Warren Berger : Find Your Passion With These 8 Thought-Provoking Questions

18 Jun

Warren Berger : Find Your Passion With These 8 Thought-Provoking Questions

I shared a post yesterday about a visit to Mumbai. Our good new friend Jude  had mentioned  that he detests these ” five steps or ten steps” to self improvement articles. I too feel the same way and have always believed life experiences couldn’t be summed in  five steps or ten steps. There are always exceptions. This adapted piece by Warren Berger is in similar genre. But this is really nice and useful. I would recommend it to any one seeking to find  purpose or discover passion in life. But Before that….

My friend of growing years decided to be a doctor seeing her mother’s illness. This was the trigger for her to study and become a medical practitioner. She was good at many things and could have been  anything. She decided and pursued a  single minded goal and became a medical practitioner. She achieved her dreams. She is my hero.

My little cousin sister in her teenage years told me ” She wants to be a teacher or a air hostess.” She was already teaching little kids in her free time from college. She was bright, pretty and had lot of spunk. I was impressed. I would often visit family. She trained, pursued her passion and  went on to fly successfully for international airlines. She achieved her dreams.She is my hero.

My own sister in her formative years would strive hard for her goals. She was happy, pretty and hard working. In case of a setback she would often be devastated. I would often go with her for her examinations. My sister somewhere developed a ” stubbornness and determination” and decided to pursue computers. I was pleasantly surprised she had a logic and flair for computers. I felt reassured. She is doing  great in her chosen career of  computers. She achieved her dreams. She is my hero.

I believe every one who achieves their dreams is a hero. One may know early what one wants or may discover one’s strengths as a process or something may trigger our purpose. It doesn’t matter. We all can achieve our dreams with focus, courage and determination.

It is in this above context , discovering our true purpose and passion this article is very useful. These leading 8 questions can help us discover our path’s or purpose in life. Warren Berger writes ” These days, you’re urged to “follow your passions” and “lean in”–but what if you’re not sure where your particular passion lies? What if you don’t know which way to lean? This can be an issue not only for those starting out in a career, but also for some who are established, even highly-successful, yet unfulfilled. It’s easy to find oneself on a path determined by others, or by circumstance. “

So whether its a first career  or second career or in transition. These questions throw a light and deeper examination could unravel our path’s. Let us examine some of the leading questions.

” What is your tennis ball “

Warren Berger says ” This question, derived from a terrific commencement speech given at MIT last year by Dropbox founder Drew Houston, is a good place to start because it cuts to the chase. As Houston explained, “The most successful people are obsessed with solving an important problem, something that matters to them. They remind me of a dog chasing a tennis ball.” To increase your chances of happiness and success, Houston said, you must “find your tennis ball–the thing that pulls you.”

This is a great parallel. There is no clearer sight than a dog running to chase a tennis ball (or the plastic ball) for sheer focus, intensity and determination. If we all knew “whatever is it we seek ” and chase this way. We will  sprint  our way to our goals. The all important question ” What is our single minded goal” for a individual or ” What is that one great problem want to solve ” for an entrepreneur. “What is the one area that want to address” for non profits or a social worker or a politician..

In my morning walk see a professor reach his office everyday at sharp 8am. Every single day. Obviously he has discovered his tennis ball.

Warren Berger interestingly quotes “when you’re in a bookstore,” says author Carol Adrienne, “what section of the store are you drawn to?.” He further says ” That will not only tell you what books you love–it may point to where your tennis ball can be found.”  This may show your current state of mind or your passions. Thus needs to be examined in time.

What am I doing when i feel most beautiful

Warren Berger writes ”  Jacqueline Novogratz founder of  The Acumen Fund,told me that in her globe-spanning travels she often asks people this question, sometimes in unlikely settings. She once posed the question to women living in a slum in Bombay. At first, “one woman said, ‘There’s nothing in our lives that’s beautiful,’” Novogratz says. “But eventually, a woman who worked as a gardener said, ‘All winter long I slog and slog, but when those flowers push through the ground, I feel beautiful.’” Novogratz says it’s important to think about “that time and place where you feel most alive–whether it’s when you’re solving a problem, creating, connecting with someone, traveling.” Whatever it is, Novogratz says, identify it–and if possible, find a way to do more of it. 

I guess one feels most alive in the temple, stadium and bedroom. That apart, this is a very good question ” What am I doing when i feel most beautiful“. It could also be one of our best experiences of our work life. It could be a project experience. Or it could be traits or work attributes as alluded ” whether it is solving a problem, creating, connecting with some one, traveling”. Personally these are aspects of work one has most enjoyed most. I yearn for such work again. I have discovered through experience do not enjoy operational jobs. It was done for bread and butter.

Or in another way Warren Berger quotes “consultant Keith Yamashita of SY Partners:Who have you been, when you’ve been at your best?

I have a friend whose passion is training and writing. Extremely sorted and world class. It is such a blessing.

What is your sentence?

Warren Berger says ” What is your sentence? is a question designed to help you distill purpose and passion to its essence by formulating a single sentence that sums up who you are and what, above all, you aim to achieve.”

This is the best. I tried to share examples.

” I want to be a doctor.”

” I want to be a air hostess.”

” I want to be a teacher”

” I want to be a software engineer.”

” I want to be a journalist”

This is the best way to find our work  passion. My single sentence is ” I want to be a business executive.”

Of course there are other goals too ” I want to be best mom. I want to be best father. I want to be a good son. I want to be a good daughter. I want to be a loving companion. I want to be a trusted friend. ” This so applies to all our aspirations too.

So my single sentences are ” I want to be a business executive. I want to blog. I want to be a good son. I want to be a good father”..

I think there are other good questions  in the article “What are your superpowers? ( Strengths) a sub leading question to that ” So what did you enjoy doing at age 10? .

Please do follow link and read Warren Berger’s really nice and useful article published in Fast company. I will try and read more of Warren Berger’s works.

Hope you find the article much useful in your journey. I found it useful. Hope you have a lovely day dear friends! May every goal of yours come true.

Thank you!












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