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How to Find Passion To Fuel Your Life and Work

Discovering your core values

When I ask people why they do what they do and they answer: for the paycheck, that’s a pretty clear indication to me that passion is low on their list of motivations. The essential indicator for passion is related to expanding one’s spiritual capacity; a deeply held desire to do something that contributes to the greater good.

The transactional type of thinking: if I do this, then I get that, is action orientated but generally devoid of passion. Living with passion involves being connected to conscious feelings and conscious thoughts and letting go of self absorption. Admittedly this kind of thinking is uncomfortable and even scary at first, but it can be immensely rewarding as well. It paves the way to experience a deep sense of meaning and greater self worth.

Passion and its spiritual counterpart are energies that incite us to “go for it no matter what” and to play bigger than just for ourselves.

Passion as spiritual awareness

I define the spiritual as the connection to a deeply held set of values and a purpose that goes beyond our own self interest; I call these our core values. What fuels spiritual energy and passion is the courage and conviction to live by our values even when doing so requires personal sacrifice and hardship. (Examples, Victor Frankl, Steve Jobs and Mother Theresa). That hard part is discovering what those innate core values are if they’re not readily apparent.

Hey, no one said it would be easy! But passion is more rewarding than a paycheck. Even a really good paycheck. Why do we see unprecedented numbers of highly successful corporate executives leaving their jobs?

I’ve been coaching an increasing number of executives in transition and what I’m witnessing is a rise in consciousness being fueled by a pursuit for purpose and passion. And there’s no reason you can’t earn a healthy living while you live a life of purpose. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Adopting passion as a motivator is not so much about the doing, it’s really more about the being. Looking within, and becoming an observer, you can give yourself an entirely new viewpoint. Just being good at something and doing that thing, isn’t necessarily going to put you in the joy spot or happy zone. To understand where our passion and joy lies, we need to first understand what our innate core values and motivations are.

Abraham Maslow (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) showed us that humans are hardwired to self actualize and bring forth their highest and best contribution. For these higher levels of self actualization to occur, basic survival needs, such as food and shelter must be met first. After this, all humans are searching for a sense of belonging, that grows self esteem and respect for others on their way to creativity actualizing their higher self. This outcome creates the desire to serve others. Looking within to determine who we really are and how to bring forward our innate gifts gives people a strong sense of personal purpose. This energizes spirituality and passion with integrity and commitment.

When you compare the act of being aligned with your personal purpose to that of your skillset, it can seem very much related. However, when your purpose becomes the overarching theme of your life and it is embraced fully – then and only then – will your skillset complement your passion in the service for others.

When you bring who you really are to what you do and understand why, the how part of that equation naturally emerges. Passion is the energetic fire that fuels people to be their highest and best.

The journey isn’t always clear at first. It takes time to go deep within and discover your core values, then looking out into the world to determine the best work environment to apply it in a way that makes a sense. But when this happens, authenticity emerges.

There’s an emerging excitement among many entrepreneurs who are beginning to realize they can get paid to be who they are, living with more joy and extolling their values.

If you’re interested in discovering your innate core values, you can take this short assessment that will immediately reveal how you are wired and why you gravitate to the things you do. In other words, the things that you’re passionate about.

Take the Core Value Index Assessment here.

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