Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!

compass If you dont have passion and purpose, greater productivity wont help you!If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, stop right now!

Stop right now and confront the cold hard facts for what they are: no amount of effectiveness training, time management skills, productivity tips and tricks or goal setting know-how will replace the critical missing ingredient of your life: passion.

Until you discover your “fire within” you will remain condemned to a life only endured, not lived; to delicacies only tasted, not devoured; to joys only imagined, not experienced. And in old age you will lament the days of your youth, when fears about money and security kept you from taking the leaps of faith and courage in the direction of your dreams.

A life lived in moderation is not the stuff of stories told to grandchildren with a twinkle in your eye.

When Goal Setting Hardly Matters

Robert Allen wrote a book a few years ago about making money online. I have forgotten most of what I read (the stuff about making money!) but I have always remembered a point he made about how people who do what they truly love don’t have to set goals the same way many of the rest of us do.

Please take the time to read this rather long quote about financial goals, because it really drives the point home well:

Many years ago, before I understood why goals don’t always work, I was teaching in Dallas on the power of goal setting. A woman came up to me afterward with a puzzled look on her face. “Mr. Allen. I’m a full time real estate investor. I get up in the morning excited. I love to make deals. I have so much fun making money, I hate to go to bed at night. And yet, I’ve never written down a financial goal in my life. What am I doing wrong?”

I was stumped for a moment. She didn’t fit into my picture of the successful person (since all successful people have financial goals, right?) I stammered something about how much more successful she’d be if she did set goals. She nodded, wisely. And I shrugged off the whole incident.

About this time, a good friend and fellow real estate investor, told me that he was going to liquidate his small portfolio of properties and concentrate on his painting. I said, “But Sam, if you stick with real estate for 5 more years, you can retire and be free to paint for the rest of your life.” His answer was mildly unsettling. “Bob, I’ve discovered I don’t like real estate. But I love to paint.” I walked away shaking my head at this soon-to-be-a-poor-and-starving artist. But a year later he was doing rather well financially. And loving every minute of it.

Then, I read an article about how billionaire Donald Trump spends a typical day. He arrives at the office, talks a lot on the phone and does deals… whatever deals he feels like doing that day. No written goals. No specific agenda. Just a passion to do deals… the bigger the deal, the better. How could this be? I wondered. Don’t all successful people have written, financial goals?

And then, one day all of these seemingly unrelated incidents coalesced into one gigantic AHA! It happened while I was watching a golf tournament on T.V. featuring Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Fuzzy Zoeller and Arnold Palmer. As they asked these four great golfers why they golfed, I suddenly knew why they were so successful: “I love the game of golf.” “I love the competition.” “I love to try to beat the best players in the world.” “I love the people you meet in the game of golf.” “Challenge is important to me.” “I could play golf every day, all day long.” “I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world. There are very few of us who get to do what we love and make a lot of money doing it.”

That was it! These guys weren’t playing for money! They were playing because they loved to play. Sure, maybe in the beginning money was a part of it… maybe a big part… but money was never the primary motivator. First and foremost, they were passionate about the game of golf. I doubt any one of them had a written financial goal, “I want to become a millionaire playing golf before my 35th birthday.”

When you’re doing what you love to do, the money comes naturally. Maybe not at first, but eventually… if you stick with it. Do you think Bob Hope started out with a goal, “I want to become a millionaire by making people laugh, then I’ll retire to do what I want?” I doubt it. He just did what he did best. And the money came. Slowly at first, but then in truckloads. After he became extraordinarily wealthy, why didn’t he retire? When you’re living your dream why would you want to retire?

Are you hearing what Robert is saying? Concerns about effectiveness and productivity are well and good, but you have to get the bigger questions about passion and purpose answered first. And you need the courage (the “guts”) to create a life out of doing what you love.

I heard someone else once put it this way: discipline is the ability to consistently say “no” to the wrong things. But it takes one big fat compelling “YES!” to make it clear what you must say “no” to, and to give you the discipline to say it consistently.

Allen continues:

I read a study where the employees and executives of a major company were asked what they would do if they won a million dollars in a lottery. 80% of the rank and file employees responded that they’d immediately quit their jobs. Then they asked the executives the same question. Only 20% of them would quit. Why would 80% stay even though they were now financially independent? Because they find a lot of happiness and fulfillment in their day to day activities. They love what they’re doing. They’re not leaders because they make so much money. They make so much money because they love to lead.

If Bill Cosby won the state lottery, would he retire from show business? Would Barbra Streisand quit singing? Would Shaq O’Neil quit playing basketball? Not even if he won the biggest lottery in the world. And almost nothing could have kept George Forman out of the boxing ring.

If you won the lottery next week would you quit your job? If you would, what is that saying?

Finding Your Passion and Purpose

Robert Allen has this very insightful way of unpacking what your purpose is all about:

Purpose is knowing what you want and doing it because it expresses who you really are. Billy Graham, Julio Iglesias, Lee Iacocca, Mother Theresa (when she was alive). They’re “on purpose.” They’re living the life they were born to live. It’s hard to imagine them doing anything else. They don’t need goals to motivate themselves. They’d do it anyway. And if they do set goals, it’s just to keep score.

