Question: In your previous installment you wrote about how you eventually became able to live your passion. I want to know how to find mine.
Answer: Let’s quickly review what I previously said. To live our passion we must find balance in our lives in all respects – profession, physical health, relationships, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. And I said that when we become more multi-dimensional in these areas, the cumulative effect is passion. But there’s a very important element that still must be added to the mix. Without this ingredient we can be well-rounded and multi-dimensional but there’s simply no spark to start the fires of passion.
The ignition source which I refer is our WHY. I’ve written before about the WHY – a concept that is eloquently discussed by Simon Sinek in his magnificent book, Start With Why, and which has been explained to me in much greater detail by my friend and Sinek collaborator, Ridgely Goldsborough. Most people can tell you WHAT they do and HOW they do it. But when asked WHY they do what they do the answer becomes fuzzier. According to Sinek and Goldsborough there are nine WHYs. While we may identify with several, each of us has a predominant WHY. The nine WHYs are:
- Do things the right way.
- Do things a better way.
- Make sense of complexity.
- Make a contribution or a difference.
- Create trust and build relationships.
- Simplify things.
- Master things.
- Challenge the status quo or think differently.
- Create clarity.
To live our passion we must understand our WHY. And to find our WHY we need to ask ourselves a series of questions. Think of something at work that we did that was a success. How did we feel about that success? Why is that important to us? Then ask the same questions about something positive that happened outside of work. We may need to repeat this several times before our answers create a discernible pattern that leads us to our WHY from the list of nine.
What is it about understanding our WHY that is so important in our quest to find our passion? Because to the greatest extent possible we need to align the various elements of our life with our WHY. Think about it – if our profession, physical health, relationships, emotions, intellect and spirituality track with our WHY, won’t we be in a better position to love everything we’re doing?
When we find our WHY we can then discover our passion. The alignment of WHY with the balance of the basic elements in our lives then enables us to live our passion every single day.
This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.