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How To Connect Passion and Purpose For Fulfillment In Life

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How To Connect Passion and Purpose For Fulfillment In Life

If you want to experience true happiness, joy, and personal fulfillment in life, look in the direction of your passion and purpose. For most people, these two often take the back seat because of the need for survival—working around the clock to pay the bills and live a good life.

However, when you think long rather than short, you will find that nothing else satisfies the deep-seated longing in every person for fulfillment other than living purposefully and exercising their true passion. This article focuses on how you can connect your passion and purpose to find fulfillment in life.

Passion Vs Purpose

While the two are inextricably connected, they are also distinct entities and should be understood apart as well as together.

What Is Passion?

Passion is what releases your emotions, what motivates you, and what makes you feel good[1]. Passion is often connected to your innate abilities, talent, and desires. It is what you love to do and do well without feeling stressed or compelled.

Passion is an essential ingredient for success. Most successful people are people of great passion. When you have passion for something, you will strive towards its mastery, and this boosts your productivity. Passion also boosts your confidence, and confidence leads to success[2]. With passion, you can muscle the required strength to forge through life challenges and other hurdles that stop others from becoming successful.

What Is Purpose?

Purpose is the reason you do what you do. It is the motivation behind your actions and pursuits in life. Purpose is often connected to an understanding of a reason for living—the reason behind your unique life story, your background, and the future ahead of you.

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Purpose is very important in life; it is actually the true yardstick for measuring success and impact. Purpose gives your life a direction and keeps you focused. When you know the reason why you are who you are and what you are meant to do, your life ceases to be an experiment; rather you will be living with conviction, and life becomes more meaningful.

The Differences

There are key differences between passion and purpose, although you should bring them together to live a fulfilled life. Purpose is based on conviction, while passion is based on energy, feeling, and interest. Passion can burn out over time. However, purpose is for a lifetime.

Passion is about “what,” and purpose is about “why.” You can be passionate about different things, but purpose is usually singular and focused[3].

How to Connect Your Passion With Purpose

The challenge with most people is that their passion and purpose are disjointed. Some do not even have any conviction for living and only live for the moment. Others deploy their passion for the wrong things, and when passion is not connected with purpose, it eventually leads to burnout. This is why people lose enthusiasm when they face a major life crisis. But when your passion is connected to a purpose, you will record extraordinary results in your life.

Think about lighting a fire; passion is the fuel required to make the fire burn, while purpose is the reason the fire is lit—what you want to achieve by kindling the fire. When you have the conviction to spark a fire, your passion is ignited and your entire energy is released. This is why it is essential for your passion and purpose to work together.

Before you can connect your passion with purpose, you have to first identify what your passions are and what your purpose is. Below are some guides on discovering your passion and purpose.

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Discovering Your Passion

In order to discover your passion, you have to pay attention to yourself. This is because your passion stems from your expressions. The following are some questions to ask yourself to know what your true passion is:

  • What things do I do that give me joy?
  • Which subjects interest me to learn and learn more?
  • What job/work can I volunteer to do for a long time without financial reward?
  • What would I use my time for if I could do what I like and still get paid?
  • What makes me feel “in the zone”? What do I do very skillfully, easily, and delightfully?

When you have discovered your passion, the next thing is to find out what your purpose is so that you can begin to channel your passion in the direction of your purpose.

Discovering Your Purpose

Purpose actually precedes passion, though we often get to discover our passions first because they are expressive. Your passions can be a clue to help you figure out what your purpose is. You can ask yourself some questions to have an idea of your purpose.

Using our fuel-fire example, it can be asked: Why do I have a fuel? Is there a need for a fire? And if there is a need for a fire, what is it meant to burn?

More practically, you can ask:

  • Why do I have this gift?
  • Why do I have that talent?
  • Why is it so easy for me to do this while I struggle to do other things?
  • Why do issues like these bother me when I don’t care about some other issues?
  • Why am I experiencing this in my life?
  • What are my past and present experiences saying about my future?

The issue of purpose might require some deep soul searching and possibly divine inspiration. One of the proofs you have found your purpose is strong conviction. This is what makes you become resolute, ready, and willing to commit yourself to a life-long assignment.

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Connecting Passion With Purpose

To start connecting your passion with purpose, the following are practical suggestions to consider:

1. Examine Your Life

In whatever stage of life that you are, you can re-examine your life and journey. Do a soul-search on what your true passion and purpose are. This may require that you take time out of your current schedules and retreat to a place where you can focus only on yourself. You can plan this for your next holiday.

You can also start by reading more on the subjects of passion and purpose to prepare your mind and guide you in your self-evaluation.

2. Begin to Live With Conviction

When you have figured out what your passion and purpose are, let it reflect in your life. Begin to live every day with your new conviction. Let it reflect in how you spend your time, what you read about, what you talk about, and what you devote yourself to. Begin to see things in your life through the lens of your conviction.

You’ll also begin to consider how you can use your daily encounters to keep yourself in the direction of your conviction.

3. Redirect Your Passion

To connect your passion with purpose, you might have to begin to redirect your passion. This is because you might have been using your energy and abilities on the wrong things. But when you have figured out why you have those energies, desires, and interests as earlier mentioned, then you should redirect your passion towards your conviction.

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4. Embrace New Opportunities

What you are currently involved in probably does not represent your true passion and purpose at all. It might be your job or chosen career, things you’ve spent a good part of your years pursuing and developing. You may not have to quit those things, but you can look for new opportunities to express your true passion and purpose.

5. Make Major Adjustments

To really experience fulfillment in life, you might need to make major adjustments. This might affect your current career path or whatever else you are involved in. There is no price that is too much to pay to earn yourself the kind of life that you truly deserve. You don’t have to continue to be what the “system” has made you be when you know that it won’t lead to where you truly belong.

Final Thoughts

A whole lot changes in life when you identify your true passion and discover your purpose. It gets more beautiful when you are able to connect your passion with your purpose. Your life will be more meaningful, rewarding, impactful, and fulfilling. You will be proud to be alive, knowing that your energies are being applied in the right direction.

More Tips on Finding Passion and Purpose

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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