I’ve spent a lot of time studying highly effective people, including graduates of my various seminars, and I find four threads that run through all of their conversations:

Passion: They love what they do. If they weren’t making so much money, they’d be tempted to do it for free.

Values: Their daily activities are extremely important to them.

Talent: They’re good at what they do. Call it talent or ability, they’ve got what it takes to be one of the best.

Destiny: They have a sense that they are doing what they were born to do. They are making their own unique contribution. It’s almost a spiritual thing. They’re following their intuition and feel they are fulfilling their destiny.

So how do you uncover your true passion and purpose? Allen continues on with a series of worksheet-style exercises (which I’m sure many will find helpful), but I want to suggest a slightly different approach… take it or leave it.

See, my problem with the worksheet approach is that getting cerebral and analytical about it is likely to take you down precisely the wrong path. You can’t analyze your way into your passion and purpose. You need to “journey” there in a deeper way. And as Allen hinted, “it’s almost a spiritual thing.” Well, I think it is a spiritual thing.

So, please bear with me as I get a little spiritual with you and give you some keys that I’ve been given that may help you too. (I should add that this is very much a journey for me as well, and as such I speak as a fellow “traveller”, not as someone who has arrived.)

As a Christian, it has been my experience over the years to talk to God pretty much all the time and to discern his voice saying something in response from time to time. Nothing audible, but discernible nonetheless. The premise that prayer (and life) is conversation with God (not monologue) is foundational in my life, as it is to Christians everywhere.

Anyway, one way I discern the voice of God is seeing patterns and emphases emerge in my journalling (something I try to do daily but typically do a few times a week). One very clear thing that emerged a few years ago was a challenge I wrote down in this way:

Alister, if you give me Sabbath, Solitude and Simplicity, I will give you Clarity, Courage and Conviction.

Let me unpack these, because they have been – and continue to be — foundational principles for my life, and the means by which I have been discovering my passion and purpose (and the courage to make the required changes in my life to say “no” to everything else):

  1. Sabbath.
    Taken literally this is the (Old Testament) command to cease from all work one day out of every seven. In my life this is being expressed both as a determination to stay away from work on weekends, and to do more and more “fun” stuff. See, it’s one thing to have a “Sabbath rest” but quite another to have a “sabbatical restfulness” about your entire life. The latter for me is about refusing to worry needlessly, pursuing fun (often with my kids) for its own sake, etc. I have discovered that prioritizing fun, family and “restfulness” has had the serendipitous effect of uncovering my passions a lot more clearly than ever before.
  2. Solitude.
    Never mind whether you’re an extrovert or introvert or anything in-between; you need to turn the noise off if you’re ever going to hear clearly what’s going on inside your heart. So solitude for me is about getting time alone and in silence to journal, pray, meditate, walk, sit and ponder, and so forth. If you’re not used to it, it’s hard. Silence can be deafening! But don’t be afraid of it. Especially if you spend a lot of your day in the frenetic world of the Web, you need to turn stuff off. The fruit of this for me has been a much greater sensitivity to when I’m losing my sense of calm and “inner equilibrium”. It’s also in the solitude when God speaks.
  3. Simplicity.
    For me, pursuing simplicity has meant systematically draining myself of the consumeristic lust for more stuff. It has also meant culling my life of all the things I’m committed to, subscribed to, attending and enlisted for, that are not directly in line with my passion and purpose. (I should immediately add that this is very much a work in progress and a matter of continuing to take steps to boldly and decisively eliminate the distractions.) As a web guy, I’m regularly unsubscribing from mailing lists, removing software from my computer, deleting blogs from my newsreader, and trying to perfect the art of “intelligent neglect” of the things that don’t really matter. In my mind, this commitment to simplicity challenges me to carry fewer “burdens” and worries, and to trust God more like a child.

Now, if I was faithful to offer God these things, he promised in return to give me:

  1. Clarity.
    I know when I’m not doing well because my mind goes all foggy. As an adult with ADHD I know all about mental fog and the “life fog” that enough end-to-end mental fogs create. So how precious then to hear a promise from God that I would be given a capacity to see my life and future with clarity! And of course, the clarity that I have sought most of all is the clarity about my own passion and purpose: to know with real clarity what the longings of my own heart are, and to see clearly what my life’s purpose is. Add to that the longing to see God clearly, but I don’t want to get too spiritual on you!
  2. Courage.
    What a terrible thing it would be to see clearly what your passion and purpose were, but not have the courage to make the tough decisions and take the risks to step out in faith in the direction of your dreams. This issue of courage has been particularly acute for me because I grew up in a climate of fear that has been very hard to escape. But “perfect love casts out all fear” and that has indeed been my experience.
  3. Conviction.
    Assuming you see clearly what’s ahead for you, and have the courage to make the needed “course adjustments”, you could still be in trouble unless you have a deep conviction about what you need to do. To me, conviction is about the strength of your resolve, and since change is never easy, you’re going to need all the resolve you can get to see your way from the life you live now to a life lived in passion and on purpose. Conviction is the accellerant on the fire of your passion!

