I would have to say that I have tried both roads.
First of, I have spent much of the last 7 years trying to figure out exactly who I was. To say it began as an intense spiritual journey may be understating it a little. My first introduction to spirituality happened when I pulled ‘The Power of Now’ off of my wife’s bookshelf in 2009.
I then proceeded to read it and reread it about 5 times. It was like a bible to me. It seemed that whatever I was going through I could simply turn to a random page and after a few short minutes of reading it would relax me.
I then discovered other spiritual teachers like Mooji, Alan Watts, Marianne Williamson, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Wayne Dyer, and so on. At first I was drawn to them for healing, but then it turned to a more contemplative tone. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose?
As I had mentioned in a recent post I spent several years contemplating these ideas everyday during my lunch break at a nearby park bench. I wanted to know exactly who I was because I felt I couldn’t live my life authentically until I did.
I essentially put everything on hold. Nothing was more important than figuring it all out. Once I did, and only then, would I be able to live the life of my dreams.
Eventually I came to a point where my dissatisfaction with life needed a more immediate solution. The very nature of spirituality doesn’t allow for actionable answers. And I soon began to understand the arrogance in thinking there is concrete path to spiritual enlightenment. Even to think that I understood what enlightenment was, was foolhardy.
Gradually I began to take a new approach, and this is when I discovered Simon Sinek. He opened my eyes to a whole new take on discovering your purpose. His TED talk inspired me at work, and his ‘Why University‘ course online offered up a new path to discover who I was. From there I discovered a few others like Jim Collins, Daniel Pink, and Marcus Buckingham.
But soon I realized that this was just more of the same. When was I actually going to start DOING SOMETHING??
I have this saying I wrote down a few years ago that makes a lot sense to me but I never followed my own advice. it goes like this:
“It’s hard to go with the flow when you’re standing on the dock.”
I have been standing on the dock this whole time, staring at the water, waiting for the perfect time to jump in the river. I have been over thinking, and over strategizing, and overlooking the most important part of finding out who you are. And that is to fully and completely participate in life!
Life has this incredible feedback loop of informing you about what you are doing. When you are trying new things with an open mind you learn exponentially faster about where your alignment is. About where exactly your place in the world is. When you jump in the river and start kicking and flailing about you learn very quickly what works and what doesn’t. When you are standing on the dock it is all theory.
That is what this whole experience is about for me. ‘The Passionate Why‘ is about me jumping in, applying the experience and knowledge I have gained along the way, and adjusting my course as I go. Even now I am constantly adjusting what I think this social media endeavor should be. Here is a brief summary of my path of doing so far:
- My first idea was to blog about home budgeting and build a tool that can help my readers. BORING, so I dropped it.
- Next, from what I had learned about purpose I wanted to make a video blog where I talk about how corporations can find their purpose with my own unique approach. It’s been done by people with much more experience than me.
- The next iteration of that idea was to discuss, review and compare purpose driven organizations to inform customers so they could spend their money on organizations that best reflected their values. This turned out to be very intensive for the time I had available.
- I then took a deeper look at what I truly wanted and I created the process for discovering your natural skillset. This confirmed my desire for a YouTube channel, but what should it be about?
- My first approach was that the channel would be a combination of documenting my journey towards finding my passion and providing tools and tricks to help my viewers.
- I soon realized that my specialty would be shorter videos on little tips and have very recently started to focus on these so called hacks.
- My latest adjustment is that while I have a few of these hacks, I may not have enough content to keep me producing past 6 months. If I really want to help people perhaps the best approach is to create a community where everyone who is on the same journey as myself can contribute or benefit from it. Thus I have just created this Google+ community.
- I am still contemplating whether a similar community would be a good fit on LinkedIn.
As you can see it is a very iterative process. I don’t know where this will take me next. Maybe the Google+ community will crash and burn. But then that will just pave the way for my next move.
It certainly is a scary process as my mistakes and missteps are there for everyone to see. But I am more sure than ever that this process will lead me to where I really want to be. And it is definitely better than still being that guy standing on the dock planning the perfect way to dive in.