A Passion Quest is a wonderful way to look in your present for your purpose. As human beings we are constantly growing and changing, and sometimes the things about which we were passionate in the past no longer turn us on in the same way. If you’re having difficulty discovering your purpose through memories of past passion, try taking yourself on a Passion Quest to discover who you are now—including what you love, what you long for, and what no longer works for you.
A Passion Quest could take a day, weekend, week, or year. You don’t have to put the rest of your life on hold. The idea is simply to choose a period of time during which you will pay particular attention to what lights up your passion; then follow those threads and see where they lead you. Look for what matters to you, what moves you, even what frustrates, or angers you. And then follow it—that’s why it’s called a quest. Start to do the little things in life you love. If you love to cook, take a class or have a small dinner party. If you love adventure but time or money (or both) won’t allow you a major vacation, consider a day hike or a weekend trip. Do the things you love, but make them part of the research phase of a project called Finding My Purpose. When I am in Passion Quest mode, I pay extra attention to how life affects me: what makes me laugh or cry, and what upsets or excites me. I notice what I am drawn to, even the movies I’m watching.
For that period of time, explore life, using passion as the barometer for deciding what you will and won’t do (when choice is an option). Whether you’re doing something work-related or personal, notice what excites you versus what drains you. Reignite your passion by simply doing more of what you love. Do you remember when you were a kid, playing a game in which, as you got closer to the thing you were seeking, people would say, “Warm, warmer, hot, burning hot,” or as you got farther away, they would say, “Lukewarm, cool, cold, colder, freezing”? It’s kind of like that on a Passion Quest. You move toward what lights you up, what gives you energy and vitality, and move away from the things that deaden you, tire you, or drain you.
It was a Passion Quest that led me to a new life and the path I am on now. Many years ago, I hit a point where I was unwilling to continue to schedule my life into thirty-minute meetings and meals. Deciding to close my marketing company I vowed to find more meaningful work and set out on a Passion Quest.
Driving home one evening, I heard a radio commercial for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and something inside of me went “zing.” Because I was on a Passion Quest, I followed that feeling—warm, warmer, hot—to a volunteer meeting. I still remember it vividly. The room was small with an exposed light bulb hanging low over a round, wooden table with paint peeling off the walls. It was non-profit land, yet the work being done in the room was priceless.
At that table, five of us brainstormed how we were going to raise money to send a young boy to Disneyland and get another child a puppy. After the meeting, I got into my car, put the key into the ignition, and began to sob. I was so inspired by who these people were and the good work they were doing that I knew at some level this was my calling. Little did I realize it, but that day was the beginning of a life dedicated to helping people achieve their dreams.
From that evening I would go on to become America’s Dream Coach ®, appear on Oprah, write 15 books and become the founder of Dream University ®, where I trained over a thousand coaches and generated millions of dollars in revenue in service to helping people live more meaningful lives. I did this all while maintaining a life-style that to this day is still rather simple and a company with very small overhead. All that from a Passion Quest where I simply paid attention to what inspired me.
When you’re on a Passion Quest, you put your antennae up and pay attention to what you need to say “yes” to and what you need to say “no” to. My Passion Quest began with saying “no” to my business that was no longer fulfilling. Remember that bringing new dreams and visions into your life often requires creating space (something we’ll be talking more about in chapter ten).
Here is the essential question you are asking yourself on your Passion Quest: who am I now and what am I passionate about? The dreams you have in your fifties and sixties, for example, might be very different than those you had in your twenties, thirties, or forties. So a Passion Quest is an opportunity to meet yourself anew, to discover who you are now, rather than assuming that what you wanted before is what you still want. It’s a chance to open, imagine, dream, and create how you want the next phase of your life to be.
One of the critical skills to use during a Passion Quest is what’s known as “beginner’s mind” or the curiosity of a child. Try to set aside all of your ideas and beliefs, and resist the temptation to jump to conclusions or dismiss anything too quickly. As soon as you say, “I know for certain . . .” it cuts off the energy of discovery. During the time you’ve set aside for your quest, keep exploring with an open heart and mind.
A Passion Quest is the perfect prescription for someone who is seeking to get in touch with their purpose or dreams. You can also use it to make specific life choices or decisions, like a career change or a major move. In these cases, however, you might want to set a specific timeframe around your quest.
On your Passion Quest, let life lead you to and through the unknown where amazing gifts and insights often await. Taking quality time for your heart and soul is an act of generosity. If you think it’s selfish, consider this. Connected to your passion and dreams, you will have more love, joy, and energy to share with the people you love and care about most.
If you are seeking your life’s purpose, need help making a dream come true or a Passion Quest, or are inspired to help others make their dreams come true, I invite you to learn more about my Dream Coach ® Process using the link just below.
If you are interested in working with me one-on-one I invite you to explore my Visionary Strategy Day offering using the link below.