I would be a liar if I told you I knew how this “exchange” actually happens; how giving God sabbath, solitude and simplicity is returning me clarity, courage and conviction. I have no idea!  Nor am I saying outright that your faithfulness in pursuing the “three Ss” will deliver the “three Cs”. So take from these what you will, but I would be delighted if in contemplating these principles of mine, you sensed a similar tugging on your soul.

I must further cloud this passion and purpose thing in mystery by explaining my reservation with the “worksheet” approach a little more. See, I think your very life is the worksheet. I think passion and purpose are such “sacred” and “holy” things that no pen-and-paper exercise can do them the honour they deserve. Rather, the rich tapestry of your life, your relationships, your work and play… these are the things through which your passions are revealed, over time. You’re not to blame for failing to “get it” when you’re young. But give life time… with its trials, temptations, successes, failures, friends, foes and hardships… and your passion will rise to the surface. As long as you’re honest and as long as you stay true to virtues and principles like sabbath, solitude and simplicity.

What’s This Got To Do With Blogging?!

ultimate guide prod If you dont have passion and purpose, greater productivity wont help you!This post is Ben Yoskovitz‘s fault. He tagged me. He’s invited me to contribute to the Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project Meme thingumy.

But all I could think about as I considered what I might have to say, was that point by Robert Allen about first doing what you love. So I went with it!

Ben also tagged Adam Kayce, Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Andrew Wee, David Armano, Tony Clark, Mike Sansone and Chris Cree. Some of these guys have now posted and tagged others.

I’m tagging Meg, Lorelle, Brent, Derrick, Sarah and Jason. Liz has already been tagged but I’ll second it!

adhd, deep-thoughts, faith, family, general, productivity, work, ultimate guide to productivity, passion, purpose, clarity, courage, conviction, sabbath, solitude, simplicity, effectiveness

55 Comments

Note: Commenter website links are not no-followed, in case
you were wondering... I believe in rewarding commenters!

  1. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    This is really sweet, Alister. I love the three S’s and the three C’s.

    And thank you for speaking with such candor about your spiritual beliefs; I may be biased, but I feel that the world is a richer place when people share about what motivates and inspires them on the deeper levels of their hearts.

    I also absolutely agree about not trying to “left-brain” your way to your sense of purpose and meaning. I’ve seen people get much better clarity when they “soul-search”, rather than inventory their past experiences and likes/dislikes.

  2. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    i’ve known about your blog for awhile now, but finally subscribed to the feed this week. you’ve had some great posts – but this one was incredible. stuff i need to be reminded of.

    just last night i was realizing how i’m letting my ambition of making $ on the internet get in the way of my relationship with husband and kids. not to mention God. not worth it. You Can’t Take it With You.

  3. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I just stumbled onto this post today by accident – but glad I did! These same words and meanings and articles keep popping up in my life lately! Passion, work, productivity! Thanks for the inspiration and the tag! Now I guess it’s my turn!

  4. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I really enjoyed your post, Alister. Thank you for not only sharing a great set of tips about productivity, but also sharing how your spirituality fits with your work.

    I’m always moved, and often inspired, by stories of people who live their spirituality in their daily lives. My own spiritual path shows up in every part of my life – can’t help it, it’s who I am. So reading about your relationship and trust in God warms my heart. Thank you for this gift.

  5. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Great post, Alister! I so agree with you. And every great achievement starts with a dream. There’s a website you might want to look at – Dreaminder (www.dreaminder.com) which helps you to figure out your dream (which can be your purpose) and helps you to put this dream in words and send to yourself in the future to remind you of your dream, to keep you going.

    All the best!

  6. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I just love it when I come across such a great and inspiring post! (It’s like I was led here by some mysterious force :) )

    So much of what you wrote, pertains to my life right now. I’ve finally found something I have a blast doing, and I know without a doubt that I will be successful & prosper at it in time. When I read your post, it just re-enforces what drives me….do what you love and help people along the way…the success will no doubt follow!

    Thanks again!

  7. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Alister…this is absolutely excellent. Seriously! God bless you.

  8. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Outstanding post Alister — I’m keeping a printed copy of this next to my desk.

  9. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Alister, I recently discovered your blog. Now I know why! When I read this post, it was like it was written just for me. Thanks! and God Bless.

  10. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Hi Alister.

    Wow. This was amazing. I don’t think I’ve read anything as inspirational for a long time. And the comments are inspirational as well.

    When I read, “It’s almost a spiritual thing”, my thought was the same as yours. For me, it *is* spiritual.

    I’ve tried to fill out goal worksheets and I agree with you. It’s in the journey.

    I really needed this message. Thank you so much. What a blessing you are.

    Diana Brunson
    Inspired Blogging

  11. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Alister, that was very moving.

    I’m a hard core subscriber of working for where your passion leads you. The rest will follow naturally.

    Your spirituality is very inspiring, as you can see from your comments.

    Thanks for stopping by…because of that I came here, and I’m glad I did!

  12. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    truly exceptional article Alister – good on ya

  13. Posted 7 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I’d quit working for clients and do blogging and marketing….. for my own stuff! And a bit of gardening!

    Great post!

