Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Little Passions vs. Life Purpose

Recently I met with a group of women who were keen to find their "Life Purpose". That's a big thing to find. And I'm not entirely convinced that each of us has one, or wants to know what it actually IS. But  that's for another blog entry.

What these women had in common was a list of things that they wanted to DO. Like one always wanted to be an Opera Singer. She also liked to design costumes and thought that maybe she could have been a Costume Designer were it not for the fact that she's now 63. Party Planner was something that she'd always wanted to do but hadn't. She was despondent that she could never be that person who is Opera Singer, Costume Designer or Party Planner. Really? Never?

"What if you had an Opera themed party, invited your friends to perform their favourite aria, or whatever, and you had to come in costume? You could help friends who needed help in designing their costume, you could plan a wonderful party, and as host your could give yourself a couple of songs to perform."

She looked at me with stunned silence. It had not occurred to her that she could BE the very person she could "never" be. She just needed to scale back on the expectation. Often, it's that image of Over-the-Top PERFECTION that stops us from just enjoying the thing we want to do or be. 

Whole hearted living means that we can do and be that which we desire. The only thing that stands in the way is ourselves and how we view the scale of a thing. Genghis Khan didn't start out saying, "I'm going to rule the East." He started out with, "I'm going to avenge the stealing of my mother," then "I'm going to get back my wife who was stolen." and along the way, he became a fierce warrior.

I wanted to be a photographer. Fashion photos at first because that was the world I designed and modeled in and I LOVED fashion. So I shot some portfolios for fellow models and got that bug out of my system. I didn't need to be  a published professional photographer. I just wanted the thrill of capturing light, line, texture, form, movement, mood and colour in a shot. Composing. I kept the scale of the activity in check.

Last summer I got the idea that I should start a new business designing prayer flags. I'd done a few flags for a gift for a friend, and I spent the better part of 2 days scoping out the business plan/model for such an enterprise. I was two steps away from jumping in my car to head to the US for a gift show to scope out a rep. Then I thought, "But that is not my life's purpose. It's my passion, my pleasure, my hobby, my fun, my Joy but not my purpose. It's just for fun." I can explore the form without having to build a business around it. I kept the scale in check. It's a form of focusing.

So when you are dreaming about what's next, what now or what's your purpose, get clear about how you can have your Joys and Passions without having to make them into a big hairy deal of life's purpose -- unless you want to, unless you NEED to. The only person who says "it must be so" is you. So be careful the directions you give yourself. Just Start is a good direction. Stack your passions is another idea. So, like that 63 year old, Do Costumer Designer, do Opera Singer, do Party Planner, and do them all at once. Stack your passions. Just Start.

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