“I can’t seem to discover why I’m on the planet.”
“What is my purpose here? I know there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, but I don’t know how to find out what it is.”
“I don’t seem to be passionate about anything.”
We’ve heard these complaints over and over from my clients.
Discovering our passion and purpose is vital to our joy and well-being. The problem is that many people have lost touch with any sense of their passion and purpose and have no idea how to access this information.
The blueprint for this information lies within our core self, our essence, the true self that is often buried during our early years. If our true self was not seen and validated by our parents, teachers, or other caregivers, it is likely to have gone underground. The self many of know as our “self” is generally our wounded self, our ego, the self we created to get love and avoid pain. Our wounded self has within it all of our fears and false beliefs, and does not have access to what is true for us.
How, then, do we discover our passion and purpose if the blueprint for this information is long buried? The good news is that while it is buried, it is not lost. Anyone can reclaim this information if you are willing to do the inner work of healing your wounded self.
We’ve worked with thousands of clients who, gradually heal their fears and false, limiting beliefs to the point where their true self comes peeking out. This is the vital, alive aspect of ourselves, the aspect of us that just wants to joyfully express ourselves in the world. As you allow this aspect to emerge, you will gradually discover what truly brings you joy.
In our society, we tend to ignore our special talents and choose our careers according to what will give us a sense of security. Too often, however, what makes us feel safe does not fulfill us spiritually. For example, Roger worked for many years as an attorney, but he never enjoyed it. He made lots of money, yet when he consulted, he was suffering from anxiety and depression. He had become an attorney because his father had been an attorney and wanted Roger to follow in his footsteps. Roger had gone along with what his father wanted for him because he didn’t know what else he wanted and now, in midlife, he was miserable. He yearned to discover his passion.
After few months, Roger remembered that he had really wanted to be a teacher. He had never seriously considered teaching because he felt he couldn’t make enough money, but now he was willing to make far less money because he was so unhappy with his present work. Roger went back to school and got his teaching credential and is now a high school social studies teacher. The last time we spoke with him he was radiant! He loved working with adolescents, and he felt he was making a real contribution to their lives. For the first time ever, he felt alive and passionate about his life. His wife decided to take up some of the financial slack by doing something she had always wanted to do: design children’s clothing. She started her own mail-order business and is thrilled with it. Their marriage and family life is flourishing because both of them are happy and fulfilled within themselves.
Ricki was so unhappy working as a controller of a big import business. Yet she had no idea what else she wanted to do. It took about a year before her true self told her that she wanted to be a nutritionist. Ricki hadn’t wanted to hear her true self because she didn’t want to go back to school. Finally, she was so unhappy that she decided to listen. She is now back in school enjoying discovering her passion.
While it may not always be possible to change your work immediately to something you love, if you follow your passion, it will often lead you there. And even when you have to earn money in ways that do not express your soul, you can seek volunteer opportunities and hobbies to express who you are. Often these can lead to the work that you will eventually do.
Alfredo worked as a manager of a large supermarket. With his small savings, he decided to start pursuing a hobby that had always fascinated him – restoring old cars. He used all his extra money to buy his first old car and spent many blissful hours restoring it. He was so good at it, he was able to sell his restored cars for a lot of money. Eventually he was able to quit his job at the market and pursue his passion full time. Ultimately he started a project in a prison teaching inmates to restore cars. Alfredo now loves what he does and receives great satisfaction from helping others.
Your soul has a deep desire for you to express yourself in ways that brings you joy. It is your job to discover what that is and to bring it about.