What is your purpose in life? What are you meant to be doing? What path would lead you to your fullest potential? What is your passion? We are each here for a special purpose. The problem is that many people don't seek out their special purpose. Others may know what their special purpose is, but they think it is too hard. Or that they are too old. Or that no one would ever take them seriously.
The people who have changed the world, who have followed their dreams and passions, have had the same doubts and fears. The difference is that they ignored them, overcame them, and went for it.
But, what if you are unsure of your path, your place in the universe. Here is a six step process to hone in on your passion and make your choice clearer, and, hopefully, provide you with the confidence to plunge forward.
1. Dream, Dream Big, Dream Bigger
On a sheet of paper write down three levels of your dream. If time and money were no object what is your ultimate dream, the minimal dream that would make you happy and a manageable middle dream. For example, your ultimate dream may be to win an academy award, the minimal dream may be to make a living by acting exclusively. The middle level might be to make enough from acting to move and live in LA. Do not cop out and make your minimal dream just a "satisfaction". Doing two community theatre shows a year is not a minimal dream. Nothing against community theatre. I love and respect it, but it is not a dream. Your minimal dream should be huge. It's just that the other two dreams should be huger.
2. 3 X 5 Friends
Poll 5 friends and ask them for three dreams. If they could look forward in time, what can they imagine you doing. This is not three levels of one dream. This is three distinct dreams. We have all looked at certain people and said, "They are going to change the world someday". If they give a vague answer like that, simply ask them to be more specific. Ask them "how?".
3. Create your dream path
If your rubbed a magic lantern today and the genie gave you the ability to design your future life, what would it look like? Go back to your biggest dream and expand on it. Take some time with this. This is not a one-sentence answer. Write several paragraphs about your biggest dream - where you live, what a typical day is like, who your friends are, how you spend your vacations. By looking at this dream 3-dimensionally, people sometimes discover that what they believe is motivating them initially is not the true motivation, at all. Winning an academy award may just be a way for you to gain enough clout to finally direct your own movie. Or it may represent making enough money to open an inner city school for the arts.
4. What issues move you emotionally?
Finally, list five issues or topics that touch your heart. Our dream path often is easier to follow it we have an emotional connection to it. If you are building a business that allows you to take time to volunteer for animal rescue, you will have an added incentive to make that business succeed. If your acting makes you more visible to be an advocate for the homeless, you will pursue it with more fire.
5. Now, stir.
Set aside an hour with your favorite beverage and mix all of the information together. You will see certain patterns emerging. You may find two different paths. Is there a way to bring them together to pursue both at the same time? Is there a way to prioritize them, pursuing one now and letting it lead to the second path sometime in the future?
6. And, take action.
Now that you know your dream path, commit to do something, ANYTHING, within the next three days to start yourself along your chosen path. This action is your validation that you believe in your dream enough to pursue it.
Have fun discovering your roadmap to your dream and I will see you on the other side.