I have been ‘working’ on this particular Blog for some time – trying to weave the various elements into a coherent and meaningful piece of writing, one that would help others and get those who read it thinking about their own existence and state of being, thus it is a shade longer than my normal offerings - after you have read what follows, please do leave a message and let me know what, if any, impact it has had upon you…
We can all always learn something new, about ourselves, others, and/or about other matters, and we should be constantly open to the possibility of doing so - those of us who support, guide, mentor and help others, in my opinion, should always be especially open to understanding ourselves better, as in this way we are better able to help and support those who come to us and need us.
As a result of my way of ‘being in business’ and as a devotee of self-development, like most people of a similar nature, I have attended many seminars, lectures and presentations where the speaker pronounces that, without being passionate about what it is you are basing your business around, you are more likely to fail, than succeed. This has, to varying degrees, always caused me to raise an eyebrow and start to ask myself; “what is it that am I passionate about?”
As I have shared before, what is often referred to as a personal specific ‘passion’ has thus far eluded me – by this I mean I have struggled to identify, let alone understand ‘the ‘one thing’, the ‘focus area’, that I am, really and truly, passionate about.
If I may, let me take you back in time; as a child I never really had a clear idea about what it was I ‘wanted’ to ‘be’ or to ‘do’ - a situation that remained the same during my journey through the UK’s education system, and is, to a lesser degree, still with me as I write this now.
In the end I travelled into the construction sector, joining the family business and spending 30+ years ‘working’ in that arena – it was only when I started to stretch myself, supporting other ‘arenas’, that I came to realise that my ‘self-channelling’ into where I was, had also been a ‘self-limiting’ action; one that was leaving me feeling unfulfilled, uncomfortable and often stressed out. I was in effect living someone else’s passion, substituting my own lack of a personal one for theirs - albeit without actually realising it at the time.
This lack of a core personal ‘passion’ became, and still becomes, a more heightened, and stressful, element of my life, when I was/am with those that have found their ‘passion’ and are working with a very clear and defined purpose within and/or towards this. How do I know this - well three experiences over the last 2-years are working together to ‘bring this home’ and help me to better understand where ‘I’ am and to actually identify my ‘true passion’.
Firstly I have Co-founded the Oxfordshire Green Construction Network – yes there’s that Construction ‘thing’ again – along with Susanne Austin, a lady with the most amazing and incredible passion for 'Mother Earth' - our wonderful planet, all things eco, sustainable, green and ‘one planet’ living. It has taken me many months to even begin to understand how, and where, my ‘best fit’ is, or may be, as we journey forward together – I will return to this element later on.
Secondly, and connected to the above, I attended, along with Susanne, the ‘Truth Conference’ in London in 2014. Here I heard, and met, Roger James Hamilton, who observes that your passion is the keyhole to your purpose (I have shared a video link at the bottom of this article for those who might wish to know more). As a result of attending the Trust Conference, Susanne then gifted me, for my 54th Birthday, a copy of ‘The Millionaire Master Plan’ - where again, I come ‘face-to-face’ with the concept of our success being linked to our passion - and that, in turn, this creates our purpose.
Thirdly, and Susanne is also the link to this point as well, I have been supporting her, by attending with her the Regional Semi Finals, Final and then National Final of the Venus Awards, business awards recognising the wonderful and amazing high achieving ladies across the Country, (See http://www.venusawards.co.uk/ for more details) within which Susanne won the 'Green Business' Award for the Oxfordshire Region 2014.
By attending these awards, and hearing the many inspirational presentations on, and by, the Regional and National Finalists, it became apparent that they are all highly ‘passionate’ about that which they have based their activities upon – they have a developed and focussed purpose and are enjoying their journey’s, achieving many great things along the way.
There were other learning’s from attending the Venus award events, and I would encourage any ‘male’ working with, or seeking to ‘do business’ with, those of the opposite sex, to attend such events. My current personal belief is that the sexes are from the same planet - as against an often-quoted book title as being from two different ones – we just have differing ‘operating systems’ and the challenge is in achieving an effective ‘interface’ between the two. (Now there’s a male way of making an observation I guess!). This whole experience was a real, genuine ‘learning’ experience and I must thank Susanne for allowing me to be a part of this and accompany her to the various events – truly thought changing and eye opening.
So where does all this lead me on my journey to finding ‘my passion’?
I have come to realisation that I completely love to support others in working towards and achieving their passions - helping them to achieve as much as they can. For me to see them becoming the most amazing person that they can be and being recognised for their achievements, actions and hard work is a wonderful and fulfilling experience - one that fills me with positive energy and absolute delight. This transpires in what I do as a Buisness Mentor and Coach, a Parent and a member of Toastmasters International – seeing others grow is what make me happiest – well second happiest as you will see below.
The combinations of all the above, and perhaps a few other matters as well, have also lead me to the personal conclusion that where as I may have no single passion in the ‘being in business’ sense, I do have a very real ‘passion’ for my immediate family. The trials and challenges that we have been through make me ‘passionate’ about ensuring I have quality time with them and this does result in me resisting anything that may reduce the time I currently have with them – which is not as much as I would truly like – this is my ‘true passion’ to be with them and support them as much as possible, balancing this with the needs of what Susanne and I do together with what we are building and what I do in my own right as a coach and mentor often means I am torn in several directions – balancing this is a challenge and one that sometimes, when I am aware I am ‘needed’ in equal measure in many places, gets the better of me. Something that I am sure the Women in the Venus Awards would clearly recognise.
So in conclusion, a really big thank you to Susanne for all the support, encouragement and patience – it is appreciated and affirms to me, as per my earlier point, that we all need to have a degree of coaching and mentoring, such as that I have received from Susanne - who, in her own right is a Coach, Mentor and Guide to others - emphasising my belief that Mentors and Coaches themselves would be wise to have Coaches and Mentors of their own. Also thanks go to the marvellous ladies who took part in the Venus Awards and to my family - my greatest passion of all – all of whom have, and continue to, inspire me in differing ways.
I hope this will inspire you to think closely about your ‘passions’ and please leave a comment as this way we can all support each other.
Link to Roger James Hamilton Video as mentioned in the text above can be found HERE.
Link to Roger James Hamilton’s’ ‘Passion Test’ can be Found HERE.