Stop looking for your passion. Instead live a mission driven life.
As we get older and we make more time for us we start thinking about the things we would love to do, or perhaps things we did years ago. Once my kiddos all left the house, I found myself wondering what I wanted to do. After many years of raising kids and pursuing their activities I felt lost.
One of the most maddening pieces of advice I read during that time was – find your passion. Or take up a long lost passion. What did you like to do as a kid?
I threw rocks at my brother and poked sticks at snakes – is that really something I want to pursue now. I loved to read as a kid, and still do. That was a passion, but did I just want to read all day? Seriously, I had nothing. So the more I tried to find my passion the more I failed miserably.
Until a few years ago when I attended a conference for work and one presenter made a statement: “Everything you do has to go back to your mission.”
This was a conference for non-profit executives, but I flashed on a moment of brilliance. Why could I not apply this to my life. Then I had a new dilemma – what was my mission.
For me it was fairly easy. Inspire women to create a life they love. That sounds pretty generic, but my mission also included inspiring women to create a life they love, by challenging the status quo of personal development (aka self-help).
I listened to a brilliant podcast a few weeks ago where the guest made this statement: “I can just see all these 50 plus people roaming around asking others, “have you seen my passion and purpose?”
That is a funny image.
Don’t just follow a passion – be mission driven.
A mission isn’t something an outside force assigns us but rather something we assign ourselves. A mission is typically borne out of our core values, our strengths, and the value we want to create. A mission serves as the reason we engage in various meaningful and value-added strategies we employ throughout our lives like writing, teaching, cooking, or riding unicycles.
A mission is pursuing meaningfulness not passion. Passion is a strategy you use to fulfill your mission. For example, my passion may be writing while my mission is to inspire women to live a life they love. I can do so with a book or a blog. If my passion was photography I would inspire women with a different medium.
A mission doesn’t require that we pursue any single career or hobby or activity but rather is broad enough that any number of strategies would enable us to accomplish it. But it can be narrow enough that it feels like the single most important thing we could spend our lives doing.
Ask yourself this – if you take the advice and follow your passion, to what end does that passion take you? Can you see a mission in there somewhere?
I feel I should leave you these two thoughts:
Your mission driven life can be whatever you want. Big, small, a company that feeds the world, or the best roses on the block, or leading a Girl Scout Troop.
I believe women over 50 have so much to contribute to the world with all our life experiences, and knowledge. We could set the world on fire. I challenge you to create your life’s mission. Sounds much more exciting than just finding your passion. Don’t you think?
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