  14. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    This was a wonderful article; I really enjoyed your insight! I am only 17 years old but I have already begun a sort of ‘career’ by following my passion: sewing. I realize that it, so far, has not been a very profitable venture, but because of this article I have more hope that perhaps I could become very successful in what I do, and maybe my little webshop (http://www.fluffyland.com) could become much more than what it is.

    I too am a Christian, and I do believe that God guides us in our lives. I’ve realized that He gives us all a purpose, and if we stop to look back, we realize that everything has happened for a reason and it helps us to be grateful for all the things that have brought us to this point in our lives.

    Thanks again for the article, it helped me to think through a lot of things!

  15. Posted 7 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Great post. I wholeheartedly agree that productivity is driven by your passion. If you want to be doing something, for the most part you will.

    Often though, when the passion isn’t there, or the pull of other stuff is stronger it is easier to rely on hacking you life to make things better. It often doesn’t work(long term), because we were attacking the symptom not the problem.

    Great reminder.

  16. Posted 7 years ago // Permalink

    Wow, Alister, whenever there’s a lul in activity on your site I just crawl into older posts – and am never disappointed. Talk about passion: you clearly have a passion for writing and it shows. Your advice is both personal and applicable to others. Thanks for making me think about what I’m doing in life :)

  17. Posted 6 years, 9 months ago // Permalink

    Alister, this is great stuff. Those three S’s are really intense things to give in this culture! American culture doesn’t leave room for those things. But they are so very important to have. God sure does know what He’s talking about. It’s interesting how we can get caught up in all the rules of Christianity, when in reality, God only made those rules because He loves us! He wanted the best for us. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    “If you won the lottery next week would you quit your job? If you would, what is that saying?”

  18. john cloud
    Posted 6 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    WOW! As I sit here xmas day, 3 weeks shy of my 49th birthday, wondering where my life went, I stumble onto this and realize the twinkle has been removed from my eyes. The first reaction is to find somebody or something to blame (the world, job, spouse, circumstances), anything to pacify my ego, but then after reading this again I know that the spark needed to relite that twinkle is “passion” and the fuels I can use to create that spark are clarity, courage and conviction. Thanks for the lift and have a very merry xmas

  19. Posted 6 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

    So true… setting goals for money and financial gains can cause you to lose focus. Doing something because you love it, will be more rewarding in the long run. Whether it be financially or internally.

  20. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Hello Alison – I stumbled onto this blog while googling the phrase “passion and purpose” and boy am I glad I did! The ideas make perfect sense and I’m so glad you wrote this! Great job!

  21. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    I personally have always had a hard time with the idea of written goals of where you want to be in 5 years kind. If I look on my life and where I was every 5 years and compare it to where I may have thought I’d be 5 years before, they never would have matched up, but it’s been fun along the way and I’ve succeeded in ways that I don’t think I could have imagined on my own. Just take the talents you’ve got and make the most of them.

  22. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Recently I came across one definition of creativity I liked:

    “Creativity is a productive distinction from the common standard.”

    I am not sure if my translation is correct, however, I would underline the word “productive” there.

  23. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Thank you! I have always been thinking that the passion is the most important thing in choises like studies and proffession, so your words mean a lot to me.
    I will be back,
    Elinor.

  24. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    i really liked reading your post, compliments! I ll be back soon to read more..

  25. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    After reading your blog, I have a deepful thought for myself. I know what I want to do and I found my path. It doesn’t really matter how much your job worth but it is how much it worth to you that does matter.

  26. Posted 5 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks for this post.

    I’ve been trying to figure out why its so darn hard to get out of bed some days to get up and get working. Now if I could just figure out my purpose, that’d be super cool…

  27. Posted 5 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks for this post, Alister. I came to it via the 5 Star Affiliate Marketing forum, btw.

    This month I failed to write down any clear goals – mostly due to being disorganized and unfocused! But I have progressed with the things I love doing… so your post casts an interesting light on that.

    The point about simplifying life also resonates… Michael Masterson was making a similar point on his website, earlytorise.com.

    I quoted a part of this post on one of my blogs (see link, below).

    Final thing – I'm going to pass the link to this post along to a Christian friend of mine on another forum.

  28. Posted 5 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

    How can people do things for a living they don’t love,couldn’t be that way myself.
    Thankyou for a great post as well,some great stuff here.

  29. Posted 5 years, 6 months ago // Permalink

    thanks for the information..nice one there

    kpli

  30. Posted 4 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    Nice post! I have been looking for information like this one. I am just a new affiliate and I think these tips will really help. I will give 10 credits for this

    Nice post for a newbie like me. I am just starting to promote my site and will try to join some affiliate marketing programs, hope this will work for me.

  31. Posted 4 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    In everything we do, we must put our heart on it so our work would result into positive one. Not that just we do things for money but also for passion.

  32. brian
    Posted 4 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Allister… I have been at the deep end of a dark tunnel for a very long time. Your article has shed some light for me to walk in a direction i feel like will bring me out of my condemned and endured life. I thank you so much for writing this article. I know you will help people find the light! Praise the Lord.

