Living a life of passion and purpose

This is part one in a series on how to discover and live your passion and life purpose.

Many of us spend years of our lives wondering what it is we were 'meant' to be doing, or perhaps wondering if the path we've chosen is leading us toward the most happiness. Are you currently living your passion? Do you know what your passion is?

I'm not talking about a career or job, though career can certainly play into living your passion. But the passion I'm taking about goes a little deeper than that. I guess when I say, "are you following your passion?" I mean, "are you following your life's purpose?"

Life purpose can be different things to different people, and there can certainly be more than one 'purpose' in your life. For example, imagine a woman who is a mom and wife, who works, and is religious, and loves to paint, and one of her deep desires is to help children in need.

This woman has several purposes and desires in her life. She presumably desires a happy and loving relationship with her husband and children, wants to succeed at work, serves God, and loves painting and helping children. Several or all of these things could be her passion or life purpose.

But doing all these things at once (and doing them all well) is difficult if not impossible. Sometimes we must choose to follow one passion for now and let another germinate in our hearts until the time is right.

Another solution is to combine our passions. The woman in the example above could seek a career that involves her love of painting or helping children (or both). She could also decide that her best career is staying at home with her children (I know, it's an unpopular notion, but a valid one nonetheless.) She could teach her children to paint. She could involve her family in helping children in need. She could also find a career that intersects with her love of God.

The point is, when we combine things that we love, especially as it relates to our career (because a career or job uses up most of our available time), we are able to follow more of our passions. And if our career encompasses one or more of our passions and life purposes, how much more enjoyable would our work be?

Don't forget that we don't have to do everything all at once. And more importantly, we can't! We have to choose which of our many passions to focus on right now. We get to choose. And much as some of us would love to have a blueprint of our life handed over to us, we often have to stumble around a bit before we find our purpose.

Part 2 in this series will focus on how to discover what your passion and life purpose is.