have no idea what it is.
And you feel guilty as hell. I’m doing what I love and I’m NOT happy?! What the heck is wrong with me?
There’s nothing wrong with you, gorgeous. You were just given the wrong advice.
Passion is an important piece of the puzzle. Heck, I’m all for doing work you love.
But without purpose, you’ll never feel truly satisfied. You’ll never make the difference you want to make in the world.
Passion Is About What
Your passions are the things you LOVE to do. You could literally spend all day doing them, losing all track of time in the process.
How come? Passion is all about the emotions behind your dreams. It’s that spark of joy that drives you to do what you do. The thrill that keeps you focused and engaged for hours on end.
But, your passion can change throughout your life. One year you can be into makeup and skincare, the next be obsessed with art history, and two years down the road you’re passionate about all things feng shui. Or you may have all these passions at the same time.
There’s a dark side, too. Your passion can be selfish. You can spend your life pursuing a passion for your pleasure, even if it harms others.
To find your passions, ask yourself:
- What do you love to do in your free time?
- If money wasn’t an issue, what would you spend all your day doing?
- What kind of books do you love to read?
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Purpose Is About Why
Purpose is the why behind your dreams. It’s the reason you’re doing what you do. It’s what brings meaning to your life and a deeper sense of fulfilment.
You’re not just pursuing your dream because you like it, because it feels good. There’s a deeper reason behind it driving all your actions.
Your purpose doesn’t change. You can manifest your purpose in different ways throughout your life, but the reason behind it stays the same.
If you’re on this planet to inspire women to lead a healthier lifestyle, you may do that with a blog in your ‘20s, become a nutritionist in your ‘30s, and starting your own food company in your ‘50s. The goal is the same; it’s only the way you bring your purpose to life that’s different.
The best part? Your purpose is never selfish. Purpose is about serving others – but not from a place of servitude. It’s what prompts you to use your passions, talents, and gifts to help other people and make a difference in the world.
Sometimes, your purpose may require that you put what you like aside or that you make sacrifices. But you don’t mind. You know that’s what you’re on this planet to do.
To find your purpose, ask yourself:
- What challenges and struggles have you overcome in your life?
- What are your top 5 values?
- If you could solve a big world problem tomorrow, what would it be?
Need more help to find your life purpose? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the Purpose Finder Worksheet:
Why Passion Isn’t Your Purpose
Let me tell you a story.
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to become a writer. I LOVE writing. I could literally spend hours doing it – even if I’m not getting paid a cent.
As I grew older, I started a skincare blog. It was the perfect creative outlet to merge my two big passions: writing and skincare. I honestly didn’t think anyone would read it. But people did. And they liked it.
That gave me the confidence to pursue writing professionally. I moved to London and became a freelance writer. I was living the dream. People actually paid me real money to write all day.
It was amazing… for like a year. Then, I started feeling unhappy again. I enjoyed the writing itself… but not the types of articles I was commissioned.
The reason I love writing is because it gives me a voice. I want to use that voice to inspire women to find their life purpose and pursue their dreams.
I never wanted to write promotional articles to sell them something they don’t need. Yet, that’s exactly what I was doing…
That’s when it hit me. Pursuing your passion isn’t enough. You have to pursue it in a way that serves your life purpose.
Today, I still spend most of my days writing. But now I write the articles that align with my purpose, like this one. I’m using my passion to fulfil the mission I was put on this planet to do.
It feels joyful. And fulfilling.
The Sweet Spot Where Passion And Purpose Align
You can pursue your passion without a purpose. But you’ll always feel like something is missing in your life, like you’re meant to do something else.
Chances are, you’ll start many new projects and change jobs every few years, only to abandon them later on because they don’t satisfy you. They’re not IT.
You can pursue your purpuse without passion. But that’s a boring life full of sacrifices and no fun. At some point, you may even ask yourself if it’s all worth it. Is life really meant to be a never-ending sacrifice?
The sweet spot is where your purpose and passion meet. Purpose is the foundation upon which to build your life and career. Passion is the fuel that keeps you going even when you feel like giving up.
You need to find both to create a fulfilling and happy life.
Over to you, now. Have you ever confused passion with your purpose, and if so, what happened? Share your stories in the comments below.