My journey to connect with purpose and passion.

Creators 2.0: The compass of curiosity

This is part four 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.

Passion only comes after action. You might be thinking: Wait a minute, doesn’t passion come first? I want to do something, I’m curious about it, and so I do it. Action is motivated by desire, isn’t it?

The belief that passion comes first is directly correlated to the belief that talent is endowed by the gods on a select few. “I don’t feel passionate” is probably the number one excuse I hear from people who are sad and avoiding a fully lived life. They don’t know where to turn or what to do. They feel trapped. They are all waiting for inspiration to strike.

The answer is not to tell them to find their passion, because it won’t just happen. You have to start taking action and then pay attention to how that makes you feel.

It is only in the doing that we feel the spark of purpose and talent alight. Waiting for the conditions to be right succeeds only in keeping us safely ensconced in our womb of comfortable sadness. But to take action is to open ourselves to joy and experiences that feed us.

Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare. Begin.
— Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

I was speaking to a very dear friend recently and she was lamenting that she never finishes anything. I told her this was just a story she tells herself. I know, because I tell myself the exact same story. In the past six months, I have seen this friend launch into a new career, start to change the direction of her life and even take up painting. We all have a superpower and hers is an ability to devote herself fully to trying new things. Taking action should not be underestimated or devalued as it is the way that true talent and purpose is found.

Follow your curiosity and start saying yes to all the things that arouse your curiosity. This is not about finishing, but rather about committing to the next step and taking action. Did someone mention something about a place that has stuck in your brain? Commit to learning more about that place. Perhaps that’s visiting Wikipedia, ordering a book from the library or sketching a picture in your journal. Each step will either satisfy your curiosity or increase it. Continue to follow your curiosity where it leads you.

What I love about this compass is that even if you don’t find your purpose directly, you become a way more interesting person. You will have stories to stop any dinner party in its tracks.

All posts in this series:

Introduction: Four Compasses
The compass of the good person
The compass of greatest Resistance
The compass of curiosity
The compass of heartache

Sean HowardComment