Thinking about your passion and purpose is thinking about what you love doing that brings you joy and self-fulfillment. Unlocking your why can be a challenge because with so many things that befall us, people tend to get lost in search of their true identity. Today, we dive into the questions that you have to ask yourself to identify your fervor and the process to follow in finding your purpose and living your passion. On top of that, discover how to bring out your differentiator.
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Finding Your Passion And Purpose
You guys know my passion for Survivor. One of my favorite events, it’s this open casting call for all of those who want to be contestants on the show and it happens every year around this time. People come from all over because there aren’t many open casting calls anymore. People actually travel. We had people from Michigan, South Carolina, New Jersey, all over the place. They came to Orlando, to Cape Canaveral, to Victory Cruise. That’s where this open casting call is held. I get to go there along with some of the other contestants. There were seven of us there. What I do is I stand in the front of the line and I literally talk to every single person on the line, to whoever wants to talk to me.
Some of them do, most of them do and some are in their zone and they’re getting ready. They’ve been standing in line. This is crazy because some of them had been standing in line since the night before, to secure their place. When I started thinking about it, I was thinking that’s a bit crazy because the line itself is only five hours. Why would you come the night before? You could come the day of the event and wait for the full five hours. Somebody was there at 7:00 PM on Saturday. That’s a long time to wait but anyway, those were my thoughts. I figured you could come the day of, wait the five hours and be done. That’s dedication. I’m always talking about commitment and this does demonstrate full commitment to getting on the show. Doing whatever it takes to make things happen. I do like that. Many of the people in line were asking for advice.
They were asking for tips on what they should do to get on the show. My advice was very simple, “Be yourself, be authentic, be you and figure out how to differentiate yourself.” Think of it this way, there were a total of between 700 to 1,000 people standing in line. What I would think that the producers would want, they would want to figure out, “What is your differentiator? Why should we pick you? What are you specifically going to bring to the show that no one else can bring?” These are the same questions that you have to answer in anything that you do in life. Why you? If you have your own business, why should people want to work with you? What are you going to do that is different, that is better, that provides more value than someone else? We learn these life lessons in anything we do all the time throughout our lives. Our topic is about finding your purpose and passion.When you think about your purpose, it's something that you love doing and where you're happiest. Click To Tweet
When I spoke with many of the people, they were certainly passionate about the show. They were passionate about wanting to push themselves and they were confident that they were ready for the challenge. There were others in line who are maybe there for different reasons. There were some of them that came because a friend of them told them, “You would be great for the show, Survivor.” That’s why they decided to come out and try, and some of those people have never even seen the show. This one guy I was talking to, it was his mother’s passion. His mother was a true fan of the show. He didn’t care about it, but he decided that he was going to go out there and prove that he could do the show for his mother’s sake.
People go there for different reasons and these people are giving it a whirl. That’s great even though it’s not their passion. If they don’t get on the show, they don’t care. They went through the process. They won’t think twice about it. It was not something that’s going to haunt them but finding your purpose and your passion is looking at your values and your beliefs. It’s your personality, who you are, how you act every single day. I’ve talked about this before, what is your character? Who are you when no one else is looking? You must think about the thing that you love to do, the things that you’re so passionate about that you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
There are so many times throughout our lives that we struggle with who we are. We struggle with identifying our true purpose in life, what we were made to do. Who are we supposed to be? How are we supposed to act? We’ll talk about finding your purpose and your passion, and what it takes to bring it to life. I’ve talked to so many people who find it difficult to determine what their purpose is, not because they don’t have things that they like to do. Everyone has things that they like to do, not because they’re not confident but many times, it’s because they find it difficult to uncover what’s special about them, what’s their differentiator. I think that’s the hardest part and even when I was talking to the people, many couldn’t think of what to say about themselves, about their specialty and their uniqueness. Since this is difficult for many, I thought I’d talk about what things can help you find your purpose and what it will take to bring that purpose to life, to live your purpose every single day. Making each day count.
When Was The Time In Your Life When You Were Extremely Happy?
