3 Steps to Live Your Passion and Life Purpose

Do you know what your purpose and passion is in life? Every one of us wants to feel as though our life matters. We want our time spent on earth to be meaningful and for the world to be a better place for us having lived in it. I started Live Your Jam because I wanted to inspire and help people live a life of meaning. (Jam = Passion + Skills)

Getting clear on what we need to make our lives meaningful can be challenging. For some of us, we can get caught pursuing the wrong things – things that don’t really inspire or fulfill us. Or, we can get so busy tending to the needs of others that we lose touch of what we need for fulfillment. For others, it can be a simply a challenge of time: so many interests; so little experience. If you identify with any of these challenges, here are some guidelines that can assist you to Live Your Jam.

  1. You have to believe you have a Jam.

“We are all gifted, but some of us haven’t opened our package yet.” If you haven’t opened your package yet, perhaps you don’t believe you have one. Our beliefs play a critical role in how we live our life. If you are someone that thinks that it’s a luxury to do things in your life that you love – you are limiting your options for a life of meaning. I have a dear friend who got into a family business and seems to think there’s no other choice but to carry on with the business even though he doesn’t enjoy it. I’ve noticed over the years, he comforts himself by saying “a job is a job – it pays the bills” and no longer talks or is intentional about the things he’s passionate about. He’s now got a fixed mindset that Jam is not a possibility for him. We just have to believe something is possible in order to achieve it. As Henry Ford said,  “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

  1. Identify people to aspire to and who inspire you.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. It helps if you have others who inspire you or show you that it’s possible to live a life where you get to do things that you are passionate about. Research shows that the people we spend the most time with have a direct impact on our behavior and ultimately, our success.

My inner circle growing up played a vital role in my development. My eldest brother Tim was smart and funny; his Jam was writing. After college, he moved to New York City and was published in the New Yorker at age 30.  Tim was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter and at the time of his death was working on his first (and last) novel. As vibrant and brilliant as Tim was he still was not able to kick cancer’s ass.  But, he left a glorious legacy — permission to pursue our dreams..

My second oldest brother Tom, loved sports and competition. He was an exceptional athlete who worked hard at sports. In college, Tom matched his passion for hoops with a broadcast communications degree. He recently celebrated his 20th year as an NBA sports announcer. I got lucky with my inner circle – I had parents and siblings who taught me that pursuing what you love is possible. What about yours? Do the people you spend the majority of your time with inspire you or have they achieved things you aspire to?

  1. Have a mindfulness practice.

In order to know what makes you happy, you have to access your own answers. Let’s face it – it’s busy out there. A mindfulness practice allows us to slow down and listen to ourselves. My practice is hiking in nature. I simply head out the door and start walking. I place my attention on my breath and when thoughts come to mind, I gently release them and refocus my attention on my breath going in and out deeply into my diaphragm. Other mindfulness practices are yoga, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, and tapping. I’ve found that the practice of quieting my mind has allowed me to be more connected to my body and intuition. According to Freud, intuition is communication from the unconscious. I lead Jam hikes in our area and teach participants how to use nature as a mindfulness practice. The feedback I receive over and over from attendees is that they enjoy walking in silence the most. You would think it would be awkward walking with a group of strangers, but it’s not, it’s beautiful. Plus, there’s no time for awkwardness, we are all focused on our breath!

These are just three steps to help you Live Your Jam! Go to www.liveyourjam.com for more resources and inspiration!

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