5 Myths About Pursuing Your Passion and Purpose

What are you passionate about? Do you go after it with gusto? Or are you still searching for that which rocks your world?

To me, passion and purpose are inseparable. In many ways, I believe pursuing our passion is our life’s purpose. Cultivating these powerful Ps makes our lives more gratifying and meaningful, and makes us better folks to be around. We’re more likely to uplift and help others, and even better the world.

It’s one thing to say you’re following your passion. It’s a fun, happy word—who wouldn’t? But it’s another thing entirely to follow through consistently, without letting common myths obstruct your way. Here are five common ones to disbelieve pronto.

1. True passions are reserved for the “lucky ones.”

I’ve heard many people say, “You’re so lucky to have a passion,” or, “I wish I had one!” Trust me, I understand those feelings. It took me years of self-work and exploration to begin finding and cultivating mine. I truly believe that we all have passions within us, just waiting to be discovered and sprung forth. But we’ll never get there if we don’t belief in their existence.

2. If you wait around long enough, one will appear.

I’m sure there are folks out there who work a job they dislike, never explore new interests and settle for lackluster relationships and one day, SHABAM! Passion appears at their door. But I’m guessing 99% of us have to work our way toward them—whether we’ve sensed what they are yet or not. While there’s something to be said for leaping smartly, finding and fulfilling a passion almost always requires leaps of faith. Don’t waste your time and energy in a deadend-anything. We only have so much to utilize.

3. Yours will mirror someone else’s. 

Last year at Oprah’s Live Your Best Life Tour, she made it clear that others’ life purpose shouldn’t replicate hers: “You don’t need to be another Oprah.” That’s when I removed my Oprah wig. (KIDDING! I’ve never wanted to be her. She’s got that gig handled. ;)) We’re all inspired by others, but our passions are unique. Rather than emulate someone you admire or copycat their every move, strive to shine as your authentic self. Never stop exploring who that beauty is.

4. You can choose the specifics.

Big ol’ NOPE. Not only can we not choose the specifics of our passions, they may shoot us off in an unexpected direction—and that’s OK! Such diversions can be the most important happenings we can hope for. Here’s an example: For years, I thought acting was “IT” for me. Then writing cropped its gorgeous head up and lightbulbs I hadn’t known existed flashed on. Novel-writing led to my blog, which led to Girl Boner, which led to my radio show. None of this would’ve evolved had I not pursued acting—or let stubbornness keep me from staying open to possibilities. As as the wonderful Patricia Sands would say, be a “possibilitarian.”

5. Once you’ve found one, life’ll be a breeze!

Excuse me while I ROFL giggle a little. 😉 Remember when you were a kid and thought that once you met Mr./Ms. Right, everything would fall perfectly into place and your days would consist of stargazing and hot fudge sundaes? Yeah, passions don’t work like that either. They take work, vulnerability, major challenges and risk. Embracing them doesn’t suddenly make life easy, but it does make our existence significantly more worthwhile. Seek fulfillment, not ease.

August McLaughlin blog

Arouse your whole darn life. You’re worth it.

What’s your biggest passion? What helps you pursue it? Have you bought into any of these myths? I’d love to cheer you on, so share, share away!