Passion vs Purpose: Which should You Pursue?
Is Passion or Purpose the Same?
I'm sure many of us have heard someone say 'find your passion and do what you love!' or perhaps you have heard someone say 'it's important that you know your purpose in life!' Are they the same? Most people think it is the same or similar at least but actually, passion vs purpose is totally opposite to each other. 'How are they different?' you might be wondering.
Passion: the pursuit of passion is to do what YOU love, what makes YOU happy, and get YOUR desires, it stems from a place of self-interest, where the focus is on YOU and no one else. Well what if my passion is to help other people, you might argue? This can't be selfish, can it? What is misunderstood about this phrase is that here YOU are helping people because it benefits YOU, you're not actually focused on the other person's needs but on your need to feel needed and perhaps the gratification that comes when someone thanks you for helping them.
So, is it bad to find your passion? The answer of course is no, it's not, it's important that you have things you are passionate about that make you happy such as having hobbies and activities that help you with your self-care time but it's irresponsible to tell someone to do what they love, what if what they love is drugs, money or power? how far will someone go to fulfill these passions? That's how dictators, scammers, and murderers are created.
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Remember having passions is important but it's something that you do for you and your self-care not others!
Purpose: To find your purpose is to understand yourself and how you fit into your surroundings to make it a better, more comfortable place with the support of others. Your purpose is the reason you have for doing something, let's use the example 'My passion is to help others' and rephrase it to 'my purpose is to help others this means that you are helping people because you know it will have an impact on others and not just yourself, it is a more external focus of how you can contribute to your community and to better society.
For example, is Elon Musk Passionate about building Electric cars, space travel, and tunnels, or does he feel a purpose to reduce pollution, create new and safer ways to explore space, and create a better more efficient way of transportation? If you answered 'the former' then you are right! Elon Musk saw a need to improve the way we travel and made it his purpose to find and provide solutions. When you know your purpose, you know they need you're fulfilling or perhaps the problem you want to solve.
So do you know your purpose? if not, ask yourself: What changes do I want to see? how can I be part of this change? how will this change affect those around me? this can be your starting point!
So remember the importance of finding your purpose, this is easier said than done because to find our purpose we need self-awareness and social-awareness to discover how our skills and experience can improve our community and the lives of those around us. Finding your passion on the other hand is easy, it's what makes YOU happy and makes you lose track of time because you get so much pleasure and gratification from it.
Can passion and purpose come hand-in-hand? Yes, they can be integrated together as it does help if you use your passions to find your purpose. Ask yourself, how can doing what YOU love and have an impact and improve the lives of others in your community? Will it involve you doing what YOU hate to get what YOU love? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to help others? What are your boundaries? Use these questions as a starting point.
Passion and Purpose are both equally important and one without the other could have disastrous consequences on you and those around you! Make a plan to increase your self and social awareness, look to understand what your role is in society and how you can impact others.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you are having trouble identifying your purpose, I'd be happy to join you on your journey.
-To live is to suffer, to thrive is to find purpose in the suffering- Nietzsche
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