Friday, April 8, 2011

Discovering Your Passion: What Moves You? (Part 3 of 3)

Another key to discovering your passion is to pay attention to those things that ignite your zeal. What gets you going? Watch for clues. A story on the news may spark your attention, a sermon at church may stir you up to do something, even a conversation with a friend may reveal to you that you have a deep concern or frustration about something. That “something” may just be the clue you need to help you discover your true, primary passion in life.
It is also important to develop the talents you have. There’s a quote by Henry Hartman that says, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.” Think about how you can make a difference in the lives of others by using the natural gifts you possess. In other words, put your talents to good use. If you don’t know how to develop your talents, do extensive research on them. Go back to school or volunteer for someone who is already successful in what you want to do. Remember to continue to seek God throughout this process, and keep a journal about your experiences.
Also strive to be the best at whatever you chose to pursue.
I read an article in Black Enterprise Magazine that gave an account of how Tiger Woods finished an exhausting 18 holes one day and returned home only to review tapes until 5 the next morning. When he saw something he needed to work on, he called his swing coach and said, “Let’s work on this.” He takes 1,000 swings a day to get to his peak performance.
When I read this, I thought about how funny it is that many people give up on their dreams because something they’ve pursued or developed as a talent didn’t turn out as flawless as they had planned—at first. Many times people don’t realize how much hard work, patience, diligence, and discipline it takes to be successful.
Begin research, interviews, and soul searching to discover what you can absolutely give 110 percent to. I strongly believe that when you set out to pursue your passions, develop your natural talents, increase your faith, and proceed to work with diligence and excellence, nothing will be able to stop you from achieving true success in life and discovering what you were destined to do.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Discovering Your Passion: What Moves You? (Part 2 of 3)

Even if you discover what you are truly passionate about, you will not know how to direct it if you do not get God involved in your plans. Proverbs 16:3 in the Amplified Bible says, “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.” God wants you to succeed in discovering His overall plan for your life. He is not trying to hide anything from you, but this step is the most important because without Him success is limited.
Therefore get focused and start taking better care of yourself— physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You cannot hear Him when you are stressed out, deprived of nutrients, worried, and mentally cluttered.
Part of your self-care plan should include organization. Get your life in order. How can you even hear your own thoughts when there is clutter all around you? You can clear out the junk in your mind and spirit by journaling. Clear out the junk in your home by taking one step at a time. Focus on one area of your home one day then another area the next day.
Also be sure to do whatever you need to in order to nurture your spirit. Get up early in the morning to pray and seek God through Bible reading and meditation. The time you give yourself to connect spiritually is vital to your overall success in life.
Readers' note: See new topics on everything from spiritual renewal to everyday practical tips each Tuesday and Friday. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Discovering Your Passion: What Moves You?

I want you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine that you have millions of dollars in the bank. You’re on a warm, secluded tropical island, considering your future endeavors. What do you see yourself doing? What are you passionate about pursuing for the rest of your life?
Okay, you may not have a million dollars in the bank (yet), but there is a driving force in you, propelling you to do something—something big. What is it? Pull it out of you. You only have the rest of your life to pursue it.
One of the definitions I found for passion that I like is: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for something. For example, you can have a passion for art or music.
Passion has many definitions. However, the one I want to focus on is: a strong or extravagant fondness or desire for anything. God has put certain desires in your heart. But how do you know they are there? First of all, when you even talk about something you are fond of, enthusiasm bursts out of you, and everyone can see it all over your face. I like to think of it as God Himself, oozing out of you, showing the world a sneak peak of your purpose.
You are responsible for doing the work of discovering your own purpose in life. I believe that when you discover what you are truly passionate about, you will have a piece to your life puzzle.
Former Editor-In-Chief of Essence Magazine, Susan Taylor, put it beautifully. She said, “To know yourself is to know the power of God within you. We are here to discover our truth and to make our unique contribution to life.”
I found another quote on passion by an unknown author. It connects passion with everything you do. It says, “If you have passion for what you do, the company you keep, the life you live, it will be reflected in whatever you create. Passion is like that; it springs out, jumps, unpredictable and planned, into everything we touch. If it doesn’t, others know. Passion can’t be faked and it can’t be manufactured, which is why it is so priceless.”
One thing you can do to discover what you are truly passionate about is to begin asking yourself a series of questions. What ignites your enthusiasm? What can you imagine yourself doing all day with joy? What charges you and drives you to excel? In what do you get the best results? Also, you can find your passions in your hobbies or in those things in which you have a natural talent.