Monday, July 6, 2015

Do You Know Your Passionate Purpose -- Are You Living It?

People often tell me they don't really know what their passionate purpose is. And in this cynical and often cruel environment in which we live, it is somewhat understandable. But, it doesn't have to be, and it shouldn't be that way. Isn't everyone born with a desire to be, and be significant? So how do we find our passionate purpose?

I believe it starts with a gnawing in the pit of our stomach -- not in a painful way, but in an urgent demand to be heard. We see a vision of what our passion and purpose looks like in action, and we are energized by it -- even when we are otherwise exhausted. We see the possible changes, outcomes, and effects and we are moved -- often to the point of tears. Some of you clearly know what I'm talking about, and no, I am not a mind reader. I simply believe that passionate purpose, however deeply buried, is inherently placed within each one of us -- and it is yearning to be born. We are "wonderfully made".

However, if your first thought is "what's in it for me", you may be mistaking passionate purpose for personal promotion. Now I know that many may disagree with that statement.  Certainly, I believe that ideally our passionate purpose should feed our pragmatic occupation or source of income, no doubt. However, in the long run, self-focus cannot empower and drive us to completion or total fulfillment of our passionate purpose.

If we habitually put our own interests first, there will come a time in which that interest's needs are met and we will stop. Occupation stops, purpose does not. Our passionate purpose has no retirement date. We may change and adjust how and when we fulfill it, but the passionate purpose remains -- and is only fulfilled in death.

So the question is: Can you find your passionate purpose, and will you be faithful in serving it until your heart has beaten for the last time, and your last breath has been taken? Life is short, so why live without passion and without purpose?

See it. Believe it. Build it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Are We Listening To The Leaders Of Tomorrow?

This is a speech my daughter gave at her high school graduation, last week. I share it not only as a proud dad, but as an opportunity for us to stop and hear what our children, the leaders of tomorrow are thinking. We've spent years teaching them, and nurturing them -- but have we really spent any significant time listening to them?

When I heard her speech, I fully expected to be proud. In fact, I knew I would be bursting with pride. What I didn't expect was to be taught and inspired. And that is exactly what happened. To hear her thoughts on the past, present, and future -- on service, relationships, dreams, goals, and the anxious anticipation of what tomorrow brings, was both inspiring and eye-opening. I knew she was smart, but I didn't know there was a certain wisdom she had acquired and a realistic, yet optimistic view that can propel her into positions of great leadership in the years ahead.

I suspect there are many like her, maybe even your own children, who are growing up before our eyes and taking the lessons we've taught, and the lessons they've caught and laying them as a foundation for tomorrow. The question is: Are we listening? Please take a few minutes and start here.

I'd love to hear about your experiences as well.