Yesterday I had written about stress – You got Stress ? :):) and my dear friend Usha commented rightly on Linkedin that if you don’t identify your passion rightly then following it may lead to more stress !! Now that made me think about this whole set of buzzwords “Passion”, “Purpose”, “innate skill” etc. Especially “purpose” is spoken of with misty eyes and a far off look making most people feel as though if you don’t have purpose, all is lost.
So one of my suggestions to get rid of stress was to identify your passion and make time to develop it. Reality is most often we tend to assume our passion 🙂 – everyone is cycling and they are a bunch of really nice people and you immediately become addicted to it and call it a “passion”. Well, am describing myself here. I love cycling, but its not my passion. Its one more thing that I like spending time on and enjoy tremendously and yes, its good for my health. My real passion is probably writing. I can write for hours, I will write books soon, and thanks to Nisha I got onto blogging just three years back. But here’s the fun fact about this passion – I can go for days without writing a single piece ! So maybe its not a passion after all. The one thing that is probably a passion is “coaching” because when I am in my coaching sessions, I can’t track time. I enjoy helping people discover their potential and its almost like a sculptor’s work – remove the unnecessary pieces and the real you emerges. So maybe coaching is my passion … as you can see discovering your passion may not be easy. But don’t sit back and say I have no passion for anything except vegetating on the couch, hahahahaha, caught you there. What you do, is to keep finding things that interest you and just keep working at them, one or two of them may lead to your passion and then its just nurturing it. Then it would be like Kamal Hassan, who will act till his last breath.
Coming to the more exalted word “Purpose”. Last week Krishnan went for an introductory session at a well known organization and some of the participants asked him if life cannot be lived without purpose and Krishnan’s answer was just right … you can live happily without figuring out your purpose in life but life becomes more meaningful and happier if you do figure out your purpose and work towards fulfilling it. Now figuring out the purpose of your life is even more difficult than figuring out your passion :):). Don’t fret or stress out if you don’t know your purpose. 99.99% of humanity does not, so chill. Here is a method that Krishnan and I have used to stumble upon our life purpose – we both have subjected ourselves to several self discovery processes and tools, Strengths Finder, 360 degree feedback, MBTI, Seven Habits workshop, MILT courses, Coaching etc etc. One thing that stood out for both of us is our deep need to contribute to the community and slowly that took shape in the form of ShikshaDaan, our NGO. Well, good for us, that we stumbled upon our purpose and I use the word stumble consciously because no one or no tool can really point it out in black and white to you !! Now what if you aren’t able to figure out your purpose in life ? Please don’t put your foot on the stress accelerator – there is hope in the next paragraph !
The third piece of this blog’s title is the easiest thing to figure out for all of us – what are you good at ? Hey, the answer can be critiquing movies, it can also be washing dishes, it can be singing or it can be being goofy… nothing esoteric, but genuinely figure out what you are good at and keep doing it better. It usually leads to a lot of appreciation and eventually it may become your passion and much later in life, you may figure out that its your life purpose. Let me give you an example – M S Dhoni never figured out his passion for cricket till much later in life, but he figured out that he was good at sports and just kept playing football till he got onto cricket and just working hard at what he is good at, look where he has reached. Try finding the thing that you do very well at work – I have a friend who is passionate about geology, and is good at it but is an outstanding cook. She refuses to focus on cooking and make it her life’s purpose, she is really something else when she is cooking.. can’t think of any dish that turns out badly whether she is making it for the first time or the nth time.
So if my suggestion to find your passion in yesterday’s blog stressed you out, here’s the antidote.. just find out what you are good at and keep doing more of it – esoteric things like passion and purpose will reveal themselves in good time :).
So smile again and hope you laughed in the middle of a boring meeting yesterday and will do so today because the guy speaking at the meeting is not good at it and assumes he is – help him/her too by pointing out what he/she is good at. Happy Tuesday folks.