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Five steps to purpose

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Five steps to purpose

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. — Oprah Winfrey

  • 1.5 hours
  • Serves 1
  • Medium



A five-step process to discover your purpose.

Finding your passion is extremely important to ensure you devote focus attention to your work as a changemaker. When you are passionate about the work you do and the life you lead, you are more productive and effective, and you are more likely to experience flow, which has numerous benefits on your wellbeing.

The following recipe will guide you through a five-step process to turn your curiosity into passion and find the intersections that help you discover your purpose to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. It has been adapted from Steven Kotler’s article “The Passion Recipe: Four Steps to Total Fulfillment” shared on 27th March 2015 on Forbes. Steven is an author, journalist, and Director of Research for the Flow Genome Project, an organisation dedicated to decoding the science of ultimate human performance. Find out more about his work here: http://www.flowgenomeproject.com.

*Image © Endro Gunawan



Make a list

Make a list of 25 things you are curious about. If you had a spare weekend, what would you devote your time to? Try to be as specific as possible. Instead of saying: "I am interested in food", write: "I am interested in the potential for grasshoppers to become a primary human food source in the next five years."


Hunt for intersections

Once you have completed your list, look for places where your 25 ideas intersect. Curiosity alone is not enough to create true passion. But if you find three-four items that intersect, chances are that there will be more energy for you to focus and commit seriously.



Now that you have identified that overlap, play in that space for a little while. Devote some time each day to listening to lectures, watching videos, reading articles, books, etc. on the topic. Feed those curiosities a little bit at a time, but feed them on a daily basis.


Go public

Cultivating real passion and turning it into your purpose goes beyond locating those spots where multiple curiosities intersect. You need some "public successes", e.g. positive feedback from others. Thus, once you are at this point in the process take things public. Join a meet up on the subject. Join an online community. Start a Facebook page. Talk to other folks. We humans are social creatures and adding social reinforcement to your passion is key.


Turning passion into purpose

Now it is time to turn your passion into purpose so that it is not a selfish experience but it becomes something useful for other people and planet Earth. Take another piece of paper and write down a list of 15 massive problems you would love to see solved. Once you have your list, look for places where your passion intersects with a grand, global challenge. A place where your passion is a solution to some giant problem. That linkage is your purpose.

Greta Rossi

Chief Empathy Officer at Akasha Innovation. Co-founder of ImpactAimers and Recipes for Wellbeing. Regional Coordinator for Ashoka's ChangemakerXchange. Youth coach and FRSA.

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