Thursday, October 16, 2014

What is Your Passion?

This photo of us via Circles

Each of us is needed in this world. The problems and challenges faced by God's children are vast and varied. But God's children aren't simply delivered from such challenges, they are delivered through someone else. That someone else is you, doing the work you were meant to do.

But what are you supposed to do? How exactly are you supposed to help? After I became a mother, I pushed this questions off. "Those questions are for they young and unattached," I thought. But in reality, God does not give a free ride to people who are "busy."

"Therefore if you have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work." Doctrine & Covenants 4:3

So if you have desires to serve God, what exactly is that work, the work that is specific to you? The advice I have gotten from others on this question was usually centered around answering these two questions.

What is your passion?

What are your talents?

What is passion? How is a passion for something created? Is it inborn? I believe passion is born out of experience. You can't know what you are passionate about unless you go out and experience it.

In the past, I would ask God what he would have me do and then I'd do nothing. And by nothing I mean I'd take personality tests, or read through university catalogs, or pontificate about what I might already be passionate about (but interestingly, was not currently doing, usually things I had participated in in the past). I wasn't actually experiencing anything.

You are called to the work. Not "the work you are passionate about," the worka work, any work. If you are looking for direction in your life as to what people you can best help, what subgroup could best use your skills, go out and serve. Serving and helping a specific group of people is not reserved for a job or a calling, a role you are asked to play or a title you are given. Volunteering, giving of your time freely, breeds passion.

If passion is born of service, where do your talents come from?

I love the book, Mindset, which has changed my perspective on talents. We people are a lot less perfectly-boxed than we think we are. In our society talents are perceived as in-born, part of the package that you arrived in this world in.

More importantly than thinking in terms of set-in-stone strengths or talents, we can think in terms of experience. What in your life has led you to this point? What have you been prepared to do? In this way, we can let the talents and strengths we are naturally cultivating be more fully expressed, and build on them in the future.

I am in the MPA program. Why did I choose an MPA? My experiences have prepared me for it. Volunteering with the Circles Initiative for the past year as a family has given me a different perspective than if we had just stayed home on Tuesday nights. In class, I can contribute meaningfully when we talk about nonprofit work and public service. In my organizational behavior class, I understand differently because I've been the front of an organization (our family) for five years. In my communications class, I have a deep love for helping people understand through communication because I spend so much time writing as a hobby.

What is your experience preparing you for? You can take the opportunity to look at how your strengths and talents came to be, in order to see where you can best serve.

We are in this life to ACT. And each of us has a great work to do. We can solve the world's problems, assist God in his work, by creating a passion and building upon our experiences.

God wants to use you for his purposes. Will you let him?

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