“A principle with implications large enough to be felt, precise enough to be acted upon.”

It amazes me that there aren’t more personal exercises that aid one in determining what their passions are. We have all the literature and resources in the world that help us become motivated to act on our passions, but never in finding what those passions consist of!

Imagine a world in which you had the opportunity and the ability to see yourself in various situations and choose the one you liked best before acting upon making it a reality.

A world where you can not only test the excitement you have for a thought, an idea, or anything else, but also your own commitment to it. The one best way I can explain how I used the power of imagination to find my calling is in the following scenario, and it will work for you too!

How did I Find My Passion?

I took a solid afternoon to do nothing but think creatively (If you need resource on the impact of professional thinking time and how to use it I highly recommend John C. Maxwells’ “How Successful People Think”).

At this time, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted out of life, no idea how to make myself happy (or anyone else), and no idea how to find the thing that would make me happy.

I knew there was something I was missing. I always developed ideas and implementations in my head to gather the things I believed I wanted, yet happiness never seemed to play its part. I felt alone, confused, and frustrated.

My answer was in the imagination. I call it the “Own It” Principle. It’s a bit unconventional, yet the impact is great.

It goes something like this; If you can imagination yourself being ridiculed heavily by those around you, beaten down and stung with words by strangers, friends, and even family, and still own up to the actions required by your chosen passion and remain believing in them, then you have found your calling.

This isn’t meant to be some sadistic torture chamber of the mind, but a test for your resolve in doing the thing you wish to do. A worst-case scenario analysis, perhaps.

If your conscious can stand up to the fear of ostracization presented by your subconscious’ survival instincts, then you will surely pass any obstacle within and outside of yourself to achieve your goals.

Exercise

Try this; Close your eyes and attempt to envision the dream you originally had for your life. Imagine that you have been pursuing this passion for some time and now you are surrounded by people.

People you don’t know as well as your closest friends and family. They circle you and begin to shout and yell at you, being extremely critical on things relating to your passions! Those meanies!!! They may say things like “you’ll never make any money that way!” or “You don’t seriously think you can help anyone do you?” or even “You are so-selfish for doing what you’re doing, I didn’t raise that person!”.

Now, like I said, it may seem like an entirely sadistic technique I am giving you but the purpose and potential for doing it right is HUGE. You must find something you believe in so much that despite the opposition. You must “own it”.

How Does it Work?

Commonly I see that people attempt to find happiness in following what they think they want rather than what they truly want.

They become determined to follow the strictly positive and believe it will be cake because they want it so much until life throws the first obstacle in their way, bursts the bubble of unconditional positivity, and they realize they had wasted time searching for another dead-end.

Thinking in the negative aspect such as in my scenario does a few things differently.

1) It allows you to test nearly every scenario and belief to find what it is you truly want and wish to pursue or believe in!

2) In thinking about the negatives first you create the essential worst-case scenario in your head (something human minds love to do anyways; we love to create problems that aren’t truly there) therefore leading to a more realistic current situation for us to test.

This ensures that if we can stand up for our passions in even this out-of-proportion scenario claiming things like “What’s wrong with helping people!” and “Your jealous I chose to be happy”  to defend our actions (depending on our purposes) than we can surely stand up to the trials and tribulations life throws at us.

3) It gives you the ability to test the strength of your resolve to find a better way of living quickly and without the effort that trial and error does. It allows you to test whether you have the resolve to go against the grain of society and be different enough to succeed above and beyond the average.

In other words, you are testing the very belief systems of your own against that of the social hard-wiring of public expectation. Obstacles always occur, we can’t pretend they don’t exist.

We must instead accept that they will occur and find the passion that produces the will to push through them, despite the consequences.

The Principle of it All

Doing so has helped me and numerous other people who know the power of the “Own It” principle. It may seem like an action, but it represents the principle of opposition that is normally not accounted for in our thought processes about our future.

The principle states something like this: “we are always motivated more by the prospect of not losing something as opposed to the prospect of gaining something else.”

The “own it” principle tests exactly how much you are willing to lose to make your dream a reality. therefore it is much more effective at demonstrating the determination and will necessary to make your dreams come true.

-Austin Denison