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posted Dec 7, 2014, 8:12 AM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Dec 7, 2014, 8:12 AM ]
What are you passionate about?, is the question that invariably is asked of those who are searching for fulfillment, joy or purpose. But today, I'm not going to ask that question.  Passion is not the deciding factor.  Truth asks a bigger question of us and has a bigger answer. 
      • What do you care most about?
      • What gets you excited?
      • What are you passionate about?
      • What gets us up in the morning?
      • What do you dream about?
These are questions that the visionary for Whole Foods, John Mackey, say are key to unlocking a more purpose-driven existence but that few people take the time to consider.  My side of the street differs somewhat.  Going for your dream has become the mantra for most folks I come in contact with. Some are so passionate in fact that they've left comfy jobs and alienated lifelong friendships.  Though their passion is palpable, I question where that passion comes from.  If we are trying to outrun or compensate for an insecurity that our ego has made all-consuming, then passion is derisive.  Derisive meaning scoffing and snide.  

Take for example, the woman who finds herself 35 years old or older.  Passion taps her on the shoulder one day and points out that her biological clock is ticking.  Passion tells her she needs to have babies before nature makes that impossible.  It passes all the tests of John's questions.  She cares about it.  She is excited about it.  It greets her first thing in the morning and is on her mind every night before she goes to sleep.  She dreams about it.  She is passionate about it.  But we've seen too many times the bad consequences of unbridled passion.  Rushing into marriage with a stranger heads the list.  Passion rushes us past what's more compelling.  Is he a suitable partner?  Does he have the qualities that would make him a loving father for our children? That takes more than passion to determine. 

As I approach another milestone birthday - which by the way comes every year now - and anticipate the final curtain on this year, it is these questions that require my attention:  What question do I feel compelled to answer?  What problem do I feel compelled to solve?  What do I feel compelled to do in response?  Therein lies my fulfillment.  Therein lies my purpose.