Reflecting on my deep passion of providing yoga programs, classes and media to the physically challenged, under-served and general population, I consistently return to my foundation of the 3 P’s. They are Purpose, Passion and Persistence, the key components to my dealing with my career transition in 2007. I believe that they are significantly linked together and foster a sustainable means to a satisfying life.
I will touch on the factors of purpose and persistence to frame the pursuit of a passion. I have found that helping others to improve their quality of life is a purpose that attracts other inspired people and builds community. This pathway compounds itself by creating physical, mental and emotional release and pleasure for essentially all who are involved. My multi-year development of a nonprofit organization with a clear, defined mission has resulted in growing numbers of yoga cohorts, sponsors, attendees and affiliates. As research and media reports reveal the broad spectrum of benefits received from yoga practice, my purpose to help others via yoga has been more accepted by my age peers (Boomers), as well as Seniors and young adults. This facilitates the organizations access to public and private venues as well as media outlets. I recommend that anyone evaluate what the purpose of the passion that they wish to explore, assess if it is necessary to include others, what consequences of this could arise and the social and familial alignment with this endeavor.
Consider the questions:
Is this the right place and the right time?
Are other peoples’ goals and priorities anywhere near mine?
Who might participate and with what intensity?
I have found that it is rare that anyone acts with the same passion as the originator of the passionate idea. This leads into the realm of persistence. Looking forward to assess where this idea will lead to and how long might it take to reach just part of that goal are worth assessing. Determine what you are willing to spend in life currency: time, effort, money, relationship strain and self-inflicted trauma to reach the ideal level of satisfaction and fulfillment. I have gone through a lot of money (more dollars than sense) as a result of persistence without clarity of purpose. I knew that yoga worked for me, and felt that anyone would want to benefit from it. This was found not to be true. I do recommend keeping a team of skilled professionals around to keep the focus on what is being done and why. Objectivity is essential.
Do you have an inner flame that can propel you beyond your usual border? Can you accept making mistakes, admit them and move forward? Will you work with the realism that projects often take and cost 2-3 times as much as projected? I have learned this from many “simple” projects, and have adjusted expectations accordingly. This currently applies to me learning to play mandolin as a first instrument last year. And read music. Technically, this will take a long time. However, new pathways are opening up to enjoy life by engaging with other musicians, who are inspiring and kind to play with me.
Consider letting yourself launch a test of your passion with some freedom to “Ready, Fire, Aim”, as making everything just right may result in lost interactions or opportunities. Do take a breath beforehand. And be compassionate with yourself and others along the way.