Man is Most Nearly Himself, When He Achieves the Seriousness of a Child at Play
One of the best criteria I know to establish whether someone is working in the area of their passion is if they “achieve the seriousness of a child at play.” A child at play is curious, innocent, excited and completely devoted to that one thing it is busy with.
The child in us, the child we always were and still are, has three essential qualities: curiosity, excitement, and innocence:
- Curiosity is like thirst or hunger. It drives you forward.
- Excitement is like the fire in the belly.
- Innocence assumes nothing, is always open to something new or different.
If we allow ourselves to be led by our curiosity, excitement, and innocence, we discover our passion. And passion is crucial to our purpose, our calling. The thing you are passionate about it the thing you would love doing the rest of your life, no matter how hard it is.
If we target our passion with our unique ability (or superpower) and put this at the service of something greater than ourselves, we have found our purpose.
We can state this principle in an equation:
Purpose = Superpower x Passion x Service
The nature of a mathematical equation like this is that if one of the factors of multiplication is 0, the value before the equal sign becomes 0.
For example, if you have a passion and want to be of service, but you do not know your superpower, there is no purpose. Suppose that Passion is a 10 and Service is a 10, but Superpower is unknown and unused: Purpose = 0 x 10 x 10 = 0
The same goes for the other factors. For example, if I am passionate about chess but do not have chess superpowers, it will not work. Similarly, if I do have the superpower and passion for playing chess but do this strictly for personal gain, I won’t experience purpose.
ALIGNMENT IS THE KEY. Superpower, Passion and area of Service have to be aligned. This is the work involved in finding your purpose.
In short, "Ask not what your passion can do for you, ask what you can do for your passion!"