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How many of us have been told, "do what you're passionate about, and you will never work a day in your life."
How many then walk away saying, "Shit, what am I passionate about?"
Our hope is if we find the thing or function that we're in love with we will endure everlasting happiness.
And that's where the initial advice, though coming from a good place, is misinformed, and the wrong statement.
Having worked with dozens of people at Milestone Mind, I am convinced baseline happiness comes from vocation NOT passion.
Passion is the CAUSE of vocation; vocation is NOT the CAUSE of passion.
I want to break this down for a second: do what you're passionate about, and you'll essentially be happy. That means you have to do an activity first (do WHAT you're passionate about) to then reach the CAUSE of that happiness: the activity.
This is dead wrong, and why so many fail to find what they're PASSIONATE about because they're looking at it as a function that produces happiness. Not the other way around: the happiness produces the passion and activity.
This is subtle but critical to understanding.
I talk a lot about CAUSE AND EFFECT, because we often take advice or information at face value, and rarely take the time to dissect a commonly held belief, to see maybe why it is or is not working for you as an individual.
Know your cause, and you'll get to your effect.
What leads to passion? Meeting your core needs; your vocation.
Quick disclaimer: vocation in the Milestone Mind context does NOT mean your calling. Again, you're not born to be a particular function that man made has manufactured. You are born and then nurtured with core needs that are unique to you, that you desire to have met through your expression of self, which can come through a function that you perform, be it job or hobby or service, but not the function itself.
So, certain functions can express all that is you, and meet your core needs, but you are not born to fulfill a function, per se.
So, you were not made for a function, or a calling.
You were made with needs. And these needs have to be met to become satisfied.
One of the coolest modules in our 18-module system is Defining the Psychological Safety Zone.
This is a place where you feel fully alive. It is not a place where you might establish safety today, meaning, I am financially secure, I have food on the table, I drive a car that is safe.
These are meeting survival needs, but not psychological needs.
Psychological needs vary from person to person, but usually involve meeting some type of challenge head on, and overcoming it where you feel most alive.
So, it usually means putting yourself in a situation that is seemingly hard and challenging, but that you feel totally alive when doing and completing such a thing.
For instance, my psychological needs are things like adventure, growth, knowledge, intensity, challenge, and love. When you mix these things together for me, watch out!
I am on fire. And, where I feel at home.
Patriots fan or not, do you think Tom Brady felt emotionally safe during the game-winning drive of this year's Super Bowl? 100% - he was home.
Where would he be uncomfortable - watching the super bowl from his couch?
So, what makes people great achievers or winners is they first know their core needs: adventure, challenge, intensity, teamwork, etc., and then find new and exciting ways to accentuate and meet these requirements.
Tom Brady wasn't made for football, football was made for Tom Brady.
Let's bring this full circle. Base-line happiness comes from meeting your core needs, your vocation - it is where you feel alive and safe. BUT, you have to first understand these core needs to then find ways to express and meet them.
Start with understanding your vocational needs, and you can begin living life passionately as the cause of these needs. These needs are not the cause of passion or function.
Remember that, and hopefully, your mind can be opened to new opportunities.