Working For What You Are Passionate About

Over the past year, more and more friends, family members, clients, prospective clients, and colleagues are longing for the answer to the question, what line of work or profession will generate passion in my life? All of us would love to thrive and be passionate about our work – jumping out of bed before the alarm goes off, being surprised at how fast the hours and days seem to go by, and being anxious to share our day with our loved ones. But yet the answer to this important, timely question seems to elude most of us.

According to Matthew Kelly in his book The Rhythm of Life, if you are willing to put forth the effort and seriously examine your:

  • Desires – “what you are passionate about”,
  • Legitimate Needs – “what you need to thrive”, and
  • Unique Talents – “what you were born to do”,

you will find that living every day with passion and purpose resides at the intersection of these three life circles.

Many of us are often plagued by our fear of failure or our fear of success. This self imposed fear often keeps us from uncovering our deep desires or the dreams we have for our life. One way to open up our thinking is to answer this question – What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? More specifically, what do you truly desire most in the major areas of your life (i.e., Health & Fitness, Family, Career, Relationships, Spirituality, Education, Finance, Charity, Vacation, etc.)?

Challenge yourself to create a written list of the “Top 5” desires or dreams in each area of your life and authentically share them with a loved one, a close friend, or a trusted colleague. These desires should serve as guideposts for deciding what profession/career will generate passion in you and that will further the fulfillment of your life dreams.

Legitimate Needs
Of course we all have primary needs of food, water, shelter and safety that must be met in order to survive. But this article and the coaching Dave and I do isn’t about surviving at life but rather “thriving”! A legitimate need is what you require to thrive in life vs. a “want” which is a “nice to have” but not essential.

So let’s look at your legitimate needs in the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual domains as set forth in The Rhythm of Life by M. Kelly.

  • Physical – Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep – What do you need to incorporate into your daily routine to have a body that supports you in living an extraordinary life?
  • Emotional – Acceptance, Sense of Belonging, Authentic Friendships, Intimacy – Who do you need in your life to be your very best?
  • Intellectual – Ideas, Knowledge, Wisdom – What do you need intellectually to inspire you beyond your comfort zone?
  • Spiritual – Silence, Solitude, Simplicity – How much of these do you need to hear the gentle and true voice within you?

Make sure that your work, your chosen career allows time for these legitimate needs to be met.

Unique Talents

What are those talents and strengths that you possess that set you apart from everyone else? What is your “genius”? As human beings, we are all gifted in one or more ways. Spend time identifying your unique talents and strengths and then select those professions that truly exploit your “genius”. (Note: I recommend that your read or re-read Dave Vogelpohl’s article entitled, Optimize and Improve Your Strengths)

In closing, I urge you to engineer a life that includes a profession that you are passionate about, that addresses your desires and dreams, legitimate needs and that honors your “genius”.