When you think about your purpose, it’s something that you love doing. It’s where you’re happiest. The first thing to do to begin, to identify your purpose is this, go get a pen and a paper because you’re going to want to write down these questions so that you can begin to answer these questions on your own. The first thing is think about a time in your life when you were extremely happy. Close your eyes. What comes to mind? You were on top of the world. What were you doing during that time? Where were you? Who were you with? What we’re looking for is what makes you tick. What is going to put that smile back on your face every single solitary day? Where were you the happiest? You’re painting that picture in your mind and you’re writing down the answers to all of those things. Who you’re with? What did the day look like? Was it an evening? Was it on a beach? Was it during the winter? Were you with your family? Whatever the case, whatever those answers are, you’re going to write them down.
What Have You Done That You Are Most Proud Of?
The second thing is along those same lines, you’re going to answer this question. What have you done that you are most proud of? If someone asked you the question, tell me what you are proudest of about yourself. That’s what we’re getting at. That’s what you have to answer. That is the question that will tie back to getting you happy. You’re proud of yourself being able to do certain things. What are they? When you begin to think this way, we’re starting to dig into what you love doing because if you’re happy, whatever you’re doing at that moment is putting that smile on your face. That means you love doing it.
What Are The Characteristics Of Your Favorite People?
The next question is, what are the qualities that you admire most in other people? Write down the list of those characteristics or those qualities that your favorite people have. Many times, the things that we admire in others are the things that we see in ourselves, not always. If there are skills that you don’t yet have, no worries. We’re going to talk about what to do about that, but what we’re trying to uncover here is when you look for things in other people, those you want to spend time with, people that you feel close to, what specifically are those characteristics? Those are the characteristics that you align with that you feel connected to and that may be linked to the values that you set within yourself.When you think of yourself, you have to be clear in understanding who you are, your personality, your beliefs, and your values. Click To Tweet
What Makes You So Excited?
Think about what gets you going. What makes you so excited? You’ve got flutters all over. It links back to when you were the happiest. It’s something that you can’t wait to do. You look forward to it. You’re super excited when it happens. An example might be, think of a kid going to Disney for the first time. That’s the type of excitement I’m talking about. If you have children or when you were a kid, you were taken to Disney, an amusement park or someplace that you love to go. When your parents told you that you were going, you had a smile from ear to ear, you could not wait. You probably didn’t sleep the night before. It’s Christmas morning every day. That’s the type of excitement I want you to think about. What makes you that excited?
How Happy Are You Every Day?
The next thing is a little bit different because what we were trying to get out here is, how are you living life every day? The question is how happy are you every day? You’ve got to be truthful with yourself. Are you doing the things that make you super excited? If the answer is no, maybe you haven’t found your purpose. Maybe you haven’t found your passion yet. I’m not going to say that there aren’t times throughout our lives where we have responsibilities that require us to do things.
There are plenty of those times and truthfully, that’s always going to happen but there are definitely opportunities throughout the day where you can have some time for yourself, some time to spend on your purpose and on your passion. You may need to set aside that me time. For example, you love working out and you can’t work out every minute of every day because you’ve got to work, you’ve got kids, whatever you have going on that is preventing you from doing that, you can always set aside time to allow yourself to work out. You’ve got to do it. That is an example of something that may get you excited. It may not be your purpose in life. It may not be your passion and that’s fine. We’re getting there.
If There Is One Thing That You Could Change To Make Yourself Happier, What Would It Be?
This is my favorite question to answer. The question that you must answer for yourself is if there is one thing that you could change to make yourself happier, what would it be? What would you change? It really gets you thinking. You have to prioritize what that specific change would be. If you had this magic wand and you can change one thing in your life, what would you change? Don’t we all wish that we had this magic wand? I do, that would be amazing but seriously, you have to think about it like that. Sometimes we get caught up in worrying so much about what other people think because of that, we live our lives for other people. We think we’re supposed to do certain things that other people expect of us. We focus on those things rather than what we want to do.
Are You Doing These Things Because You Think You Should Do Them Because Other People Say So?
The next question to ask yourself is, are you doing that? Are you doing these things because you think you should do them because other people say so? If yes, what are those things that you’re doing that other people are telling you to do? Jot those things down.
What Is The One Thing That You Want To Be A Part Of And You Are Willing To Commit To Accomplishing It?
