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Published on July 17, 2020

How To Connect Passion and Purpose For Fulfillment In Life

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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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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