A Life Worth Living


Find YOUR Passion by Dr. Dave Martin

Have you ever attended a party or a church event or have you ever started work at a new workplace or classes at a new school? Have you ever gone somewhere where you were compelled to meet new people? Of course you have! There was a moment when you first met every significant person in your life. But if you would think back for just a minute and reflect on the typical conversation you had with each of those significant people at the moment you first met them, you would undoubtedly have to admit that your initial conversation consisted of three basic questions: What is your name? Where are you from? What do you do?

Most people are comfortable with their names, and most people are okay with their hometowns. But people are all over the board when it comes to their occupations. Some of them are proud of what they do. In fact, if it weren’t so tacky, these people would probably wear their uniforms or nametags 24 hours a day so people would know they are a city planner, a congressman, or a professor of economics.

But many other people don’t like that question. And I contend that they don’t like the question about occupation because they don’t like the answer they have to give. In fact, in a recent ABC News/Wall Street Journal poll, half the workers in the United States confessed to hating their jobs. This means that one out of every two American workers spends the majority of his or her waking hours being average, mediocre, or even counterproductive in her work environment. Instead of doing something to change the world, she lives from paycheck to paycheck and from weekend to weekend so she can simply afford to survive and then, every seven days, escape the drudgery that is her workweek. People like this are so consumed with making a living, they are missing life itself. They have no passion for what they do, and passion is that intangible quality that really makes life worth living.

In fact, passion is the fuel that propels men and women toward any significant measure of achievement, excellence, or fulfillment in their chosen fields of labor. Besides, passionate people are the source of real change in the world. The leaders and innovators in every industry share one thing in common: They simply love what they do. They have learned that, by doing what they love doing, they are both personally and financially rewarded and they simultaneously impact others in a positive way. So finding your passion in life is the single most important predictor of your future success and significance. Consequently, the search for passion must be every person’s highest priority.

Every person will be remembered for her passion or forgotten for her lack of it. Consequently, I cannot stress enough how important it is to discover the engine that drives your life. But how can you tell what your true passion is? Believe it or not, that’s not such a simple thing for the average person. The typical individual has either failed to discover that adrenalin-producing love of her life or she has given up the search in favor of mere survival and occasional hits of pleasure. Nevertheless, there is something out there that can totally take hold of every man and every woman, and there is something out there that can totally consume your heart and mind, giving you a meaningful pursuit to pour your life into while providing you with more joy, satisfaction, and happiness than you could ever imagine, and more prosperity too. But to begin your search, you need to know whether you are being driven by your true passion now or whether you have simply “settled” for what you currently have.

Your true passion should be easy to recognize because your true passion will grip you emotionally. It will overwhelm you because you care so much about it. Believe it or not, money will pale in insignificance when compared to your passion, once you discover it. You will even surrender your life’s savings in order to be able to devote yourself to the true purpose God has given you for your life, because, in the end, the pursuit of money is not the purpose for living; money is simply a means of achieving one’s purpose in life. This is why we consistently hear stories about highly paid executives walking away from seemingly perfect careers in order to pursue their personal passions.

Unfortunately, too many people fail to grasp this reality, so too many people live their lives upside down. They accumulate money so they will have money to spend on that which brings them happiness. But instead of working all their lives at jobs, they hate so they can accumulate the funds to pay for tiny doses of personal pleasure, I propose that these people ought to devote their full time to pursuing that which drives their emotional engines. Then money will follow, because people who do what they love doing, do it better than anyone. They end up getting rich while doing what they love to do.

Great achievers know that a life driven solely by the pursuit of money is a life that can provide only limited happiness. Typically, the missing ingredient in the rich woman’s search for significance is the engagement of deep-seated emotions and the fulfillment of deep-seated needs. But a woman’s emotions can be satisfied only by the unique reason-for-being which God has assigned to her, and a woman’s needs can only be met by pouring herself into that purpose for which she was created. Consequently, each woman must discover the unique calling that God placed within her before she was born. Your passion won’t be my passion, so I am only a fool if I spend my life trying to duplicate your destiny, because my passion and my destiny are as unique to me as my personality and my fingerprint, and I will never be completely fulfilled or satisfied with life until I stop trying to imitate you and find my own destiny instead. That type of engagement with God’s ideal plan for my life will stir my emotions and light a fire of passion deep within my soul.

There are four paths to discovering your passion. You can discover your passion through experience. Gradually, you become aware of your passion through the day-to-day experiences of life. You also can discover your passion through change. Many people come to realize their primary passion in life through a major life adjustment, such as a birth, marriage, divorce, or death of a friend or loved one. You can discover your passion through intuition. Anything that is inborn and undeniable, something that is enduring and that will not go away, is often the thing you should be doing with your life. And you can discover your passion through an epiphany. Sometimes, a pivotal, life-altering event can suddenly and intensely make you aware of an underlying passion that deserves your full attention.

Once you are finally awakened to the passion that is resident within you, feed that passion by investing time into it. Because whether we are talking about human relationships or passionate pursuits, the proof of love is found in the investment of time. Build your life and build your environment to nurture your passion. Make sure that your surroundings are affirming your driving impetus and your destiny. Get books and audio recordings that stir your heart. Put up pictures and play the music that motivates you to keep pursuing your dreams. Rent or buy movies that inspire you as you invest the necessary time to achieve your goals. But most importantly, spend your time with those people who are living their own lives of passion, a team of like-minded individuals who can challenge you to be your best. If you want to be great, take these simple steps so you don’t succumb to the common tendency of abandoning your passion in exchange for a life of comfort, familiarity, and mediocrity. Remember: You can’t change your life without changing your life. But if you will do the right things instead of the common things that are modeled by most of the people around you, the rest of your life will be the best of your life.

This article was extracted from issue 2 of Thrive Today! Magazine (Summer 2021). Learn how to get your copy of Thrive Magazine by visiting us here.