The last question to answer is, what is the one thing that you want to be a part of and you are willing to commit to accomplishing it? This is not something that you’re doing. This may be something that you really want to be a part of, but you’ve never taken that step. Taking that first step towards commitment. When I was talking about trying out for Survivor. For ten years, I talked about it but I never took that step. Once I took that step, I was committed to it. I made it happen. The process that we went through is the process for uncovering what is truly important to you. Once you’ve answered all of those questions, you’ll have a good idea of what you’re passionate about.
When you think of yourself, you have to be clear in understanding who you are, your personality, your beliefs and your values. You can’t go any farther down this path and on this journey until you understand completely what you’re all about. That’s why these questions are so critical to answer. You must be honest about what’s important to you and why is it important to you. Don’t worry about what other people think. This is your exercise alone. If you truly want to find your purpose and live your passion, then this is the process that you have to follow. Step one, we talked about is this inward look at the things that are important to us. What makes us happy? What are the things standing in the way of our true happiness? What are the things that you may need to stop doing going forward?Learn everything you can. Never stop learning and stay on top of everything in your area. Click To Tweet
This next step is to think about what impact you’ll have. You figured out your purpose, you understand what excites you and you’re passionate about it. How is it going to impact other people? Will it impact other people? What is the impact that it’s going to have? What difference do you want to make? Do you want to be a role model? Do you want to teach others to do something? Do you want to start a movement? Do you want to help others succeed? What is the impact that you want to have? This is a tough step because not only do you have to identify what the impact is, but you have to quantify it and you have to clearly define it. It must be measurable because if it isn’t, then how will you ever know whether you achieved it? You won’t.
This step, sometimes, is one that people stumble through. One example can be that someone has defined for themselves that they love to work out, they love to stay fit, they love to push themselves to do more, their personality is outgoing, they feel good when people notice they’re fit, they value good health and healthy living. They believe that they can help other people achieve their fitness goals. When they think about their impact, it can be broad or they can begin to drill it down to a niche if that meets their needs. Maybe their impact is focused on women, maybe it’s women over 40. They want to help women over 40 reach their fitness goals, whatever those are or they may want to develop a global program for women over 40 who have never worked out before.
There are so many different things that you can come up with. The point is that you must find the one that you’re passionate about. You must be able to define it to be able to discuss what success looks like. It has to be so clear in your mind that you can clearly articulate it to others. I’m focusing on this point because so many times we don’t determine the impact that we’re looking for. We give up because we don’t measure whether we’re achieving it or not. This is an exercise that you have to go through. Close your eyes. Think about what your purpose is from the list of questions that you answered in the first place, and visualize what success looks like.
Are you standing on a podium collecting a medal? Are you standing at the stock exchange during opening bell, cutting the ribbon because your company went public? Are you onstage thanking all the people who helped you to change a regulation for identifying harmful things in our food? I don’t know. I’m making stuff up. It doesn’t really matter. Those are some examples. The point is I want you to actually see the end game when you have made a difference when you are impacting people that you wanted to impact, that’s a success. The difference you want to make must be so clear to you that you can see the result and those things are not easy.
Here’s where things begin to come together and if you want to be able to live your passion every day, then this step is critical. This step is identifying what the world needs. If you want to be able to impact others and make a living at the same time, you’ve got to figure out what people need. Are they willing to spend money on the thing that you’re providing them on the impact or the value that you’re providing? How was your impact going to help others and do they think it is as important as you do? Are they willing to pay something for it? New inventions happen all the time. Years ago, I’m sure that no one was thinking about how convenient it would be to carry a phone with us all the time.
I know I wasn’t thinking about that. We probably never thought that we would be texting people because we didn’t even know what texting was at the time. There are things that impact us that we don’t even know about yet. Those are the inventions. Those are things that you may have one of those that are still great and you should continue down that path but as you begin to think about what people need, you’re going to get closer to bringing it to life. Think of it this way, if your impact is solving a problem for people and they’re willing to pay for it, then it sounds like it may be something that you can do every day and you can support yourself financially as well.When you are impacting people that you wanted to impact, that's a success. Click To Tweet
There is a difference between a business and a hobby. Your purpose and your impact are usually where you want to spend most of your time, and you spend most of your time impacting others. To do that, you need to be able to be financially secure. A hobby is something that you do because you like it. It may not necessarily give you any financial support. If you love taking pictures of palm trees, for example, but no one is willing to buy them. You still may decide to go out every Sunday for a few hours, take pictures, and create your own photo album to look at because you love it but if you want your impact and your passion to provide you with income to live on so that you can do it every single day and focus all your time and effort in that space, then people need to value what you bring them.
