There are so many options. The world is a complicated, busy and beautiful place, and it’s full of humans moving in constant motion. And it never seems to end. There are always those in need or those issues that we’re working on to make a change (i.e. equality). We all have our passion projects and missions in life.
As an American, I grew up in a culture that made me feel like I needed it all and I wanted it all. When I was growing up, I felt it around me, but once I started to travel, I realized how much I already had and that it was time not to get but to give. Travel is an eyeopening experience for a young person, and I will always be a personal advocate.
But growing up in the land of opportunity, I had this feeling of “needing to do it all” and be multi-talented, to be well-rounded and to be very successful. I had to find my passion and quick. I am sure these types of phrases went in all sorts of forms during my growing years, but now as an adult, it’s causing difficulties.
I am realizing that I cannot do it all. I cannot help everyone in the world. I can be talented at many things, but I can’t be an expert at everything. It’s difficult to be the wonder woman of humans.
And why should I?
After reading the book by Angela Duckworth called “Grit”, I started to think hard about my relationship with this “needing to do it all”. Her focus is on resilience and perseverance. I’ve had the word resilience in my head since university, but it wasn’t until I read her book that I thought of a way to apply the newly founded knowledge.
“Purpose is not selfish. It involves serving others, but it’s not servitude. It’s feeling joyful about creating joy. It’s about adding value in the lives of others while creating value in your life. It’s win – win.”
I wrote down, on a very extensive list, my ‘passions’, talents, and interests. This was overwhelming enough, but once I started to visualize it, I realized that many of the topics had something in common. I enjoyed writing. I enjoyed meeting people from different cultures. I enjoyed educating people on topics I felt important. I enjoyed helping people. I enjoyed motivating people and encouraging them positively. I’d sit and listen to people’s challenges, and I would come to solutions. I’ve always been the challenge to solution maker. That is just how my brain ticks.
From this thought process, I created a vague purpose or mission statement for myself, then I reworked it and reworked it. It didn’t need to be perfect, but it needed to feel like me. This was the conclusion:
Purpose: I elevate humans and help them reach their full potential.
The great thing about creating a purpose statement, it has the opportunity to grow. In my head, a passion can be narrowly focused on one topic. You can be passionate about music. You can be passionate about travel, but the word purpose has room for growth.
“If you wanted to start a campfire with passion and purpose, you’d start with a foundation of wood (your purpose), and start the flame with a match (your passion).” – Jessica Lauren DeBry
My purpose has room to grow. Right now, I see myself fulfilling my purpose statement by writing about women leadership and feminism. I’m encouraging, supporting, elevating and giving women the information needed to advance their personal goals. It can change in the future. Maybe I could write for a larger institution, or do small online classes. The purpose is a lifelong movement, and we stay resilient with it by keeping it flexible and making our goals manageable.
That is my purpose in action, now, but I do expect it to change.
My last point on purpose over passion. Angela’s book settled on the word resilience. Under my purpose statement, I can create big, small, short-term, long-term actions and goals to meet and fulfill my mission statement. A big goal – like this purpose statement can build – will take a lifetime to build. I better get to work and step-by-step, little goal by little goal, I will reach larger goals that are still nestled in my purpose. My passion statement truly isn’t an end goal; instead, it is a growing and morphing entity that will grow with me and keep me pointed in the right direction.
I’m focusing my energy around this mission statement. My goals and actions in life will aim to fulfill this passion statement in some way. It can be small moves or big moves. It doesn’t matter; this is my guiding compass. Have you thought about your life mission?