Digging is hard work. I’ve dug lots of irrigation ditches and post holes while growing up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. It’s dirty work because the only way to clear a clogged ditch is to get in the muck and shovel out heavy, sodden clumps of debris so the water can run smoothly on down the ditch.
Often, the stuff clogging the system is not visible from the top because irrigation water tends to be muddy. It’s only after you start that your shovel finds more mass to the blockage. I hate digging out irrigation ditches because there’s always something more to be dug out.
Whether it’s shoveling out the muck from an irrigation ditch or removing the barriers that prevent us from moving ahead in life, nothing moves forward until the deed is done. Tamping it down may take care of the clutter, but only for a while, and it will eventually it will build up entire the entire system is blocked.
Digging down in our own lives so we can move past barriers in our life means more than skimming the surface. Our society would lead us to believe that peeling back the surface layers is all that is needed to understand ourselves and overcome obstacles. Not true, but I suspect you already know this deep down.
Deep down is where our true nature emerges. It’s a journey to get there; it can even be an adventure if we let it. The further down we go, the more transparent we become, and more importantly, the more authentic we become.
Once we regain touch with our authentic self—sometimes called our inner voice—we can begin to visualize how things might be different and take the first steps moving toward our purpose and passion. When we do, we don’t just survive—we thrive.
To thrive, we need the courage to show up, be seen, take risks, own our mistakes, learn from failure, and lean into our strengths so we can pursue what is meaningful in our lives. Otherwise we allow the barriers we face in life to defeat us. We chose fear over courage and blame over accountability. Once we have the courage to pursue what truly fulfills us, we are developing a strong mind (click to tweet).
A strong mind is the birthplace of personal leadership. We are all called to navigate uncertainty, risk, and the unpredictable. Mental toughness allows us draw upon our inner strengths so we can charge forward when confronted with barriers that prevent us from moving toward our purpose and passion.
Once you find your passion, you find your purpose. Here are 4 recommendations on how to connect with your passion so you can thrive:
1. Yearn – Finding passion is an essential ingredient of winning armies, corporations, and individuals. It’s not a “nice to have” bit of advice—it’s a strategic requirement. Sun Tzu understood that soldiers who care about their cause fight harder. Their passion invites the support of others as well.
2. Look – It’s a big mistake to think that you’ve only got one passion and that it must be the one to guide you. Recognize that you have a portfolio of passions and that they are all important. Life is not boring! It’s full of variety and it’s natural that different ones bubble to the surface at different times in your life journey.
3. Commit – Stop dithering and say no to complacency, the easy path, and distractions. Not choosing is as much of a strategy as deciding what to do. To thrive, commit to your passion and say no to alternatives.
4. Start – If you don’t start living purpose and passion now, you’re on the deferred life plan—postponing life until retirement or until you’ve made enough money to do what you want. If you’re honest, isn’t that the real reason you want to be a millionaire? Not so much as to buy more stuff but to have the time and freedom to pursue the things that create excitement and life for you.
Digging down to expose our true nature can be hard work, but it’s worth the effort. In a world where you can be anything, sometimes the greatest thing is to be yourself (click to tweet).
How have you identified your purpose and passion(s) in life? How have you overcome the barriers that kept you from moving forward? What have you learned about your inner strengths?
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Read my book ““Secrets of a Strong Mind,” available now on Amazon.
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