I admit it, I’m a bit of a sucker for magazine quizzes and if it claims to help you find your purpose in life, then I’m a goner. Rarely do they ever amount to much more than a few fleeting minutes alone with my thoughts. Usually, it is just time wasted.
However, an article I came across a few months ago in ‘O’ Magazine inspired me to evaluate the things in my life that really made my heart sing. I even recreated the quiz for my husband and friends in power point before I realized I could just send the link to the digital copy found here at Oprah’s Challenge to Find Your Passion.
I struggled to come up with a variety answers to each of the questions. My answers are predominately craft related, which was not really a surprise. Honestly, I left one question completely unanswered. What would you win 1st prize in a talent show for? Six of the nine questions I answered had primary or secondary ties to crafting of some sort. Here is a picture of what I came up with, but be warned, it is messy…just like my desk.
Not that I would presume to be as wise as Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood, coauthors of The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose (Plume), but I might have added a few other questions. What would you happily give up sleep to do? What do you get so caught up in doing that you would forget to make your kids lunch? What do you miss most from your life before kids? I suppose those questions have a narrow target audience.
Skyping with a friend early this morning, I was struck by the fact that there is a need for every person’s passion. People who are engaged in their passions are more in tune with clues and signals the less passionate worker might just miss. Her passion is endocrinology, specifically autoimmune disorders. Not something that really turns me on, but she is fired up about it. She doesn’t work in this field now, but she may just have saved a relative from costly, painful, and unnecessary medical procedures. Because she is fired up about the subject, she has done research that would likely bore just about anybody else to tears, and was able to key in on the specific symptoms that trained medical professionals had missed. Her lay person’s diagnosis was confirmed by a simple blood test and the man is well on the road to managing his disease, thanks to her passion for a subject that most of us are fairly indifferent about. What is it that kept the doctors from coming to the conclusion she did?
I think it is very dangerous to assume that a person has a true passion for something simply because that is how they are currently employed. How many of us have real enthusiasm for the work we are doing? Sadly, I am usually surprised to hear that someone has an intense devotion to their job. Is it possible to do something well for which you have no passion?
1Corinthians 7:7 says, “…But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.” I believe that God has certainly created each of one us with our own unique skills and talents. How do the things that you delight in and your divine gifts differ? Can one help you with another?
I challenge you to take the quiz to see what your passions are and meditate on your own gifts. Can you think of a time when you were blessed by following your passions? Have you been denying yourself things that really stimulate your mind or your heart? How have you been encouraged or helped by someone else’s passion? How might this world, your own life and the lives of those around you be changed if your time was spent at the intersection of your passions and God given gifts? By some diligent bible study, taking Oprah’s quiz, and the kind encouragement of my friends, I feel that I am now on the path of converging my gifts and passions.