How many times do we ask ourselves what we are doing here on earth? What is this ride really supposed to be about, and what is my part in this huge cosmic scheme? When you awaken in the morning and start the new day, do you feel direction in your life along with a sense of purpose and meaning? As you retire at night do you feel you have contributed something of value that makes you feel good about what you put into the mainstream of life today?
These questions, however we ask them are an inescapable part of our existence and journey throughout this life time. So many people walk through their life unconscious, disconnected, numbed out and clueless, in regard to what their purpose is for being here. When I, Bob, was in college, I had an opportunity to do community based work in a little school house for Special Needs kids as a way of earning college credit. It was in the 60s, during the time of “Tune in, Turn on, and Drop Out" and with no shortage of “Altered State" experiences; the opportunity to work with these kids was the highlight of my college years.
I felt so gratified in the sharing of myself with those in need. And the receptivity and appreciation that I experienced from these kids was without parallel. I knew, without knowing, that I had found my Passion and Purpose. It took many years to let go of self defeating behaviors and attitudes in order to recognize that being in service to others was my “calling". There is no doubt in my mind that I was tapping into my authenticity when in service to these kids.
When you look at the work you do and the roles you play as parent, partner, community member, son/daughter, etc. it is quickly evident that there is some form of service embedded in all of these different roles. We are inherently wired to give and to serve. Whatever these roles in service are for each of us, there is pretty much, no escaping it. Hence, if we live from a getting paradigm we really miss the boat as to what our Passion and Purpose is.
There are obstacles, pitfalls, self defeating behaviors and beliefs that inhibit your capacity to fulfill your Passion and Purpose. They each have elements of fear which creates separation from our own authenticity.
The first obstacle we want to share with you is the “Pleasing Others" Syndrome (also referred to as Co-Dependence). If in your work/service experience there is a predisposition to look for approval, to be constantly worrying about pleasing others, this focus gets in the way of the joy and gratification that accompanies the work you are doing. It creates a burden and heaviness when the primary motive is about seeking validation. Embedded in this dynamic is a tremendous amount of fear and insecurity.
This fear can grip you in a way that creates more and more anxiety about performance and approval ratings, and thus robs you of the dopamine response (natural opiates in the brain) that is released when we are giving from a place of authenticity. It is not so much how you are in service to others as it is where you are coming from attitudinally. The more you unleash and dig out your fears, the more you will gravitate towards the Passion and Purpose that is waiting to reveal itself within you.
When we speak of fears it is in reference to the self deception, the limitations and the erroneous belief systems that inhibit going for your Greatness. Needless to say, there are healthy fears that keep you safe and protected. These fears are wired into our brains so that we don't put ourselves in harms way. The trick is being able to distinguish when it is truly our healthy fear responses being activated vs. a distorted belief that you need constant approval or validation for you to matter.
The second obstacle to living from a place of Passion and Purpose is the attitude and accompanying behaviors that say you must be the “Superstar". Again, fear is going to be dwelling at the core of this ideology you live from. When you work from a place of Kindness, Compassion and Empathy, these forms of vulnerability become very empowering.
To operate from arrogance (I do no wrong) leaves you without humility, which is a fundamental part of fulfilling Passion and Purpose. We have to be willing and able to forgive our mistakes and allow for error, as long as we are honestly working towards the greater good of those we serve. When you can honestly say that you have given of yourself for fun and for free, without the need of reward or recognition, then you are living in a state of Passion and Purpose.
The third pitfall that stands in the way of living from an authentic place of Passion and Purpose is leaving your spirit out of the process. Passion and Purpose bring with it a creative energy that feels fulfilling. You can feel tired at the end of the day as a result of the work you have done, but to equal measure there is energy that you experience as a result of the creative process.
In the corporate world, individuals have been taught to leave their soul out of the equation. If we don't bring our soul to work, then climbing the corporate ladder or creating business “success" is an empty experience that leaves you pushing, pushing and pushing looking for that elusive thing we call happiness and fulfillment. Bringing our spirit and soul to work is the happiness and fulfillment.
The fourth obstacle that stands in the way of fulfilling Passion and Purpose is perfectionism. The perfectionist has unrealistic expectations of themselves and others. If you are invested in always being right, in making others wrong, this will greatly inhibit your pursuit of happiness and create a barrier in the fulfilling of your Passion and Purpose.
We can all strive for excellence without the need to dominate, control and be critical of ourselves and others. Once again, the lack of compassion, kindness and empathy, dwells at the center of perfectionism. And embedded at the core, is fear. When you live from a critical and controlling place the unauthentic response to being challenged will create defensiveness. As a result, there will be disconnection and alienation, even if you're right.
All of the above obstacles and pitfalls are centered in fear. Out of the fear a belief system of selfishness and self centeredness is designed. These pitfalls are so embedded into our work culture that they are seen as normal. Fortunately, more and more of us are awakening to the need for change and finding ways to be fulfilled and happy in service to others.
Natural law will always work on our behalf when we are fulfilling our Passion and Purpose. As you follow your calling, people, resources and support systems will just show up. You are no different than a lighthouse with its beacon showing the way home to the ships at sea. The life force within each of us is the core of our authenticity and hence, our creativity. When connected to this deep place within we will circumvent fear and attract all of the good we could ever imagine.
Below are a few questions to ask yourself in your pursuit of Passion and Purpose.
1. What excites you in a way that you would want to participate in daily?
2. When you are doing this exciting thing, does time and space temporarily cease to exist?
3. Do you feel challenged at a physical, emotional and spiritual level?
4. Is there a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and achievement that manifests from these challenges?
5. When participating in what excites you, do you have a clear sense that this is what you want to be doing?
6. Do you enjoy this work so much that you would do it for free?
7. Do you get excited when you talk to others about what you do?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions you are certainly living from a place of Passion and Purpose. If you find you just wake up to go to your job without the accompanying passion, creativity and excitement, give yourself permission to get support. You deserve to feel fulfilled in this lifetime, and to be able to look back and feel you've made a difference for the better of mankind and/or the planet.
Brad Stevenson and Bob Sugar of Trans-World Dynamics’ (TWD) mission is to guide individuals, couples, executives and businesses toward the practice of:
Trustworthiness, Honesty, Authenticity, Neutrality, Kindness, and Surrender (THANKs®).
As these sustainable principles serve to guide individuals in all areas of their lives, the rewards that we have seen CEOs, companies, executives and individuals experience are unprecedented.