Most people think passion, purpose, and prosperity are things you find and then create, but that’s not true. Passion is the result of the care and excellence you choose to put into the things. I used to think that passion and purpose were things you found and then could use to create prosperity. Passion and purpose are not things you find; they are essences you let out from within you. Combined, it is the level of excellence you choose as the standard for your talents. It is why people hone their skills— so they can let out their passion, purpose, and prosperity. It is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. This passion and purpose can be in anything you create. Prosperity answers your level of passion and purpose. Violinist Vladimir Horowitz said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice.”
Passion unleashes openness and curiosity. It carries with it creativity and experimentation. It innovates and transforms.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.” If you look at his hidden message, it is not just about getting things done; it’s also about doing them well. This is the power of letting out your passion, purpose, and prosperity, because what you focus on grows. Our mind creates what we focus on. Success isn’t what happens to you when you hit a goal or target. It is who you become and what you let out of you on the way to achieving your targets. Goals are just milestones on the way that help you have a focus. When you live at this level, you are reshaping your character along the way and growing more freedom.
Oprah Winfrey said, “What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationship, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”
What passion produces is credibility, respect, and influence in whatever you are doing, because you have achieved a certain level of excellence. Having this is much more valuable than anything else. Fame is fleeting and not real. You don’t even have to be good at something to get fifteen minutes of fame. Passion is the skillset of excellence you choose to become in your life. Having passion isn’t boastful; it is humble and willing to make small wins every day until you reach the goal and the greatness you want to experience. If you have not found your purpose, it is because you are looking outside yourself for something that doesn’t exist. People do not have a special purpose; there is no such thing. But you can have a special calling. In fact, you can have more than one special calling. You can bring a sense of purpose to whatever calling you choose to put your attention on. Whatever you choose to put your passion for excellence into becomes purposeful. Inviting and living at this level of excellence is an act of freedom and is most often not convenient. Raising the bar means becoming more passionate and excellent at what you do, not feeling more purposeful about what you do. No matter how purposeful you feel, people are still not attracted to marginal products or services. When you buy a new iPhone, it is because they have added new features and the product has become better. Otherwise why would you buy it? It’s the same when the product is you. Your current level of passion, purpose, and prosperity is already producing the lifestyle you are currently enjoying. If you want more, you will become what you need to become in order to have the more that you seek. Oprah Winfrey says, “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
I want to share with you a few life tips you might find helpful in your path of service:
- Be direct about what you want. Otherwise you will be a beggar. There is no time for you to be wishy-washy about success and wealth. You have to know what it is you want out of your life and why you want it. That is the only way you can commit your precious time to it. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll just float through your life accepting whatever is given to you, and only beggars do that. You’ll beg for a job, beg for a raise, beg for time off, and beg for everything you get. God didn’t intend for you to be a beggar; He intended for you to be a light in the world. When you pursue your dreams with all your heart, you’ll work like you are on fire, and you’ll become a light in the world because people will notice that you are led by something greater than your problems and greater than your mind. You will be showing others what it’s like to be led by real faith. They will want to know what you have that makes you so focused and determined. When you know what you want, stop begging, and start working toward your goals. You’re still going to have to be direct about what you want. Do you want help? Then ask for it. You’re going to have to manage your mind. If you feel down, ask yourself, “Do you want your goals more than this bump in the road, yes or no?”
- You have to learn to fail and stand back up. Most people don’t know how to stand up after they have been knocked down by life. You have to understand that success and failure go together. It’s not one or the other. Some products fly off the shelf; others don’t. It’s just how it is; it’s not a reflection on you. When it comes to success and failure you have to pay attention to what is working, not who is working or who’s to blame. This is how success leaves clues. You have to study your success clues. Failure is the classroom that makes you great once you learn how to stand back up and evaluate. Then get on the field and take another turn at bat; give it all you’ve got.
- Don’t care about what other people think of you. Somewhere along the way, someone is going to make fun of what you’re doing. They are going to stare at you funny. They are going to make a comment or suggest that it is not wise for you to do what you’re doing or chase your dreams. When you start to have some success, they are going to be envious at first. However, as you gather more success, they are going to want to be with you. When you become successful, people are going to want to talk with you, work with you, or be around you. You still can’t care about what they think. Success is not stationary. It’s not a place you arrive at. It’s a way of life that you embrace. Success has a constant learning curve, and you must enjoy that lifestyle or learn to enjoy the outcome of having that lifestyle. True intelligence always leads with dignity and kindness toward others. Be willing to learn more and grow more every day.
- Don’t think you are smarter than you are. Keep your ego in check. Always be open and willing to see another’s point of view. Be curious and kind to everyone. Don’t let some toxic person run away with your manners, dignity, and reason. Be polite as much as you can, but have boundaries and kindness— this is the most powerful combination.
Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans
There was once a girl who complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After fifteen minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then poured the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
Moral: In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?