Finding Your Inner Flame: Finding Passion Series - 3 of 3

by : Skye Thomas

Why is it that some goals have a fire and a passion behind them that creates an almost self-propelled drive towards completion, while other goals are left dead in the water before they've hardly even begun? What causes that level of motivation to manifest itself? Can we harness it? Can we predict when and where it will hit? The answers lie in finding out if the person setting the goal is in touch with his or her own deepest desires. Do they really understand who and what they are? Do they really know what it is that drives them?

Write down a list of goals and dreams you've set for yourself over the years. Take a nice long trip down memory lane. Think about the kinds of goals and dreams you set for yourself when you were a child, a teenager, a young adult. Look at what kinds of goals you began listing when you became a spouse, a parent, an employee, or a boss. Don't worry if you can't remember every single goal you've ever set for yourself. Don't make the assignment into a research project and a headache. But I do want you to spend a bit of time with it.

Now that you have your list of old goals and dreams, make some kind of a checkmark or run a highlighter over the ones that had a strong powerful effect on you and you couldn't possibly put them down. These are most likely the ones that you accomplished. If you didn't accomplish them, do they still haunt you? Do they still beg to be completed? Don't start counting and keeping score as to how many you followed through to the finish and how many you let drop aside. It really doesn't matter at all what kind of a success rate you may or may not have had before today. This isn't about that, I just want you to separate the ones that did put a fire in your belly from the ones that had no fire or passion behind them.

Now, take your list of positive traits and attributes from Finding Yourself and compare it to your list of old goals and dreams. How many of the goals that had you all fired up were somehow connected to the wonderful things we found are within you? If for example, you found out that one of your positive traits is that you are intelligent, then how many of the goals you were really passionate about involved using your intelligence? How many of them were about developing or enhancing your intelligence? If you found out that you are funny, how many of the goals and dreams that you loved were somehow connected to your sense of humor?

Okay, now do the same thing with your list of things you want to be from Finding Direction. How many of those goals appealed to the roots of who or what you want to become? If you want to be remembered as adventurous, then how many goals from your past were centered around an adventurous spirit? How many of the goal you were really excited about made you feel or appear to be adventurous? If your desire is to be financially secure, then how many of your most passionate dreams were wrapped around that concept? How many of them promised to push you in that direction?

You're probably starting to get the point. The items on those first two lists spark the flame of passion needed to carry out goals and dreams. The more items from both lists that you bring into play, the more motivated you will be to finish the goal involved. Each item adds more and more of your own personal drive and inspiration to the dream. Naturally, the reverse is true too. If you had few or even none of the items from the first two lists involved in a goal or dream, you probably gave up and quit out of boredom. If it was a very important goal with a lot of guilt or pressure forcing you to do it, like going to college when you really didn't want to, then you probably struggled a lot and really had to force yourself to stay focused and motivated. You probably found yourself saying that you "ought" to complete that goal or that you "should" complete that goal. The other thing that can happen is that some outside person like your folks or a boss was hanging over your head telling you that you "ought" to do it or that you "should" do it. Only those goals that contained your own personal drive and focus were a joy to complete and had a motivation all their own that nobody else needed to spur you along.

With this information in mind, you can really look at a list of current projects you're working on and see how many of them appeal to who or what it is that you want to be and how many of them allow you to really utilize your favorite traits about yourself. Is there enough of your own personal drive behind them to insure that you go the long haul and finish them? Do you need to redesign them so that they will touch your heart in such a way as to empower you with excitement and joy to keep going through the difficult or tedious parts? If you really have to do something that you don't want to, is there a way to bring pieces of those two lists into it so that you can tolerate the task in a different light?

You should be able to evaluate your future plans against these two lists and get a fairly accurate prediction as to whether or not you're really going to stick to it. Then you can invest your time and energy in things that serve you and your need to become someone that you feel is wonderful.

Copyright 2003, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow's Edge