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  Jane Miller


Articles -- Potential / Passion / Purpose

Opening another Christmas card (or should I say "greeting card") and a little note inside says "All is well here. No changes". This seems to be a common theme with the cards this year. What's happening? Are my friends getting old? Even more worrying, I think that my own card said something similar! In all the past years I can remember, there was something exciting to report in my yearly update to my friends, but this year was pretty much a continuation of last year.

Well, perhaps it's time to do the "Potential / Passion / Purpose" exercise again. It only takes a few minutes and maybe I can figure out something that I can do (as a hobby or profession) that will rekindle my motivation and inspiration.

How about you? Will you join me in doing this exercise?

Draw three large circles on a sheet of paper. Label these circles "Potential", "Passion" and "Purpose".

  1. In the "Potential" circle, write at least 7 of your positive traits and skills that you have or are moving towards having. Take lots of time to do this. When you think you're done, challenge yourself to think a while longer and add more. Dig deeper at least twice in the process.
  2. In the "Passion" circle, write all the things that you love to do (things you are passionate about). Again, take time to add as many items as possible.
  3. In the "Purpose" circle, write things that bring meaning and purpose to your life.
  4. Look at all of the things you have written, find links between things in each of the areas, and find the underlying thread.
  5. Then, complete the following sentence, incorporating elements from each of the areas.
    I live my unique personal life purpose when I...

Oftentimes the insights that arise from this type of exercise happen along the way.

  • Did you discover skills and traits that you weren't initially aware of?
  • Are there things you love to do that you haven't done in years?
  • As you wrote Purpose, did you start to feel more grounded?
  • Finally, as you completed the sentence in step 5, were you able to express your deepest truth?

    Taking action
    Now the question is "What will you do to bring a deeper sense of meaning and purpose into your life?" It may be spending more time with your children, or getting back to a creative hobby, or taking some courses towards a new career. As you decide on next steps, notice your mood and energy level. Also notice if there is any resistance coming up, and work with these feelings and the thoughts surrounding them. Treat your resistance as an ally, helping you to foresee and overcome possible challenges. It's ok to whittle down your dream somewhat to make it realistic, but be careful not to diminish it so much that it no longer inspires you. Goals worth pursuing are those that push you just beyond your comfort zone. This is your growing edge.

    Whenever I chart a course into new territory, I like to keep in mind my mother's simple motto:

           "You can do anything if you put your mind to it!"

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