A few months ago, Virgin founder Richard Branson wrote in Entrepreneur about finding your Passion Project. For him, the answer was simple: First, make a list of what you love. Then, make a list of what you hate. Last, see what pops out from those lists, and if nothing does, think about what on those lists can make the world a little better and how you can act on them a little each day. Test and plan until you land on the right thing: Your passion project.
Well, as you can imagine, for a lot of people, it just isn’t that easy. The “What’s my purpose?” question lingers well into their careers without an answer. If you count yourself among those who haven’t quite figured it out yet, my suggestion is to become the anthropologist of your own life.
Instead of making a list of what you love and hate, start thinking about what you’ve done in your life and how it made you feel. What were you doing when you were the most engaged? Which projects made you feel the most satisfied? What are the accomplishments you are most proud of? Digging up your past will expose the moments that have shaped who you are and what matters most to you. This is the first step to finding your passion and purpose. I created the Leadership Life Map to help you with this important task.
The Leadership Life Map tool, which I have provided here as a free resource from my latest book Lead Positive asks you to map the chapters of your life from school age to wherever you are in your career, and identify your major life-shaping forces and experiences. Reflecting on your past experiences can help you to find the patterns and themes in your life and zero in on what your personal purpose should be. This ordered way of looking at your life will help reveal the kind of work that drives your passion.
And so I encourage you: Be the anthropologist of your own life. Let the Leadership Life Map help you.
Find what makes you tick and then tell me about it in the comments!