This way, you can create a business doing something that’s helping solve problems for others. I think we’ve seen this issue before, or at least I have. I’ve seen it many times on the TV reality show Shark Tank. Where people come to the show, they’ve put their hearts and souls into creating a business they’re passionate about, a business that they love, and you can see that passion when they’re sharing their ideas with the sharks. You get excited about it and one of the sharks asks this question, “How long have you been in business and how much money have you made thus far?” If the answer to that question is something like, “I’ve been in business for ten years and I’ve made $20,000.” In this scenario, their passion may not be what people are looking for because people aren’t buying it. They’re not seeing the value. It doesn’t necessarily always mean that it’s wrong. They could have a bad marketing strategy, they would need to perfect things a little way, but for the most part, there’s something that needs to change. There’s something that’s not working. They could be poor business people, whatever the case is. You must have something that people need. How are you going to change the world? What kind of need does what you’re doing impact maybe even worldwide? These are the questions that you must answer and it can evolve over time.
I remember years ago when the fitness program like CrossFit came out and people at first were pretty skeptical. I know I was. It wasn’t the norm. They didn’t really understand that kind of program. I didn’t understand that kind of a program. You work out for less time, but you’re pushing yourself harder than a steady paced run or something. You’re lifting tires may be instead of weights, it was totally different, but it became mainstream and you can find a CrossFit gym almost anywhere. When you’re identifying the need that people have, it doesn’t mean that because it doesn’t exist today that the need doesn’t exist. Cell phones didn’t exist and look at us, we can’t live a minute without a cell phone in our pocket. There’s the impact that you’re having, you’re solving problems, you’re making people feel comfortable with your impact even if it evolves and it changes over time. Identify who you want to impact. Maybe even do a focus group with some of the people within that demographic, to ensure that you’re getting good feedback along the way. Do surveys, bring people in, talk to others and bounce the ideas off of the people who you want to purchase your product or the people who you want to impact to perfect your craft. We first start within ourselves. This is what we’ve covered so far. You start within, you find out what makes us tick.
We identify what impact we will have, how we will make a difference and who needs what we’re providing them. The last step in the process is you’ve got to answer the question, “Why you?” The same question that I told the people in line waiting to get on the show, Survivor. Why should I choose you to solve my problem? This is where you are the differentiator. You bring your expertise, your skills, your knowledge, and your experience. If you don’t have all those skills, you have to fill those gaps. You’ve got to get them. When you want to live your purpose, you have to be credible. People must feel you’re an expert or else why are they going to go to you and what does being an expert mean?
It could mean something different to everybody. It may depend on the field that you’re in or the purpose that you have. We’ll go back to that photographer example that I talked about before. Let’s assume that there’s a need for pictures of palm trees. The pictures have to be clear. They must be centered. They must show things from different angles to provide some creativity, they have to have the best lighting and the list goes on and on. The point is, you must be perfect. You must be an expert at your craft to be successful. It’s not easy. It takes work and it takes time.
I was actually watching the news, and one basketball player on the blazers or whatever, took a shot from a far three-pointer, a very long shot at the buzzer. Everyone was like, “Shouldn’t he?” What he was saying was that on the court, he perfects that shot every day. He practices it over and over again. In his mind, he felt very comfortable about taking that shot and it went in. He won the game. It worked out but the point is, you’ve got to be an expert and you’ve got to be credible. You’ve got to be somebody that people want to go to for that problem that you’re solving. Many times, being able to distinguish yourself is hard, especially in a field that’s filled with competition. When I think of this for myself, I think that my purpose is to help others gain the skills, the competencies and the self-confidence that they need for themselves to be successful.
I have to be credible. People need to want to come to me. When I thought about it, I was thinking about, “What do I love doing?” I love working with people and I’m happiest when I’m speaking to others or teaching them ways to do things better, to do things for themselves. I get excited when I see people change their behavior. Maybe they call me up when they’re super excited to talk about how they were able to handle a situation better. Something that we talked about. There’s tremendous competition out there, meaning that there are so many people that do leadership training, that do executive coaching and that are professional speakers. This shows a big need. When we talked about is the impact that you have the difference that you want to make something that people need?
