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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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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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