  33. Richard E
    Posted 4 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    I have a question: If I’m an atheist, how am I supposed to find my “true calling?” Since I feel as though I would be lying to myself if I found this “true calling,” as I am not spiritual, how do I find what I’m passionate about (or at least lie myself into thinking this)? I have no idea what I want to do with my life…

  34. Alister Cameron
    Posted 4 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Richard.

    My point about “true calling” really does presume a Judeo-Christian worldview. It’s certainly not meant to sound like a rebuke or any negative posture towards anyone else, but certainly, I can’t help but now and again post something with my worldview in mind. And in this case it follows that “calling” will make no sense to someone who does not share that worldview.

    Further, I’m not sure what to say to an atheist in this matter… Well, perhaps I can say that as a Christian I think it makes no material difference whether you believe in God or not… you are still created in a certain way, with a God-ordained destiny… an optimal path, if you will. I don’t mean to sound arrogant in saying that — as if I’m trying to push my belief onto you.

    If I can reflect a little on how this all may differ for an atheist…

    As a Christian I have no doubt that I am part of something bigger — that God’s got us all on a trajectory towards a terminus… a goal. Also, I know that although it’s shrouded in mystery and God works with me on a need-to-know basis (and mostly I don’t need to know!), my life has a purpose. He has stuff planned beforehand for me to do, to quote Paul.

    The dilemma of atheism, I have to assume, is that you’re in a bit of a philosophical no-man’s-land, in that you have no basis for coming up with something like “divine purpose” or, as you pointed out, “true calling”. Sartre, an existentialist, decided the best he could come up with was a quest for experience; for life being it’s own justification, kind of. And he admitted that he was on the last stop on the philosophical train line, before total nihilism. Sad indeed.

    But that would leave me feeling pretty darn empty, to be honest. I thank God that he found me, that he revealed himself to me, because so many of my questions are now answered, or are just not questions any more. I just “know in my knower”, as it were, that I’m ok with him, and that he’s giving my life meaning… indeed giving the world meaning.

    I don’t know what direction you were taking with your comment, and I fear I’m not helping much!

    One thing I would say… you ARE spiritual. Like it or not. You and I may differ on the definition, I suppose, but I’d mean that to suggest that you and I are purpose-built for transcendence… specifically for relationship with God. All the rationalistic, atheistic, humanistic, materialistic hammering in the world can’t take that “essence” away from a human being. Don’t be afraid of it, either. It doesn’t mean you’re going weird. I see nothing anti-science or anti-intellectual in choosing to accept that there may be “much more” going on than our current scientific apparatus allow us to observe, measure and interact with.

    What harm is there in asking the God who may be there to show up for you if he IS there?! If you pray that, then be prepared to call yourself an agnostic, not an atheist, of course!!

  35. Posted 4 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Thank you for treating this topic with the reverence it deserves. It is indeed, holy ground we walk upon when we talk about our life purpose and finding our Calling. But we have no greater task, and God is eager to provide our traveling directions for our life journey. However, it’s not a twenty-minute exercise but rather a lifelong endeavor, but one that is well worth the effort. Thanks again for your thoughtful approach.

  36. Alister Cameron
    Posted 4 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks for dropping by, Paul. I love the look of your Web site and the idea of a “spiritual journey” certainly resonates with me. I’ll have to take a closer look ;)

  37. Posted 4 years ago // Permalink

    You are so right about passion and productivity. I think when you are so lost and involved in what you are doing and the time passes without you even noticing it then you are in that zone of doing something you love.

    When you are there, who needs to be more productive because things just flow and it isn’t about getting things done, it is about being in the moment and relishing that.

    An inspirational post

    Thank you

    Michael

  38. Posted 3 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    Always remember to live in the day, do your best each day, stay focussed on your goals and you will get there!

  39. Posted 3 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    It is 3:30 am right now, and I feel blessed to have come across this post. I totally concur with everything you said. I quit a high-paying job to pursue a dream and couldn’t be happier. The funny thing about goals in my situation is that I had a vision and a drive but didn’t have a super-concrete plan. My vision just started to take shape with the 3 C’s you mentioned that I know I got because of my faith in God (3 S’s). Thanks for such a reaffirming post – I am going to share this with all of my friends!

  40. Posted 3 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    Sometimes we all need reminding of what is important, spirituality on what ever level you choose is I believe important in maintaining balance in our daily lives. A great read, thank you.

  41. Posted 3 years, 10 months ago // Permalink

    I read Robert Allen books once. He really is a great man. The wonderful thing to read his book is that you can observe the matters in hand without knowing it at all.

  42. Posted 3 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

    This article is cool. Now I’m wondering what really is my passion. But i know that when you have this great enthusiasm about something you do means that you are passionate about it. Enthusiasm that seems never fade away no matter what is what passion is all about.

  43. Posted 3 years, 6 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks Alister. I like this approach although I must admit I did a fair bit of soul searching exercises to find my own purpose driven life path. Perhaps the way we determine our purpose is moot because at the end of the day, the important thing is finding it…

  44. Posted 3 years, 6 months ago // Permalink

    I love this post! Thankyou. Passion in the day to day is what I’m going for….

  45. Rob
    Posted 3 years, 6 months ago // Permalink

    Rubbish!

