If you’re looking to clarify your direction in life, try this exercise we learned from Carin Kiphart on how to realign passion with direction.
Simple 3 Step Exercise:
- First, write down a list of everything you want to accomplish in life, your greatest passions. What do you want to be, do, and have?
- Next, write down exactly what you are doing that IS moving you in that direction.
- Finally, write down exactly what you are doing that is NOT moving you in that direction.
Compare and see if you are moving down a path that aligns with your passion. What things are you doing that are bringing you closer to your goals? Are there things you are doing now that are not serving your life’s passions? Are you wasting time and energy on things that aren’t taking you where you really want to be?
Take a hard look at the lists you’ve created, and be honest about what you should be doing more and less of. Then, take appropriate action to correct your course. This is the most important step: you must do more of the things that take you in the direction you want to go, and less of the things that are not serving your life goals.
As with anything in life, making decisions is necessary to moving forward. At any moment, know that you can always choose a different goal and realign your actions toward that new direction. Our hopes and dreams change just as we do; changing your objectives over time is normal and healthy.
“It’s like following a compass. When you see that you are deviating from the course, turn back and realign with your compass,” Carin told us. The more often you do this, the straighter your course will be, and the fewer course corrections you’ll have to make along the way.
“By focusing your energy toward aligning your passion with your direction, your thinking will be clear enough to see opportunities that you otherwise would have missed. Then you can take action.” You’ll also find it easier to focus your energies on the most important projects, and avoid the trap of spreading yourself too thin.
Once you’ve done the exercise above, you’ll be able to ask specific filter questions that will help guide your time and energy. One example is, “How is taking on this new project going to lead me to my goal of X?” Your filter questions will change as your goals change in career, life, or love. But answering the questions above will continue to serve as your compass, if you answer them honestly.
Set your compass and take charge of your life’s direction!