When I was a younger man, I was very self-righteous about the kind of personal development I would and wouldn't do. I would do hard, extreme things, work with demanding teachers and protocols. I'd do 10-day silent meditation retreats, vision quests, 2 concurrent 10-hour a week training programs (Landmark ILP + PGI Purpose Guide Training), 3 hits of acid and on a solo journey at Burning Man, and fast for 3-weeks (I lost 30 lbs. and couldn't think or walk). I had it that the harder, more difficult, extreme and elite something was, the better.
"Pain is weakness leaving the body." - Arnold Schwarzenegger
My book, Planet on Purpose, contains a good deal of this sophomoric vigor. I made it longer and more complex than it needed to be. I was showing off. I wanted everyone to know I was the real deal - smart, passionate, innovative, unfuckwithable. A common reaction from colleagues was some version of "you're trying to hard." Ouch. True.
In the same vein, I would not do anything that Oprah or Elizabeth Gilbert said was good to do, deeming myself above the mainstream self-help realm. In the last couple years, I have completely reversed my opinion. I now know it's actually harder to write simply, to reach a larger audience and meet them where they are at.
Given that I'm in a period of reflection and renewal, I went back to a mainstream purpose classic, The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood. I did it the first time it came out, around 2006, and then again with my friend and Passion Test facilitator, Randy Crutcher, in 2015. I enjoyed it both times and got something new from it. I did it again this morning and want to share my results.
The premise of The Passion Test is pretty simple. Write down 10-15 passions (talents, ways of being, states of perfect vs. specific goals). Once you have your list, you do a little whittling, by taking the 1st and 2nd and asking which is more alive, more essential. Then the winner from that vs. the 3rd. Then the winner from that vs. the 4th. And so on.
When you get to the end of the list, then you have your #1 top passion. You remove that from the list and repeat 4 more times until you now have your top 5 passions.
Here are my top 5:
As for what's next, who knows, but immediately after completing it, an idea occurred to do something big and fun with a crowd funding network. I'm adding it to the list of ideas that are coming through. Stay tuned:)