Those “p” words

18Mar09

“Passion” is a corporate buzzword that shows no signs of going away.  In seminars and training sessions we are asked to say what we are passionate about.  We are told that if we follow our passion at work, we will never work a day in our lives. 

“Purpose” is a little newer in the lexicon of buzz.  More and more popular books these days are encouraging us to find our purpose, to lead a purpose-driven, purposeful life.  The consultants can’t be far behind.

“Purpose” and “passion” both imply that we have a central driving force in our lives – that there is some overarching goal larger than everyday life driving our everyday lives.

Many people find it daunting to commit to a purpose or passion.  Once stated, it’s so defining.  So permanent.  You can’t just up and change it.  “Oh, that was my old purpose, but I got a new one last month.”  And, I am wondering, can you have several passions, but only one purpose?  How many passions can you follow effectively before they morph into mere “interests”?

In my work with clients, we always focus on discovering and exploring their purpose and passion.  It is invaluable.  But, the value lies in the process of discovery and exploration, not in an end product called “My Passion and Purpose”.

Someone once said, the value of a plan is in the planning, not the plan.  Or something like that.  Same thing is true for passion and purpose. 

When you are purposeful and passionate you are compelling to the rest of us.  More importantly, you are first compelling to yourself.

What are your thoughts on passion and purpose?

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