It had been nearly three years since I had written down my passions for the first time after my junior year of college. As we embarked on our family journey to live more passionate lives, it seemed obvious that this was the best place to start. I glanced over my previous list, thinking that not much had changed, but nevertheless began re-reading The Passion Test and started back at square one, with the question "When my life is ideal, I am ______." It can be difficult to dream big without the inspiration of Janet Attwood's story as guidance and I would highly recommend taking the time to revisit the book when you revise your passions. Lo and behold, when I revised my passions I was blown away that three of my top five passions had disappeared from my list! My top passion is now "Living a Life of Adventure." After a post-graduation trip to Europe, I became fixated on seeing the world and found a blog by Chris Guillebeau, (http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/) a man who set the goal of visiting every country in the world by his 35th birthday. He's just a few countries and a few months away, and has written several books along the way! While I originally started reading for the travel inspiration, it was his message of challenging the status quo and living the life of your dreams that really got me hooked. In retrospect, this quest for adventure and new experiences was the impetus for me to quit my stable job for the uncertainty of joining The XLR8 Team. If I had realigned myself with my passions sooner, maybe it wouldn't have been as agonizing of a decision to make.
My second passion is to surround myself with those that I love. Of the top four from my previous list, this theme was the only one to survive. I also expanded what had been my fifth passion focused on health and physical fitness to become "Investing in my body and my mind." I really try to take a holistic approach to growth both by challenging myself physically and by relentlessly pursuing knowledge of all kinds. I had a very tough time dropping "Continuously learning and growing" off my list until I realized that investing in my body and my mind as well as the pursuit of new experiences by living a life of adventure encompassed this passion.
Fourth was "Enjoying Freedom." Another concept that grew on me influenced both by Chris Guillebeau's inspiration, but also my dad. In Chris' book The $100 Startup, he talks about defining your work by the outputs rather than the inputs. The average American spends 40 hours per week at work but only 22 of those hours are productive. So why constrain myself to the typical paradigm? My interests are varied and like my dad, I tend to get impatient without new challenges to conquer, so why not set my own challenges and work on what I'm passionate about?
The final passion to make my top five is "Giving all that I am to the world." I joined The XLR8 Team with the goal of bringing leadership development to a younger generation. I feel quite lucky to have grown up learning about leadership development around the dinner table. I wasn't even 10 years old when I took my first DISC. When I created a leadership development program as the president of my fraternity, it really hit home when many of my peers lacked this experience of examining themselves and how they can make an impact on the world. Many young professionals are not exposed to leadership development until their first promotions. At that point, it's simply too late. Although I am still in the process of determining my path both at The XLR8 Team and in life, the one thing that is clear to me is that I must make an impact on the leaders of tomorrow. Its an ambitious goal, but why not dream big?