Have you ever heard the saying, “You can overcome any how with a strong enough why?” This statement acknowledges the idea that having a passionate pursuit is essential to staying motivated enough to overcome the obstacles in your path.
And you will find your strongest why at the intersection of four key factors. I call this your “Zen Venn Diagram.” So, picture four overlapping circles, one each for the four main factors, and the space in the middle where all of the circles overlap — that will represent your true vocation.
The first factor is your passion. What are the things you “love” to do? Notice I said “love,” not like. We’re talking about true passion points.
The psychologist and author James Hillman believed that just like an acorn is born with all of the intelligence it needs to become an oak, we come into the world pre-wired with our true vocation.
So, think like a kid. What activities brought you the greatest amount of happiness in your youth? What were you doing when you lost all track of time?
Once you have your list, take the top two or three activities and place them in the first circle at labeled, “Love to Do.”
The second factor to consider when selecting your vocation or passion project is what you do well. We’re talking about your skill set. Your superpowers.
As you make your list, make sure to not only brainstorm your own ideas, but also ask others who know you well. Sometimes we are blind to our own best qualities and skills.
Once you have your list, take the top two or three skills and place them in the second circle marked “Do Well.”
Factor number three. What does the world need? I refer here to the idea of service. Think about what you can do to make the world a better place. Take your two 2 or 3 ideas and place them in a circle marked “World Needs.”
Finally, let’s address the subject of demand. You can have a lot of fun bringing something to life. You can make use of your best skills. And you can do something good for the world. But none of it matters if no one wants your product, service or creation.
So, how will you respond to a market need? What contribution will you offer that is in high demand?
This will take a little reflection and research. But once you’re done, make a list of market demands you could help satisfy. Then write the top 2 or 3 in the last remaining circle labeled, “Market Wants.”
Once you have your circles completed, review them. You should have at least 10-12 key data points related to your vocation. Now do this. Put the Zen Venn Diagram away and sleep on it.
When you wake up the next day, see what thoughts emerge and write them down. Begin to brainstorm different projects or business ideas that could accommodate your top passion points, skills and world/market needs. How will you fill in that center space?
Start doing a bit of research. See where it takes you. Allow yourself to get excited about the possibilities. This may take a little bit of time, so be patient. The ideas will flow. And clarity will come.