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I would like to ask you to begin by watching this 6 minute and 42 second video. Now I know a lot of people may not agree with the message in the video, but the reason I want you to watch it is because the young lady in the video, Severn Suzuki, is a perfect example of having both purpose and passion.
So what did you think? Did this young lady have passion for her beliefs? You bet she did. It is hard to believe that a 12 year old had the ability to impact a United Nations Assembly in the way that Severn Suzuki did in 1992. As a side note, I think it is quite prophetic that this now 21 year old speech given by a 12 year old is probably more relevant in 2013 than it was in 1992.
What is your passion? Do you know what it is? Have you given it much thought?
Passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion.
My passions are helping others, solving problems and enjoying life with my kids. I also have a passion for playing sports like golf and skiing. I decided that these were my passions a few years ago. I found this out one day in 2009 when I asked myself the simple question, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life.” There will come a time when I am sure my passions will change, and I think this is normal as we enter different stages of our life. Another way to define your passion is to answer the question, when do I feel most alive? I am quite pleased that that I have found a way to comingle my passion with my work. I think that if you don’t comingle your passion with your work you are going to have a job you hate and a less than fulfilling life. Another reason you need to comingle your job and passion is because if you really have passion for something, you will fight harder for it. You show me somebody who is outstanding at their work and I will show you a person whose passion is comingled with their work.
This morning the time change really hit me. Yesterday a couple of guys asked me to start playing racquet ball with them on Monday and Friday mornings. I agreed to play and then they said they start at 530am. Now I like to get up early, but running down a ball traveling at 130 mph that is 6 inches off of the floor at 530am is not part of my normal regime. Knowing that with the time change getting up and playing early would be a test of my commitment to getting more physical exercise, I agreed to play. This morning my alarm went off and the second my eyes opened I began telling my mind that I was going to the gym although every other part of my body was telling me not to go. I went and I am glad that I did. The reason I went is tied directly to me having a purpose.
Purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. What was my purpose in going to the gym this morning? I went to the gym because last year my otherwise healthy boss and friend died way before he was supposed to. That said, part of my current purpose dictates that I avoid eating things like Dairy Queen Blizzards and that I have to get an hour of physical exercise each and every day. Additionally, if I want to continue to be able to fully engage in my passions, I need to get in better shape. Are you leading your life with purpose?
Passion and purpose, in my opinion, almost always belong together. It is hard to have one and not the other. When I see people who have passion but lack purpose I almost always see a person who somewhere along the way they developed a mindset that if they pursued their passion they would fail. Why let the fear of failure hold you back? If this is you, then you need to begin to act with the future in mind. Visualize the future. Create it in your mind and then go get it and don’t let anything get in your way.
A few years back I saw this movie with Will Smith called The Pursuit of Happyness. Here is a clip I would like for you to watch. It is short.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Believe in yourself. Never give up. Never believe that you are beaten because if you do, you are.
So here is the $64,000 question; are you going to clap and move on like all of the U.N. delegates in the first video, or are you going to really give some thought to defining your passion and living life with a purpose?
Good luck and I wish you the best.