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Purpose or Passion? What Drives Your Life?

A quick internet search for “purpose or passion” yielded over 518 million results in just over 0.6 seconds. Clearly, this is a hot topic of discussion, and there are many perspectives to be explored. However, to be most successful, your passion must have a purpose, which allows you to see the process as an enjoyable journey rather than a challenging distraction.


What drives your life?


Ask yourself why you are pursuing your goal.


If your answer was something along the lines of, “I want to achieve ______,” then you are purpose-driven. You focus on the end result and the meaning behind it. Finding your purpose is analogous to using your head and considering why you want to achieve your goal.


If your answer was, “I feel strongly about _____,” then you are passion-driven. You focus on the concept, object, or person as the reason for working towards your goal. Following your passion is acting on your emotions and concentrating on what goal you are working on achieving.


The process might distract you from your passion


The process is the journey, the distractions, the unpredictable (or sometimes predictable) obstacles, and the method you undertake to achieve your goals. Both purpose-driven and passion-driven goals will face obstacles throughout the process.


When following your emotionally driven passion, you may find yourself derailed by the distractions and obstacles that the process can throw your way. Regardless of how strongly you feel about your passion, sometimes life can introduce new interests, new situations, and new experiences that pull us away from our supposed passion.


Passion-driven people might experience some volatility that purpose-driven people will be less likely to experience. When your passion changes, it forces you to start from scratch to pursue your new object of interest. For some, this can be demoralizing and defeating.


Trust the process and find the purpose


For purpose-driven people, enjoying the journey and trusting the process is easy. However, the end result and the reasons you’re pursuing the goal are the motivating force, not the feeling of satisfaction surrounding the pursuit of a goal.


Even for those who form a goal because of their passion for something, the best approach to achieving that goal is to find the purpose behind that passion. Ask yourself why you feel passionate about the project? Discovering why you want to follow your passion will help you overcome the hardships the process puts in your path to success.


For example, if you volunteer your time and home to foster shelter dogs because you love dogs, you are following your passion. However, the process might throw some hardships your way, behavioral issues, or special needs that shelter dogs often have. Now imagine that instead of focusing on your love for dogs, you focus on giving these dogs a safe, stable home full of love until they find their forever homes. Suddenly, the hardships seem negligible because of the purpose of being a foster.


In the end, it will work out


Trusting the process, letting your purpose drive you, and enjoying your passion without focussing on it will ultimately lead you to more success. Being driven by a purpose allows you to feel rewarded by the journey, not distracted by it.

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