How often have you heard the following conversation?
“What do you want to do in life?”
“I don’t know!”
“Well, if you had a million dollars, what would you do?”
How did we make that leap? If the purpose of the above conversation is to find our passion, the very activity we live for, we’re asking the wrong question. Let me show you why! Last week I asked my friends this question and within a very short time, already had 28 responses AND someone called me to respond because they didn’t want to text and drive! Hilarious!
Some people did not read into the question at all. “I’d thank the person who gave it to me… I’d cry!… I’d be overwhelmed!” Others were very methodical of what bills they would pay, and how they would use the money. Pay off homes, cars, credit cards, go shopping, debt, invest.
Others went a different direction and wanted to give their money to different non-profits, ministries, and missions. Instead of just giving, 3 people said they would go DO something. Adopt, build a ministry for disabled children. Only 1.5 people said, “Just more of what i’m doing right now!” If the intent of the million dollar question is to find out what you would do in life if money were not an issue, this question totally missed the mark for 83% of my friends.
For most, this question sparked dreams, not passion. The next day I asked:
If I gave you $1,000,000 for your family to be “financially free”, what would you do with your time?
I added a qualifier to now find out what people would DO if money were no longer a barrier. What I found was that many of the same people, who just the day before were willing to give their money to different organizations, were now placing themselves into that organization and spending their time doing their passions!
- Volunteer. Rescue animals
- Pursue dreams
- Go on missions trip
- Comfort hurting people
- Spend quality time with family
- Build youth camps for disabled, foster, adoptive, underprivileged, or hurting children
- Learn new cultures
- Foster children
- Become a pilot
- Fundraise for organizations
- Invest in youth
- Service Projects
- Acts of Kindness
- Start a business
- Be a missionary
- Set up counseling foundation
- Become a Pastor
- Be more involved in children’s schools
- Give more
As my newsfeed blew up, it was obvious people were getting excited about their passions.
Why is finding our passion important? When we are not doing something we are passionate about, it is easy to succumb to survival mode. We feel empty, discouraged, even depressed. In the seasons of my life where I had to place my passions on the back-burner, I found myself feeling like I was just marking time and losing myself, clawing my way out of sinking sand. This happens because our passion feeds our soul and gives us purpose. When we feel purpose in life, the challenges, and sometimes those things we just have to do become more bearable. When we are passionate about something, we will do it for free. Because I’m passionate about families spending time together, I’ve given away over 25,000 copies of my second book! In our ministry, my go-to is to give things away because the purpose of why I write and speak to change lives, not to make money.
How do we find our passion? I believe we can find our passion; the activity (or two or three) in life that fulfill, energize, and help us feel purpose by asking the right question:
If you could work for free, what would you do?
What prevents us from doing our passion? We often believe we need to have a certain financial stability in order to pursue that which excites us most or brings us joy. This is where the million dollar question misleads: to pursue our passion, we don’t need $1,000,000. We don’t even need to have $1,000 sitting in our bank account. If you want to feed the homeless, feed the homeless. If you want to go on a missions trip, raise money and GO. If you want spend quality time with your family, cancel cable and do it! If you want to help rescue animals, volunteer! If you want to write a book. Start writing. If you want to be an astronaut, take steps to work towards that goal. If you want to run an ultra-marathon, start running. If your passion is to help men, women, youth, or children, find an organization near you that is already serving in the capacity of your passion and volunteer.
Life it too short not to invest in what makes you happy. The only commodity we can never get more of is time. Once it is spent, it is gone. We can always make more money, buy more clothes, and fill our homes with more clutter and dust bunnies. So friends, let’s not waste any more time living on empty, but let’s pursue our passions and live out our purpose!
Q. What is your passion, and how can you invest in it today?