Follow Your Passion
I remember watching an episode of Oprah, in which she interviewed successful film director, Tom Shadyac. He explained his story of owning a mansion and then, following a serious biking accident and by way of his own spiritual and personal realizations, downsizing to a 1,000 ft. space. He has given away most of his fortune and written extensively about the power and value of having less in his book, Life’s Operating Manual.
In his documentary, I Am, Shadyac explores concepts of happiness and fulfillment, and one of his key takeaways is that we must follow our passion. Following what we are passionate about, clarifies our path, enables compassion and collaboration, and creates fulfillment.
Discover Your Purpose
Taking passion one step further, we reach purpose. “The reason for” often helps define choices around our careers.
In the candid conversation between Shadyac and Oprah, Oprah repeated her famous phrase, “follow your passion, it will lead you to your purpose.” She has gone so far to suggest that it is our job to discover our purpose.
And this is a ‘job’ I have dedicated much of my efforts to over the past few years. Through blogging, jumping into startups, writing a book, podcasting, founding and then re-building Innov8social, and meeting amazing, inspiring people focused on innovative means of realizing social impact—I can say I have followed my passion and discovered a core purpose:
To help people reach their impact potential.
It is simple, and focused enough to be actionable. It means inviting people into the social impact space by demystifying jargon and decluttering options. It means creating actionable resources that are multi-disciplinary and ‘agnostic’ as to source. It means creating and sharing content and delivering it to people in ways that are easy to digest.
And this process of following my passion and discovering purpose has provided me my own “ah-ha” moment.
It is simply this: Yes, find your passion, discover your purpose….and then find your tribe.
Find Your Tribe
From my experience, passion and purpose alone can create deep fulfillment in our work and lives; however, it’s when we meet and engage with those best suited to make the most of what we are building, that our work takes flight.
With today’s automation tools and increasing social media echoes, it is completely possible to build and create without getting to really know who you are serving and who share your passion and purpose.
From my reflection, our next step, then, is to find the people who are ecstatic about and aligned with our work. And oftentimes, no one can do this for us—it’s up to us to find our tribe.
Seth Godin, in his book Tribes, defines a tribe as “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea…A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
We each intrinsically lead our own tribe or tribes. These may be around our hobbies, families, or education. These may be large tribes, but more likely they are fairly intimate and engaged.
When we identify our passion and purpose, we cannot assume the tribe will find us—we have to find our tribe.
8 Things I Have Learned About Finding My Tribe
1. It can take some time and requires patience and perseverance.
2. It works best when you are authentic.
3. It may not always be comprised of people and organizations that you might have imagined.
4. Positive intent can help you be grateful v. grumpy about the tribe-finding process.
5. Today’s tribes operate with the law of two feet— members will come and go as the tribe relates to their growth and stage. That shuffle is good and will ensure evolution versus stagnation.
6. Tribes are about growing together.
7. We are each part of multiple tribes.
8. Tribes can accelerate your growth, bring you peace of mind, a sense of joy, and help you realize your visions.
What has been your experience with finding your tribe? What are your greatest takeaways?