  46. Posted 3 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Passion is powerful. Purpose is enduring. Together, they can help you move mountains. Or build another World. And make meaning while you do.!

  47. Posted 3 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I used to know an old guy who preached about passion and “real living”. He used to say “If you can’t give a sh*t, don’t expect to get sh*t”. Not the most eloquent way of putting it, but very truthy.

  48. Posted 3 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I completely agree– all the productivity in the world doesn’t matter if you haven’t connected to the deepest and truest part of yourself (the part that is connected with God) and discovered your true passion and purpose in life.

    I created a simple questionnaire that has helped lots of people discover their own passion and purpose for themselves. It is available for free at:

    http://www.360degreesuccess.com/2011/04/how-to-define-your-true-purpose-and-passion-in-life/

  49. Anup
    Posted 3 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    What a fabulous post really inspirational about life
    Thanks Alister
    Good Work..!!!

  50. Posted 2 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    I accidentally found this post, and I just wanted to say it was great! I got alot out of it, even though I’m not a christian.

    Thanks from Norway :)

  51. Posted 2 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    No doubt about it! You can’t take all the money with you that’s for sure. I think so many people get so caught up with making money they forget about actually living their life. I love having goals but it is never the end of the world if I don’t meet them.

  52. Posted 2 years, 6 months ago // Permalink

    A motivated individual with passion and purpose can get a lot done and do some damage. It’s hard to find people that not only care about what they’re doing but also care about the effect of their work on others. There’s not many true craftsmen left in this world and finding someone who is passionate, productive, and has purpose is rare these days so when you come across someone with all these traits – hold on to them!

  53. Posted 2 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    It seems very right. If you don’t have proper resources but you have passion still you can do better. The courage to do better is very important whenever you are going to do anything. If you have to climb on the mountain which is very high then only you need to have the zeal, keep faith on yourself and do the work. You can see the positive results.

  54. Posted 1 year, 5 months ago // Permalink

    That really is the “secret sauce” for having a fulfilled life…having passion about our jobs, family/friends, and our faith. Enjoyed the post, Alister!

  55. Posted 9 months ago // Permalink

    Nice Post !!! I will refer this to my friend. I subscribed your blog for more information and updates..
    Thanks

66 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – Wanna Share One Big Secret? by Ponn Sabra My Productivity Secret – The Joy of Flow State by Chris Garrett The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – MomGadget Style by Gayla McCord If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron Building a Home Business One Weekend At a Time by Tony Clark Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project by Jennifer Louden Be Aware, Make Choices by Alex Fayle The Ultimate Guide to Productivity

  2. As I was doing some late night scouring of the web, and through a series of links, I came across this blog post. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think just how true these words are. Continue Reading »

  3. heck its so good I can’t even find words that have enough impact! Just go read this now, then come back to see how it helped me solve my life PUZZLE and will maybe help you find a piece of yours! If you Don’t have Passion and Purpose, Greater Productivity Won’t Help You! Did you read it? Did you have one or maybe several AH HA moments? Do you think what you just read will be a CATALYST that will help your business and your life? I hope so! I also hope that Alister will pardon me for copying such a large snippet of

  4. time, in reference to the content, I have defined a specific audience I wish to reach and various topics I wish to discuss, and maybe influence. Alister Cameron heavily quoted Robert Allen, expressing the difference between goal setting, and having passion and purpose for what you do. I might lack on the goal setting on a daily basis but I have a passion for what I do, and an overall driving purpose to my endeavours. Any amount of daily goals you set will rarely outweigh the value in working on something you are

  5. Original post: If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t … by at Google Blog Search: bill cosby Blog tag: Bill Bruford Technorati tag: Bill Bruford

  6. blogging in the first place. it’s a fun read. but who really has time for all that? ah! speaking of time, it turns out that as we set our goals and try to manage our time more effectively, we may be looking in the wrong direction. alister’s post on “if you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you” tells us that people who do what they love don’t necessarily have to set daily, weekly, or monthly goals. they love what they do, so they do it. alister continues: concerns about effectiveness and productivity are well and good, but you have to get the

  7. I just pick a few blogs and pop in on them to see what’s going on. Anyway, I stopped by Technorati to see if there was any new linking going on with my sites. And I saw that Alister Cameron had just tagged / linked to me! So I start reading this great article about Passion, Purpose and Productivity. It’s a wonderful article and he starts it with, “[IMG compass]If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, stop right now! FIND YOUR PASSION! AND DO IT!

  8. company were asked what they would do if they won a million dollars in a lottery. 80% of the rank and file employees responded that they’d immediately quit their jobs. Then they asked the executives the same question. Only 20% of them would quit. If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!

  9. For some reason, a number of things have come across my eyes and ears recently that relate to the idea of personal productivity / multitasking. Here are a few. Alistair Cameron has a great suggestion in If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!

