by Karthik Gurumurthy
Over the years as I have watched and listened to successful people, I have discovered a common thread: They know why they’re here. Knowing their purpose in life gives them stability. And when others around them start abandoning their causes and jumping ship when life gets tough, these people use this assurance to steady the boat, to ride out the storm because they have a true North Star. It becomes an anchor in their life—a confidence based upon knowledge of purpose. Someone once said there are two great days in life—the day you are born and the day you discover why. I’m here to tell you, highly successful people have discovered why.
Passion, the Great Energizer
I think there are two paths we can take to discover our purpose. The first is passion. What are you passionate about? What do you really care about? What would you live for? What would you die for?
Passion is not 100 percent foolproof, but it will get you into what I call the location, the area, the neighborhood of what your purpose really is. Passion is a wonderful thing; it’s what I call the great energizer. It’s no secret that passionate people have a lot of energy. That’s why when you see successful people, they are loving what they’re doing and they’re doing what they love. They never run out of energy and they can’t wait to get going. If you find a person who has passion, you find a person who has energy. Conversely, if you find a person who lacks passion, normally they will lack energy.
People who are highly successful love the journey as much as the destination. And even though they haven’t arrived at their goal, that doesn’t mean they’re discouraged; it just means that they’re still encouraged because they still have fuel in their tank, because they have this incredible amount of passion.
It’s also possible to be very passionate about something you’re not good at, and that’s not a good thing. If you don’t believe me, just watch the singing tryouts at American Idol. Bless their hearts, these kids are extremely passionate about their singing but when the sound comes out of their mouths, it’s a train wreck. Everybody—the judges, the audience—is sitting there cringing, listening to this person who has great passion about what he or she is doing. Everybody knows it’s horrible. Everybody except the person singing.
Now when I see passionate people singing with all of the off-key gusto that they can muster, I always ask myself, where are their friends? Shouldn’t somebody step up and say, “ Excuse me, my friend, you don’t have what it takes.”
So passion can only get you so far. It will get you into the location but it’s only about 80 percent accurate. But the next path you take to discover your purpose is 100 percent accurate, I guarantee it.