Joy, Passion, Purpose
If I asked you to describe what it looks like to go after a dream with passion, could you do it? I'd venture to guess for many this would be a struggle. Not because we have an inability to define passion, but because many have an inability to identify what they are truly passionate about.
Whether pertaining to a job, family, hobby or relationships passion is the defining factor that can separate those who just get by from those who achieve unprecedented results and happiness. Why is this? Because those who act out of passion typically will stop at nothing to maintain forward progress. In the health and fitness realm, passionate individuals don't make excuses for why they cannot make it to the gym. They don't blame time constraints for eating cheap, unhealthy options. They don't cut corners on sets and repetitions. They make time. They make an effort. They make their goal a priority. They, unlike a majority of people, enjoy the process of working towards their mass-building, weight loss, performance enhancement, functional movement, and muscle toning goals or whatever else they may be aiming to achieve.
For some this may seem absurd... enjoying working out and eating healthy? Are they crazy? This is what some would say. But this is just and example. Perhaps, you may find your passion in another walk of life, such as your career or your relationships. So this begs the question how does one discover their passion?
I pose the question this way: imagine waking up one day and not being able to do something ever again (i.e., not being able to workout, do your job, be with your family, be in the relationship with your significant other, etc), how would this make you feel? That burning, sick to your stomach sort of feeling, just at the thought of losing something you love, is indicative of your passion for it. Unfortunately, often we do not recognize our passion for something until it is too late, until we have lost it. This needs to change.
I am fortunate enough to have discovered my passion at a very young age - age 4 actually. However, this goes a step further because though I knew what I was passionate about, I still needed time to identify my purpose. My purpose in life was discovered much, much later. I can very vividly remember when I discovered my purpose. It was when I was working with one of my very first personal training clients. She had come to me as an introvert, with a broad weight loss goal, who, to be quite honest, I was not sure if she would stick with the training program. Flash forward several months later. We had just weighed in and I could see the sparkle and shine in her eyes. A switch had gone off. She then said to me with a gleaming smile that she had never seen results before. Furthermore, she expressed to me that she had never had someone believe in her. I nearly cried. In fact, as many of you may know, when I have told this story in person I, to this day, nearly 5 years later still tear up. I saw the switch of confidence and enthusiasm in her for going after her goals; my introverted, unfocused client had beautifully transformed and I was fortunate enough to play a role in that. Nearly 5 years later, though we are no longer training together, that client is still actively living a healthy and fit lifestyle - biking to work regularly, attending fitness classes, eating well - all something that seemed so distant years ago. I maintain a friendship with that client who forever touched my life. Each time I think about the course of training with that particular client I am reminded of my purpose. My purpose is to be the strength someone lacks, be the one to believe in someone when they feel helpless, be the one to support someone at their lowest lows and highest highs, be the one to inspire people to be healthier and happier. Ultimately, my purpose is to truly be a teammate to someone so they never feel alone in their quest towards their health and fitness goals, so that they may never feel the quest is too great a burden that they give up on themselves. I take the approach that alone we can do good things, but together we can do remarkable things.
I can only hope that others discover their passion and purpose in life too. It starts with being open and acknowledging of what brings you joy. From there, it is about challenging yourself and asking yourself how much you are willing to invest, whether that is via time, money, love, compromise, or more, to preserve that feeling of joy and even strengthen it in the face of adversity. We've all heard the phrase If something is important to you, you will make time for it.Your passion demands this, your purpose demands this. Life is not always about fitting into some social norm or social pyramid ranking. It is not always about impressing others, how much you make, who you are dating, how fit you are, where you come from, what you do in your free time. Life is about how you spent your years, how happy you were and are. Why settle to please others and let yourself sacrifice. If you cannot imagine life without something why waste time not pursuing it. You should be doing everything in your power to be successful in that area. Your happiness depends on it. Otherwise you will be left in a pool of regrets down the road.
Take the time, right now, to discover what you are meant to be doing, who you are meant to be. If you are honest with yourself the answer should be clear, unquestionable. How do I know? Because you will make time for whatever it may be without hesitation or excuse. And likely, it will be something that you could talk on and on about because all you want to do is share this with someone else. So turn off the computer, turn on your mind, and open your heart. You'll find it.
What makes you happy? Seize it. What are you passionate about? Share it. What is your purpose? Live it.
I leave you with this: If ever there comes a day where you have forgotten your purpose think about the things in your life that bring you the most joy. It is in those things that you will again find your purpose. Purpose stems from passion and passion stems from joy. Be so passionate in your words and actions that even a stranger can look at you and grasp what you are all about.