  10. ? I’ve been asked this question for several years… Even before I decided to join the working world. It’s a tough question, but I’ve been able to answer it every time I hear it. My response typically revolves around passion and sacrifice, but in Part 2 of ‘The Personality of Networking’, I’ll dig a bit deeper. Motivation: I broadly define motivation in this case as, ‘the drive and desire of an individual.’ This can be for monetary reward, personal satisfaction or

  11. It ignites passion and/or strong feelings within YOU If you can’t get excited about your goals, you will have a hard time achieving them. Alister Cameron ties passion together with productivity but I think it also applies to goals. Are you excited about completing your goal? Does pursuing your goal really jazz you? What do YOU sound like when you are telling someone else about your plans? What do YOU feel like when you are telling?

  12. Alister Cameron has a great article on his site titled “If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!” Alister shares some great thoughts on the importance of discovering and cultivating our passion and purpose. If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, stop right now!

  13. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – Wanna Share One Big Secret? by Ponn Sabra My Productivity Secret – The Joy of Flow State by Chris Garrett The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – MomGadget Style by Gayla McCord If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron Building a Home Business One Weekend At a Time by Tony Clark Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project by Jennifer Louden Be Aware, Make Choices by Alex Fayle The Ultimate Guide to Productivity

  14. effective reorganisation. A combination of ideas that has a synergistic effect, leading you to a realisation which the separate ideas didn’t quite reveal. That is exactly what I’m sure I would have experienced if I’d read Alister’s post about passion, goals, purpose, and productivity a little as two months ago. Two important realisations I recently came to are that, one:

  15. “If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!”

  16. months contest. I would like to do another, but I need to plan it out a bit more. Life also needs to settle down a bit before I can focus on a contest. Completed a Productivity and Passion post for a Productivity Meme after reading about the Meme from Alister Cameron and Johnathon’s Productivity Post on SmartWealthyRich.com. Will need to rewrite this post in the near future, as I intended it to be a work in progress. May have to do sooner, because Steli just did a

  17. Since it does seem like such an important project, I believe I will make more than one draft, but keep each draft as a separate post. [IMG Writing Project Logo] The first blog that was involved with the project that I encountered wasAlister Cameron’sawesome post but then I came upon a similar post on SmartWealthyrich.com, which is a very positive blog with a lot of potential that said that if I was reading this post, consider myself to be tagged.

  18. Alister Cameron

  19. Australia’s next Prime Minister caught on camera eating ear wax – 23,333 Views The World’s Largest Treehouse for $7 million! – 18,210 ViewsIf you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!- 14,132 Views The 100% guaranteed way to get a front page story on Digg! – 12,811 Views How to grow your blog by over 2000 per cent in one month! – 9,196 Views WordPress Plugin: ClassyBody – 8,229 Views

  20. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – Wanna Share One Big Secret? by Ponn Sabra My Productivity Secret – The Joy of Flow State by Chris Garrett The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – MomGadget Style by Gayla McCordIf you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!by Alister Cameron Building a Home Business One Weekend At a Time by Tony Clark Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project by Jennifer Louden Be Aware, Make Choices by Alex Fayle The Ultimate Guide to Productivity

  21. re at it, check out her newest blog at WorkLifeBridge. If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, stop right now! That’s Alister Cameron’s admonition inIf You Don’t Have Passion and Purpose, Greater Productivity Won’t Help You!If you’re a mediation road warrior, then you probably have to track your expenses, either for reimbursement or tax purposes. Xpenser promises to make that tedious act a bit simpler by letting you use your phone, text messaging, or computer to send

  22. view blog

  23. - taking up a sport turns into a daily ritual that must be observed; a new friend must be contacted every other minute; a hobby must be accompanied by all the paraphernalia that comes with it.” This is something that I can certainly associate with.http://www.alistercameron.com/2007/04/28/if-you-dont-have-passion-and-purpose-greater-productivity-wont-help-you/is a blog by someone who seemed to be starting more from a financial / business perspective looking at success and goal setting and then showing that it isn’t goal setting that is the driver for success, but rather is having a passion for what you do

  24. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – Wanna Share One Big Secret? by Ponn Sabra My Productivity Secret – The Joy of Flow State by Chris Garrett The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – MomGadget Style by Gayla McCordIf you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!by Alister Cameron Building a Home Business One Weekend At a Time by Tony Clark Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project by Jennifer Louden Be Aware, Make Choices by Alex Fayle The Ultimate Guide to Productivity

  25. Australia’s next Prime Minister caught on camera eating ear wax – 23,333 Views The World’s Largest Treehouse for $7 million! – 18,210 ViewsIf you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!- 14,132 Views The 100% guaranteed way to get a front page story on Digg! – 12,811 Views How to grow your blog by over 2000 per cent in one month! – 9,196 Views WordPress Plugin: ClassyBody – 8,229 Views

  26. Cameron.com. Did I uncover your credit card details on the web today!? – 63,046 views The World’s Largest Treehouse for $7 million! – 29,050 views Australia’s next Prime Minister caught on camera eating ear wax – 25,925 viewsIf you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!- 19,074 views The 100% guaranteed way to get a front page story on Digg! – 15,683 views WordPress Plugin: ClassyBody – 14,175 views How to grow your blog by over 2000 per cent in one month! – 12,830 views

  27. Passion and Purpose

  28. [...] since I’m kicking the writing project off, I’d be curious to hear from Alister Cameron, Adam Kayce, Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Andrew Wee, David Armano, Tony Clark, Mike Sansone and [...]

