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The difference between passion and purpose?

Passion and purpose are closely linked to each other, however, there is a difference. The natural needs of us human beings are clean water, healthy food, shelter, structure and guidance. In addition, we all want to belong to someone. What drives us most is the feeling there’s a greater purpose and meaning in our lives.

People start to struggle and feel stuck the moment we feel we no longer live according to our true purpose. Especially, when our basic needs are not met, the need for meaning becomes more important.

In our quest to fulfill our true purpose, we focus on our passions, put all our energy into it and expect to be more content and happy. Or we get desperate, because we not sure what we are truly passionate about.

Passion is a skill, a talent or a preference.

Passion is not something we are born with, it needs time to develop. We can be very interested in something, or in an activity, to a point it will rise a deep emotion of enthusiasm. The moment we completely lose ourselves in an activity, it means we are very passionate about it.

Passion can also be connected to things, like pizza, a color, a car. Let’s also not forget the romantic side of passion, when we feel deeply passionate about our relationship. Don’t confuse it with lust; passion in this context is again a deeper emotion.

Purpose is about MEANING.

We can be passionate about expensive wine or diamonds; our purpose isn’t necessarily connected to fame or wealth. Per example: A cleaning lady provides for her family and in addition, contributes to a hygienic and healthy environment for others.

We can be very good at something and at the same time don’t like doing it. An activity, skill or talent is only part of our purpose, if we truly enjoy doing it. But there is more to purpose than joy.

Purpose is the conviction that what we do matters. While a passion is perfectly doable individually, purpose is integrally connected to the well-being of others. Purpose is about wanting to make a difference in our own lives, but also in that of others. Pursuing this, the passion will follow.

Purpose is the big enough reason, why we continue doing what we do. Why we are.

Patty Wolters
Guidance practitioner

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