“If there ever was a moment to follow your passion and do work that matters. This is it.” – Seth Godin
There are a few fundamental questions that this quote poses that you may want to answer. Work that matters has to be work that you feel is making a difference. When the work we do benefits others it is so much easier to be passionate about. Taking it a step further, when it benefits our community and beyond the sacrifice, energy, and time required are all worth it.
But what is it in your life that you can be this passionate about? Is there some passion you have that you would like to follow? Let’s explore by asking three basic questions to help you discover your passion and how it lines up with your current life.
What would you need to be doing to feel like your work really matters?
This question gets at the heart of what passion is. Passion is about you and what you feel you are passionate about. Breaking down the question a little more we discover a keyword, the word doing. Passion is only a dream if you are not doing something about it.
The last part of this question leads to our second question. For the work you or I do to really matter, it must benefit those around us. This is how John Maxwell puts it, “Too often leaders put their energy into organizations, buildings, systems, or other lifeless objects. But only people live on after we are gone. Everything else is TEMPORARY.”
With this in mind let’s look at the second question.
In what ways do you want your work to benefit others?
Ultimately, the only thing that lasts forever is relationships. Everything else really is temporary. Pause for a moment and think about that. Your job, your home, and stuff they all will fade away. But relationships are what last through eternity. Relationships and people are where the real impact is made.
Are you doing work that benefits others? No matter what we do our work is impacting others, but this question has a more important point to it. What ways do you want your work to benefit others? When we think about how we live our lives and do our jobs from the perspective of the benefit of others it is so much easier to stay there.
What if your passion was to build (insert perfect product or service)? If after 20 years of work and energy to this end, you finally accomplish your dream of (insert perfect product or service) inevitably the passion will fade. There is very little to be passionate about anymore, you achieved your dream. However, if the motivation and passion behind your product or service is to benefit others, your passion will remain. The people will always be there.
This is why having a passion that will last requires your passion to benefit others. The beauty of benefitting others is the multiplying effect it can have on your community and beyond.
How do you want your passion to affect your community, city, state, country?
When you combine passion, an amazing product or service that greatly benefits others there is amazing fruit. This is the fertile soil where one person’s passion can change their community, country, or even the world.
But you must decide how you want your passion to affect those around you and beyond. This is why answering all three questions is key to helping you find and keep your passion. Start first with discovering what work you feel deeply is the work that matters to you. When you discover this, now determine how that passion can benefit others. Next, identify how it can affect your community and beyond. But until you follow-up with this last step, your passion will not become a longterm reality.
Make your passion last.
If you follow the steps of discovering your passion, determining how it will benefit others, and identifying how to take it to the next level you are one step away from your passion being a reality. The last step is to surround yourself with people that are passionate about benefitting others and will buy-in to your vision and plan.
When you find this circle of people, the support, accountability, and passion will build. This is where one’s passion can remain alive. Your passion must be nourished and the only way to do that is through other people. Remember, for a passion to last it must benefit others. So starting there is only logical.
The challenge for you is to answer these 3 questions and begin to build that circle of support and accountability. What work do you want to do that will really matter? Can you think of who you want on your team?