“How Do I Know What I Should Do?”

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It was November 2011. And I was at huge conference where young singles have gathered.

During the open forum, a lady at the back stood and asked a question, “How do I know what I should do?”

Some would phrase this question, “How do I know my purpose?” As a young mind, I have asked that question countless limes.

I suddenly remembered my parish priest when I was still in elementary grades. He said in one of his homilies, “You have a purpose. There is a reason why you were born.” This resonated to me a lot. Since the time I heard it, I held it in my heart. Although I didn’t know exactly what it is, I held to that truth that I do have a purpose.

Yes, each of us has a purpose. Steven Covey said that we have this longing to live, to live, to learn, and to leave a legacy. We long to live our purpose.

So how do you know your purpose?

At that conference, when I heard that question, pulled myself at the edge of my chair, leaned forward, and opened my ears wide. I was like, “Tell me now. Preach it bro. Come on!” I was all ears!

There were three speakers during that conference. One of them was the bestselling author, powerful preacher, dubbed as the Preacher in Blue Jeans – Bo Sanchez.

His answer was so simple yet solid. It seemed so plain yet powerful.

Here’s his answer:

To know your purpose, you’ve got to find the intersection of your passion and potential. That’s it!

Let’s talk about passion. What is it that you love to do? What is it that when you do it, you are transported to a different level? It seems like you are “in the zone.” You are “in your game.” It is that thing that you want to do and enjoy doing it. Even if you are not paid to do it (Of course, for the most part, you have to be paid for you to sustain it.), you still would love to do it. That is your passion!

Let’s talk about potential. What is it that you are good at? What is it that when you do it, you are at your best? It is something you are great at. You are at your highest performance. People may have praised you a lot for doing it. You may have received awards relating to it. That is your potential!

Again, it has to be the combination of both. It cannot be either-or. It should be both.

A good friend would always share that she loves to sing. When she sings, she is like in “her zone.” But her brother and father would always tease her and say, “Are you singing the second voice?” Although she has the passion in singing, she may not necessarily have the potential. Manny Pacquaio may have recorded some songs because he is also passionate with singing yet some do not like his voice even if they are his boxing fans. Apparently, his potential in singing is not as high as his potential in boxing. On the other hand, good examples of those who have the passion and potential in singing are TheVoicePH Coaches Lea Salonga, Sarah G, Bamboo and Apl.de.ap

Sometimes, this is the thing that seems burden to some but for you, it’s a bliss! If you ask some people what they do during their leisure, you might be surprised of their answers. A passionate accountant may say, “I’m balancing books. I’m reconciling accounts.” A spirited writer and speaker may say, “I’m writing my speech. I’m finishing the draft of my book.” A geek may say, “I do coding.” An athlete may say, “I’m doing my Iron Man version.” A fantastic florist may say, “I’m studying what else I can do to propagate this special kind of flower.” A phenomenal painter may say, “I get lost in the details of my painting.” A dedicated teacher may say, “I’m preparing edutainment materials for my students to have fun while learning.” An entrepreneur may say, “I am researching on how I can serve my customers more.”

That is passion and potential at work. Other experts point to similar thing.

Robin Chaddock, a life coach, shared something similar in her book titled ‘How to Find Your Personal Path to Success.’ The core of her book was focused on finding your Divine Assignment. In fact, the book was originally titled ‘Discover Your Divine Assignment.’ She said that we need to find the intersection of our Central Passion and our Greatest Strength.

John Maxwell, in one of his videos, was talking about making an impact and he talked about a combination of intellect and interest.

Steven Covey called this your ‘voice.’ While he gave four elements, the first two elements point to passion and potential as well. He said that to find your voice, answer the following: what are you good at (mind), what do you love doing (heart); what need can you serve (body), and finally, what is your conscience directing you to do (spirit).

But how does this happen? Do you discover this all at once? Or is it an evolving process?

Dr. Covey answered it this way, “I think that it can happen all at once, but more so, I think it is an evolving process. As people grow up, they are exposed to different fields of knowledge and different experiences. They don’t yet know what they’re good at or even what they will like doing. Once they have this exposure and education and they start getting involved, they start to find satisfaction, and that leads to success as it begins to give them a sense of their voice or what they really love doing that they do well. For some people, it does comes like a flash of light, but it is usually preceded by someone who really deeply believes in them-sees their strengths and affirms them when they don’t see their own potential themselves. This creates an opportunity for that voice to be developed and expressed. This happened with me.”

Are you a young mind who is also asking the question, “How do I know what I should do?” I hope you found answers in these words of wise men that have walked before us and lived their life with success and significance.

(Chris Dao-anis is an author and speaker. Know more about his books and seminars at www.chrispoweracademy.com. You may email him at chrisdaoanis@ymail.com.)  

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