You have you heard things like, “She’s so amazing, how is she still single?” or “He’s such a catch, I can’t believe he isn’t married yet!” The unspoken paradigm here is that wonderful, great, amazing people get married, and those who are not married must have something wrong with them.
This attitude is even more prevalent in the church, where it seems that four out of the five messages you hear directly address marriage and the family. Single people are supposed to meekly “tuck that away” for some future reference AFTER they get married. How are you supposed to launch into your purpose if you feel like you are in some perpetual holding pattern, waiting to be completed by someone else first?
Single (like married) is an adjective, not an identity. Your passion and your purpose are not defined by being “single” or “married.” These are temporary conditions—not eternal circumstances.
Married people do not have a leg up on tapping into their passion and purpose. In fact, being married often confuses the issue. Single people have a brilliant opportunity to dial into what makes them unique and what causes them to “come fully alive” without the filters and hindrances that come between you and your passion when you are worried about pleasing a spouse. Take advantage of the opportunity. Tune in to who you are at the core—who God made you to be and what He has called you to do. Focus in on that and explore the possibilities and opportunities to their fullest.
What Is Your Passion?
I know many coaches try to nail down purpose first, the big “what” you are called to do. I prefer to start with passion, the big “why” you are able and excited to do the “what.” When someone lands on a “job” they want to complete for Jesus, they have to manufacture the passion needed to fulfill their obligation. If they can first focus on passion, the job shows up!
Choices are often made as a result of being pushed toward them. You may have been discouraged from pursuing your natural passion because it doesn’t line up with the destiny prescribed for you by others’ expectations. You select a path and then try to find the energy to pursue your chosen career.
One day you sit down with a cup of coffee, feeling frustrated and unfulfilled, evaluating a life you don’t love and wondering what’s wrong with you. Maybe if you just had a spouse it would be better.
Passion is not a response to any external circumstance. Passion is the spark inside of you that flares up when you encounter something that resonates joy on your very own personal frequency. You are wired for something. You were designed by God with desires, natural talents and gifts. When you function inside your passion you will experience raw, unfiltered joy.
The enemy of your soul wants you to believe your desires are evil, and pursuing those desires will take you off course. If he can convince you that your desires are self-serving, he can persuade you to abandon your passion, alter your course and live a lackluster life.
Test The Passion In You
How do you dial into this powerful potion that lights you up? You must first understand that passion does not have a values system. It is neutral. Your values—your ethics, and the integrity with which you pursue your passion—allow for a sanctified manifestation of your purpose. If you confuse your values with your passion (what you ought to love or what you think is acceptable to enjoy), then you cannot get a clear picture of what makes you fully alive. Repeat after me: “Passion is not evil.”
Passion is pure. Passion drives people to achieve extraordinary things.
Think about moments when you have connected purely with your passion. When were you 100 percent fully engaged, 100 percent fully alive? These were moments when you were quickened in your spirit and satisfied in your soul. Even if only for a moment, you connected to the heart of God and tasted your destiny.
Here are some questions to help you identify and connect to your passion:
- What responsibilities, disappointments, or commitments keep you from dreaming big? What keeps you from believing you can live a wonderful life? Why?
- What makes you fully alive—no need to pretend enjoyment? What causes you to engage, energized because you are doing what you do best and love most?
- What gives you timeless awareness? What makes you lose track of time, totally absorbed in what you are doing?
- What brings you the most affirmation? What do others notice and comment positively about?
- If you could wake up every morning and not have to worry about earning a paycheck, if you didn’t have to please anyone, or meet any expectations, what would you want to do every day?
Answer these questions honestly and you are well on your way to discovering your passion. Connecting to your passion is the first step in truly embracing your purpose and walking in the destiny you were designed for.