My journey to connect with purpose and passion.

Creators 2.0: Four Compasses

This is part one of a five-part series excerpted from my book Creators 2.0: How to Find Your Purpose, Build Sustainable Growth and Change the World. Get your free copy here.

Knowing our purpose is a pursuit that unites artists, philosophers, entrepreneurs and creators of all types. I would go so far as to say that the search for purpose is the single truth that unites all of us.

We each have to find our own way to put aside all the self-doubt and the external expectations and begin to explore our potential talents. Only then can we start to grow and explore how we can connect these talents with a “great hunger” in the world.

But where to start? Should we paint? Buy a camera? Play an instrument? Take a sculpting class?

Your Compass

While I can’t provide a step-by-step method that is guaranteed to find the purpose for each and every reader, I do believe I can provide you with a reliable compass. A way to know which direction bears fruit.

People love to promote their compass in catchy little sayings. Follow your passion. Find your bliss. Do what scares you. There are many of these out there and while some have positive benefits, most are not a reliable means of finding our true purpose.

Doing what scares us, for example, is both misleading and dangerous advice. Fear arises to block any path that moves us from the known and comfortable. So doing things that scare us is a great way to explore new territory, but not all that helpful in determining which way to head, because any new direction will raise fear of some kind.

Also, fear can be something we really need to listen to at times. I have no desire to walk into dark alleys in a really bad part of town, alone, at 3 a.m. My fear of doing so is likely a good thing.

Another common piece of advice is to follow your passion. This one does offer some potential fruits, but it is a poor compass to what really matters to you in the world. I have been many things: a juggler, a 3D animator, a gaffer, a strategist, an agency owner, a consultant, a dog trainer, a photographer and more. I was addicted to following my passion and finding my bliss. But in the end, I found myself lost and unfulfilled and working in a high-paying job to pay for all the toys I desired.

What compasses, then, are reliable indicators of what action to take next in pursuit of purpose? I have found four. You can select the one you have the most affinity for or even use more than one. They are simply tools for the explorer of the soul. And there are likely others.

Next week: The compass of the good person

Sean HowardComment