One sure way to know if you really have a passion for something is to audit how much you have done about it thus far. By this, I do not mean how much you’ve shown to the world about it but how much effort, practice and investment you have put in privately towards your ‘interest’. Do the people close to you know anything about it? If they were to point out your favourite topic, activities, past time, would what you call your passion show up?
Often times, we admire what others do and wish we could exchange places with them. While we get excited about what others are doing, we may never do anything about that so-called interest. Admiration for an activity or a vocation does not imply that we are called to do same. We can talk about an activity for as much as we can, it still wouldn’t translate to anything meaningful. If you are called to a vocation or lifework, you won’t just be talking; you will be seen walking the talk. This is because if it’s really within you, it will seek expression in your daily life.
Purposeful passions are not dormant but dominant. If you really want to make impact with your life, you need to be active in the area of your interest. When all people do is talk and share ideas, they are not really into a life mission. A true life mission drives you into action. It’s like fire shut up in your bones. You can’t seem to rest without doing something about it. You will find yourself looking for different avenues to express and develop what you contain within.
The purposeful individual is an ‘action’ person. He takes initiative. He doesn’t just end with dreams and ideas. He’s always about some hands on experience with his passion. He looks for ways to connect his gifts with his mission. These individuals are often called ‘ambitious’ because they don’t allow anything to stop them. They may have many failed projects yet they never give up. As I said earlier, a true passion is like fire shut up in one’s bones.
In order to identify your true passion and distinguish it from mere leisure, you need to check what efforts you have made consistently to bring it to fruition. A true purposeful passion is not meant for self consumption; so you also need to evaluate the true beneficiaries of your activities or interest i.e. who are your potential clients or customers. For instance, an interest in listening to jazz music does not mean you are called to play jazz. Are you the only one who will benefit or will others derive some form of benefit in your interest in Jazz? If this is really your life work, you will see your actions moving beyond amassing a collection of artists’ works to actually seeking to perform. And in seeking to learn the rudiments of the art; you might discover you have some innate gifting that makes it easier for you to catch on in the art than if you didn’t have a natural disposition towards it.
So it’s time to start walking the talk. Your true passion is asking: ‘what have you done with me lately?’
There’s a more fulfilling life for you out there; reach for it!