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Pinpoint Your Passion
How to make your life more meaningful
An excerpt by Jack Canfield, featured in the new Gaiam Portraits series
He’s America’s No. 1 success coach. He co-created the most successful book series in history, Chicken Soup for the Soul. This 600-million-dollar man changed his life.
Meet Jack Canfield, featured in Spiritual Cinema Circle’s debut of the new Gaiam Portraits of Inspiring Lives series, where he reveals little-known stories about his early childhood, lifelong dreams and personal philosophy.
Canfield shows you how to pinpoint your passion in life and make your life more meaningful in this excerpt below from his book, Jack Canfield's Key to Living the Law of Attraction. Plus, watch the exclusive Gaiam Portraits interview with him in the preview at the bottom.
Each one of us is born with a unique life purpose. We are all here for a reason, and we are all here to serve each other. We are like individual cells in a body, each of us performing our own unique functions and collectively serving the being as a whole. A life of purpose is not only a true expression of who you really are — it is your gift to the world — and the world needs what you have to offer. When you are living your life “on purpose,” you will find greater fulfillment and joy in all that you do. The universe will support you in all of your endeavors when you are living in alignment with your purpose, your passion and your inner truth.
"The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose." - Richard Leider
So, you must take the time to look deeply within yourself and identify your own personal mission and purpose in life. This is best done through quiet contemplation, prayer and meditation, but there are a few things that you can do right now to get started. You can begin by internalizing the fact that there are no accidents, and that you are indeed here on the planet for a reason. You have a purpose in this life and in this world, and your contribution matters.
Most of us are not really clear about what our purpose is — we haven’t really taken the time to search our souls and discover our true calling. We’ve gotten sidetracked with bills, responsibilities, work and too little spare time to even find out what it is we really enjoy. This is a compromise to who you really are and what you have to offer the world. You must give priority to discovering your real mission in life. You are not living to your fullest potential or contributing to your fullest abilities unless you are living a life of purpose.
"Your true passion should feel like breathing; it’s that natural." - Oprah Winfrey
Here’s how it works. You’ve been given clues to your purpose throughout your entire life. You have your own completely unique gifts, talents, interests, strengths and qualities — and you are meant to use them. The things that bring you the greatest joy in life and make you feel really alive are another clue to your purpose. So, what it boils down to is really quite simple: You are meant to do what brings you joy, and your gifts and talents are meant to be your contribution to the world. A life lived with purpose and intention is one that will honor and nourish your spirit on the deepest level while simultaneously contributing to the world around you.
Defining your purpose
Take a few moments of still, quiet time to clear your mind of any distractions. The techniques below are a way to logically begin the process of defining your purpose, but you will ultimately want to answer these questions from a deeper place of consciousness through prayer and meditation, as well.
Start by making a list of all the times you can remember in your life that have made you feel the most truly alive and joyful. Look closely at this list, and ask yourself what each of these experiences has in common. Make note of it. This common element is an indication of what brings you joy ... and what brings you joy is an indication of your life purpose!
Now consider the following questions:
- What are my natural gifts?
- What are my skills and talents?
- What do I love to do?
- When do I feel the most alive?
- What am I passionate about?
- What brings me the greatest joy in life?
- When do I feel the best about myself?
- What are my personal strengths and characteristics?
- What have others always said that I am really good at?
- How do I most enjoy interacting with other people?
- What would I change in the world if I could?
What are the common characteristics of your answers to all of these questions? What do these answers have in common with the list you made earlier?
Ask through prayer or meditation for clarity, divine guidance and inspiration. Ask to be shown how you can best use your gifts and the joyful places within yourself to not only earn a living but to be of service to the world.
Now, take your answers from these questions and your list and consolidate them into two or three complete sentences. You are in the process of defining your life purpose — your personal mission statement based upon who you authentically are and your unique interests, gifts, talents and passions.
By creating your life purpose statement, you are defining who you are, who you want to be and how you want to show up in the world. Now, open your mind and your heart to the possibilities that already exist. Listen for the answers to your prayers, and become aware of the ideas, inspiration and opportunities that present themselves.
Things will begin to unfold for you exactly as they are meant to — and within the timeframe that will serve your highest good. Follow your inspired thoughts and ideas, and dream big. You don’t have to know exactly how to turn your mission statement into reality yet — once you have defined your purpose, just be open to the various possibilities that arise for you.
"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hope." - Andrew Carnegie
Whenever you are doing what you love and are passionate about, the universe will automatically respond through the Law of Attraction and support you in every way. Imagine your life and your work filled with meaning, purpose and passion! Imagine how good it feels to do what you love, have fun doing it, make money and make a significant difference in the world.
The happiest and most successful people in life are those who have managed to structure their careers and activities around their gifts and passion in life. By doing so, they have attracted all of the ideas, resources, people and finances that were needed to create the lives of their dreams. They have created a vibrational match for joy and abundance in their lives by identifying their purpose, believing in their dreams, and moving forward confidently in the direction of their goals and desires.
Start living consciously and “on purpose.” Everything that you do, every activity that you participate in, should be in alignment with your joy, your higher truth, and your mission in life. Don’t withhold your true gifts and talents from the world any longer. A life lived with purpose and intention is one that is fulfilling on every level. Work is meant to be fun, life is meant to be fun, and the world needs what you have to offer! You were put on this Earth for a reason, and you must begin to honor that reason. Let all that you do flow from your purpose and passion in life, and you will experience (and attract) true happiness, abundance and success.
Create a life filled with passion and significance. Create a life of purpose. Follow your bliss.
"There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." - Napoleon Hill
An excerpt from Jack Canfield's Key to Living the Law of Attraction: A Simple Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams by Jack Canfield. Copyright © 2007 Health Communications, Inc. Republished with permission.
Watch this exclusive Gaiam Portraits interview with Jack Canfield: Check out Gaiam Portraits of Inspiring Lives, a new original series hosted by Lisa Garr. In each episode of Portraits, Lisa sits down with one of America’s top personal growth experts for an up close and personal discussion about their life. These highly recognizable, best-selling authors are best known for their expertise and now, with Gaiam Portraits, you’ll discover the real story of where they came from, how they got to the top of their field and the passion that motivates them.