The competition shows me that there’s a big need. Companies are always looking for people to help their associates. Individuals are looking for ways to improve themselves and they’re willing to hire somebody to help them. I’ve been working with people for the last 30 years, helping them improve themselves, and providing them with the tools that they need to improve themselves. One of the ways that I gained credibility is by having testimonials. Testimonials from people that I’ve worked with that have given me great feedback on how we worked together and what changes they were able to make within themselves. These testimonials are proof that people are looking for. They read the feedback and they make a decision for themselves. Is this person going to be able to help me do the things that I want to do? We all look at reviews. That is an example of something that will help to differentiate yourself and to make yourself credible.
My differentiator is that I go above and beyond. If people have questions after the fact, they can call me or email me, and I’ll respond. My purpose and passion are linked together because I truly get to do what I love. Finding your true purpose and passion is exhilarating. It’s the kind of thing that when you’re doing what you love doing, you sometimes forget to eat. You get so engrossed in doing what you love to do that you don’t want to stop. When you are looking at yourself, I gave you an example of what I’m passionate about, of my purpose of how I’ve gone through the process that we’ve talked about to help me make a difference and to help me perfect what I do every single day. When you think back to being credible, it’s your expertise. What do you bring to the table? People want to know that you’re the person that is going to be able to help them or else why would they put a value on it? Why would they pay for it? It is super critical to put the time and effort in that it takes to stay up on the things within your craft and within your field that are going to help you to continue to be a leader.
Many times, we get started we think about our purpose and our passion. Maybe as a wish, we get stuck in our daily routines that we forget that we don’t always do what we love to do. You’ve heard this before. If you do what you love every day, it never feels like work. If you do what you love every single day, it doesn’t feel like you’re working. Isn’t that what we want? What is your purpose? Take that inward look and find out who you are. What are your beliefs? What are your values? Are you living those values daily? Once you’ve uncovered those answers, then you’ll be able to clearly state the difference that you want to make. What’s the impact that you’ll have? Who is your target? What are you trying to accomplish? You have to clearly define the impact. It has to be so specific in your mind that you can close your eyes and actually see what success looks like and how will you measure it? You get what you measure. If you’re not going to measure success, you’re not going to do it. It’s accountability. You’ve got to hold yourself accountable for doing these things every single day.
In order for this to become your day-to-day, you must ensure people need your impact. People value the difference that you’ll bring. Have you checked in with them to make sure that your impact is actually solving a problem for them that they’re willing to pay for? These are the things that you’ve got to ask yourself. If that’s true, if those things that you’ve put in place show value, then you can sustain it. The last thing is your differentiator. You’ve got to become an expert. Learn everything you can. Never stop Learning. Stay up on everything in your area. Be a leader and be the forward thinker. That’s what people are looking for. When you put all of those things together, then you have the formula you need to live your purpose every single day. When you wake up in the morning and you say, “I’ve got to go to work today,” you walk out of the house with that big smile on your face because when you do what you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like, “I get to do what I love to do every single day,” and that’s a fabulous feeling.
Next, we’ll have another great show for you. There are a few topics that people have been asking about. One is networking for success. The other is finding the missing pieces. I wonder what that is. Go ahead and follow me on Instagram, @CarolynRivera14. I’m building up that account so that I can provide different stories and information for all of you every day. I shared my purpose with you. What makes me tick? I talked about watching people succeed and the steps that I went through to make sure that I was on the right track. Go to my website at www.CarolynJRivera.com for more information. Helping you achieve more than you ever thought possible is my specialty. Those are the things that I love to do, but I am open. I love to hear from you.
I love it to hear the things that are on your minds, the things that are going to help you succeed, and the information that you need to do the things that you want to do to find your purpose and to find your passion. Go ahead and send me a message. If there are more topics that we haven’t talked about, that I haven’t covered, that you haven’t heard on that list, go ahead, send me an email and schedule a call. Remember, believe, commit and achieve. I talk about this all the time. You should be able to say it by now. That is the secret sauce that you’re looking for. It’s the things that keep us motivated. When you believe in yourself, you commit to doing something, then the answer is right in front of you. You get to achieve more than you ever thought possible.
- @CarolynRivera14 – Carolyn’s Instagram