If you truly are seeking your purpose, know that it's not something you find, but something you grow into.
I feel too many of us approach finding our passion by imagining that it's a diamond; that if we look for it long enough, somehow we will discover within us a diamond that will make us precious and unique from day one.
For me, passion is like a seed. If we give it the right environment, it will sprout. Too many people are looking at their seeds and throwing them away thinking they’re not valuable because it's supposed to be a diamond. Well, there are child prodigies that are born like a diamond, but the majority of us are not child geniuses.
Level 1- DISCOVERY
Here, seeds = our talent. When we recognise our talent and start to work to improve it, it will start to grow. It is of no value at this point, but slowly as we build upon it, our talent starts to grow. Very few people around us know about our hidden talents because they’re not visible to the naked eye - the tree that lies inside the seed.
There are two kinds of people who will arise on this journey:
Water/sunlight - positive and encouraging
Wind/pests - negative and critical
Level 2 - IMPROVE
Slowly it starts to take root, and a small stem emerges. And people are surprised! Some pleasantly so, as they had no idea. Others always knew someday you would do it. And some will criticise, because they don't like change.
So they will give too much advice on why today this talent is irrelevant/overdone/etc. Because you’re not too great yet, that feedback becomes hard to handle. Most people quit the seed here and go looking for the diamond.
Level 3 - SYNCHRONISE
As you move forward just by sheer determination and hard work, the universe starts to send the right teachers. You’ll start to get busy, and here too others will have a problem.
They can't see the amazing amount of time that you are putting into practicing, or how good you are becoming, but they can see everything that you are not doing, like ignoring health/family/functions.
This is the time to protect the seed from the pests. The hard skin of the seed is our own mind, which doesn’t think we can do this and keeps creating doubt and fear. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self confident, while the real one is scared to death.
Level 4 - Becoming an EXPERT
As you go along, leaves and branches start to grow. You are feeling stronger now, the shyness is leaving you. You stop struggling and the process starts to get enjoyable. You are starting to see that thin ray of light that you’re better at something than most around you.
You think you are a flower so you go to other flowers trying to join their tribe. But currently you’re more like a bumble bee; you’re attracted to them, but not attractive enough for them.
Level 5 -VISIBILITY
And finally comes a day that you decide to publicly start performing: this is you becoming a bud. Either you will do this performance, get scared, and be remembered for that one time wonder who came for just one season, the seasonal plant that does its bit and disappears,
This will be considered your start.
Level 6- CREDIBILITY
As people start to take notice, your tree will keep getting prettier and prettier. And there will come a time where people now can't ignore you.
Your flowers are blossoming, and while not many saw you grow, today they see a flowering tree.
You can't be ignored. Fame and mastery start to go hand in hand. It's getting hard to hide your brilliance.
People are starting to enjoy your flowers, their sweet fragrance and beauty.
Level 7 - PROFITABILITY
Some will convert it into fruit, which means money and profit will start. You will start to see a demand for your work. And now, instead of doubting, you will have a price that people will be willing to pay.
Level 8 - SIGNIFICANT
Some will go and add themselves to a garden/fruit shop and increase the price even further.
Here, ego walks in. You have to learn to be humble, to remember the struggle.
By now all eyes are on you. You are making waves; you have arrived.
Level 9- CONTRIBUTION
While you sell the fruit, you are now large enough to provide shade, a swing, lovely fragrance, and maybe some rubber, wood, etc.
It's time to give back to society. People are looking at you as a mentor/leader. Helping others now becomes a huge part of your day. As you look back you will be able to connect the dots and understand your purpose.
For you start with a vision and end up understanding your purpose. This journey takes courage because things will get tough.When people tell me they don't have a passion and “What if I never find it Puja?” I say don't worry about finding it! Start with things that give you joy - where you feel you are in the flow.
Flow = when time loses its hold over you because you are engrossed beyond the physical realm.
Believe me when I say we are all born with seeds. So never finding it only means either you don't have the courage or the drive.
Opportunity is what people call luck—make whatever sense you can out of this; this is a perception.
In some journeys, these levels can interchange or intertwine and not be as linear as my description…I know I've oversimplified it.
But next time you’re looking for your purpose, know if it's not yet germinated, it's a seed, not a diamond. Don't go looking for the wrong thing; you will never find if you don't know what you are looking for.