  29. Want Affiliate Success? Discover the Most Powerful "Secret" in this Forum!…

    Affiliates – if at 1st you don’t understand how this long post relates to you -
    skip down to the PASSIONATE PURPLE PART OF THE POST

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  30. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  31. [...] Alister Cameron has an article that I reckon is one of the best I’ve read in a long time, but then that’s just me. It’s called, “If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!“ [...]

  32. [...] to Productivity My friend Alister Cameron has written a very poignant post entitled “If you don’t have Passion and Purpose, Greater Productivity won’t help you!” It’s not a quick, throw away read by any stretch of the imagination and Alister [...]

  33. [...] Cameron heavily quoted Robert Allen, expressing the difference between goal setting, and having passion and purpose for what you [...]

  34. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron [...]

  35. [...] Passion breeds ideation, and exceptionalness; a life well lived; an extraordinary career. And it’s all due to one reason, just one– you accepted no one’s rules. You made your own. And you had the confidence to live by them. The hell with convention. Or even the false positive of the Coney Island State of Mind. [...]

  36. [...] from Empower Women Now – her Business Coach An excellent post from Alister Cameron for Passion and Productivity Tags:ADD ADDS ADHD Adult guide Inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder multi tasking productive [...]

  37. [...] Alister Cameron also participated in this project and his post goes even more into depth about the importance of loving your work – i.e. passion and purpose. [...]

  38. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron [...]

  39. [...] first blog that was involved with the project that I encountered was Alister Cameron’s awesome post but then I came upon a similar post on SmartWealthyrich.com, which is a very positive [...]

  40. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron [...]

  41. [...] BitTorrent can offer you a lot.34 Places to Get Design Inspiration – Online and Off Get inspired!If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! Very true…Related PostsEnhance Life: Link Nuggets (March 15, 2007)Enhance Life: Link Nuggets (May [...]

  42. [...] friend Alister Cameron has written a very poignant post entitled “If you don’t have Passion and Purpose, Greater Productivity won’t help you!” It’s not a quick, throw away read by any stretch of the imagination and Alister [...]

  43. [...] Alister Cameron has a great post titled “If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!” It was motivated by Ben Yoskovitz’s Ultimate Guide to Productivity. “No amount of [...]

  44. [...] Thought you might enjoy this, which is very relevant. http://www.alistercameron.com/2007/04/28/if-you-dont-have-passion-and-purpose-greater-productivity-w… [...]

  45. [...] Alister Cameron: If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  46. [...] Alister Cameron shares this great bit from Robert Allen about finding your purpose: Purpose is knowing what you want and doing it because it expresses who you really are. Billy Graham, Julio Iglesias, Lee Iacocca, Mother Theresa (when she was alive). They’re “on purpose.” They’re living the life they were born to live. It’s hard to imagine them doing anything else. They don’t need goals to motivate themselves. They’d do it anyway. And if they do set goals, it’s just to keep score. [...]

  47. [...] Alister Cameron: If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  48. [...] Steve-Olson.com offered an incredible curiosity quencher. I decided to provide you with some of my favorite websites, news articles, and blog posts about understanding intelligence. If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  49. [...] Just read this and I think it’s what I was trying to say after all. [...]

  50. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you [...]

  51. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron [...]

  52. [...] love, love, love. Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: council, musings — atwistinmystory @ 3:48 pm If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  53. [...] was defective somehow or maybe just lazy. After reading the following blog I now have my answer… Alister Cameron writes: “If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, [...]

  54. [...] the focus is removed from I don’t particularly care for.Inspired by the following article: http://www.alistercameron.com/2007/04/28/if-you-dont-have-passion-and-purpose-greater-productivity-w… Posted by The 6 at 11:05 [...]

  55. [...] Read the rest of Alister Cameron’s blog post. [...]

  56. [...] A great quote about passion! If you don’t have passion , greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  57. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  58. [...] Update March 26, 2009. Alister Cameron has an interesting post about If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  59. [...] Read more: • 7 Questions To Finding Your True Passion • The One Question • The 5 Percent Trick: Finding Passion and Purpose in Life • How Do You Find Your Passion In Life? • Find Your Career Passion • How to Find a Passion In Life (eHow) • If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! [...]

  60. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! SAVE [...]

  61. [...] if you don't have passion and purpose, greater productivity won't … – if what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you're passionate about, stop right now! stop right now and confront the cold hard facts for what they are: no amount of effectiveness training, time management skills … [...]

  62. [...] If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron [...]

  63. [...] If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, stop right now! That’s Alister Cameron’s admonition in If You Don’t Have Passion and Purpose, Greater Productivity Won’t Help You! [...]

  64. [...] If what you do with the best hours of your day is not also the thing you’re passionate about, stop right now! That’s Alister Cameron’s admonition in If You Don’t Have Passion and Purpose, Greater Productivity Won’t Help You! [...]

  65. [...] Passion breeds ideation, and exceptionalness; a life well lived; an extraordinary career. And it’s all due to one reason, just one– you accepted no one’s rules. You made your own. And you had the confidence to live by them. The hell with convention. Or even the false positive of the Coney Island State of Mind. [...]

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