Dear Passion Chameleon, What’s Your BHAG?

Welp, here I go again, getting you hooked and then leaving you dangling and waiting to hear more. I’m sure you all need a minute to catch your breath after running to your computer after hearing I have updated after a long month away. I kid, however, I do apologize for my flakiness. I have no excuse other than lack of inspiration mixed with a little bit of laziness. The catch of trying to discover your passion? Brainstorming and thinking about the bigger picture is…exhausting. Even worse, I tend to be a passion chameleon: someone who convinces themselves that they would love to do things that they’ve seen a lot of recently.

Example: During our move this spring we got rid of cable so I spent a lot of time watching T.V. series on Netflix, one of them being The West Wing. While, I have very little (by “very little” I mean, absolutely no) interest in politics, in the midst of watching never-ending episodes  I was convinced I should get my Master’s in Public Policy and go work for the man. Or thinking being a nurse would be awesome after watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Yes, it’s fun to think about doing various things with the rest of my life, but when I touch back down to reality and start to actually think about what I want to do, the passion chameleon in me just makes it confusing. So, what’s my passion? My thing? What I want to do for the rest of my life? How the hell do I know?! However, I’m beginning to think that my passion doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific career or job, but different experiences that lead me down a path aligned with a particular personal mission. A personal mission, not a passion. Because one should not be limited to one passion.

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To help spark some inspiration at work as well in my personal mission discovery, I have been reading several different books. One of which is, Good to Great by Jim Collins. Good to Great provides guidance, inspiration and practical theory on how to take a “good” business to a “great” one. One of the most influential things that I’ve taken away from the book thus far is the idea of the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). A BHAG combines answers 3 questions: What are you passionate about? What can you be the best in the world at? and What drives your economic engine? By using these three things to help you determine your goal, you can focus your work toward something that challenges you, hopefully makes you money and brings you joy. I have been working with my team at work to determine a program BHAG and this week ended up discussing some personal BHAGs that certain team members have for themselves. It sparked something in me. I almost felt stupid for not thinking of it before, why had I not thought about answering the questions for myself personally and not just for the program I work for? While I haven’t done it yet, as answering those three questions cannot be done without some thought, but I will be taking some time over the coming weeks to see if I can pinpoint some BHAGs for this hopefully former passion chameleon.


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