When I was about 16 years old, I went to the movie theaters with my older sister and mom to watch a rated R movie. I had a nervous anticipation of the movie because the trailers were noting elements of physical torture. My sister kept saying it was a “must watch”. My mom seemed pretty optimistic about this movie as well. I was locked in and obviously, no turning back. We hustle to find seats in the auditorium. (Back in the day, recliners and assigned seats were NOT a “thing”. So if you wanted good seats, we had to get there asap and nix the snacks.) We single filed into a row of seats enough for us to be together, I look around and the room was filled with strangers, shadows and bobbing heads. I take my seat. The movie commercials start and after what felt like an eternity, the movie finally begins.
Guys, I cried. I cried so hard and the images are still seared in my mind. I watched a bloody, graphic reenactment of a man that was bludgeoned by spiny, hook tail-ended whips and cursed by a crowd; a repeat murderer selected instead of the innocent man to be released back into society. His only crime was that he preached truths and made miracles so unbelievable that he was sent to his death.
If you watched this movie, you know what scene I am talking about. If you still haven’t guessed yet, the movie is called The Passion of the Christ. The scene and movie encompasses the period of Jesus’ arrest, trial and death. It was graphic and if accurate to the events, oh, my heart was forever imprinted with the blood boiling and gut wrenching feelings, seeing what became of Jesus. (Side note: I just realized that Jesus was about 33 or so at the time of his crucifixion and I am just of the same age writing about him.) You see, He was here for a purpose and His passion was built around you and me.
To spare some reading on Biblical context, the short story is that our humankind is sinful and God used his son Jesus to connect the bonds of Heaven and Earth to permit us (with reservations) to go to Heaven. Jesus was our bridge and he did this by building relationships. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why in the heck would someone purpose their child to die for the sake of sinful people?”
Have you ever loved someone before? To the point of irrational comprehension? That you’d throw away or bend your personal standards and expectations for them? Follow them to the abyss of whatever journey it took you on, even though you knew you were venturing into the complete unknown?
That is the closest connection I can make to answer the “Why”. That is passion. Passion is defined as “strong and barely controllable emotion”.
Purpose, on the other hand, is a point of proving that. Purpose is defined as “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists”.
I realize that passion may not be wholly derived from connection with a person. Maybe it’s an idea, a call to action, a business plan, a new adventure or sensation that makes you want to fervently chase it. I call this, your personal mission. It is what you are motivated by and work towards.
I’m going to flip this 180 and rhetorically ask you who is reading this, “Have you ever found something you’re so passionate about that you chased it to the ends of logic and comprehension to prove the depth of your seriousness of it?” (Take, Elon Musk.)
See, here’s an example: when people start small businesses where there’s no security or guarantee of income or growth, the people around them start to criticize and plant seeds of doubt. This is why people associate, “risk”, “trouble”, “bad idea” with the word “business” when it’s an “ordinary” person. But how come, when a rich mogul says the word “business” – everyone JUMPS like lunatics and want to learn “their secrets”. Guys, hate to break it to you. There are NOOOOOO SECRETS! Seriously. You know what those “rich people” did?
MUSTARD UP THE COURAGE AND PUT IN THE WORK.
No one wants to do this but it can be done. An ORDINARY person can do those things; many things in fact! I mean, just look at the advancements around us. It took an ordinary person to chase an idea that the people of their times thought they were insane. Because of passion. Here we are in cars, planes, boats, computers, on cell phones, etc… enjoying the fruits of purported “insanity”! The list goes on in what amazing things ordinary people have done and have echoed into the future.
Passion plus Purpose; have you found your way? Have you made it a point to stake your claim in bringing forth your best effort yet and manifest what you have been dreaming of? That idea, invention or task that has been lingering in your mind/heart – SCREAMING – to come out? Your passion is that ‘THING’ that engulfs you and pushes you to pursue it without much force. Purpose, is doing the work that showcases that amplification of your passion. That is the difference.
Let me throw out a short exercise* – see if you can name these famous themes to their curator?
“Happiest Place on Earth”
“Man on the Moon”
Could you name all those people connected to those “ideas”? Those people chased their passion and it became their purpose for “why they do what they do”.
I’m sure by now, you might be questioning what your passion is. Look – it’s what you think of doing when you’re at your 9-5 job. (OK – don’t be a smarta** and say “sleep” or “eating”. Be a little more colorful in thought. :D. LOL.) Of the many more things I can write to you, know that you can always make the switch and pursue what you have passion for. When you make it a point to be the expert of your dreams, only good things can happen from there. Take everything in stride as each part of your story has a lesson to make you a stronger individual. There is never a bad lesson in life. (Maybe just a bad attitude. LOL. Just saying!)
Put your best foot forward and bring your passion + purpose into play. You deserve to see it come to life!
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*Key: “Minimalism” – Ryan Nicodemus & Joshua Fields Millburn; “Spark Joy” – Marie Kondo; “Lamborghini” – Ferruccio Lamborghini; “Happiest Place on Earth” – Walt Disney; “Gravity” – Sir Isaac Newton; “Man on the Moon” – Neil Armstrong.