A fun way to discover your passion

I just finished a seminar led by Diana Smith. She brought us through a series of exercises to help us hone in on our values, passion, and life’s work. Tall order to fulfill in four hours. She did it superbly.

One of the segments was on discovering your passion. She asked us to list three of our favorite movies.

I listed:

I thought about “Blazing Saddles” but what would a movie with a fart scene really have to say to life? Too many mindless movies I enjoy to list here.

She then asked us to find the common story line that runs through all of them. What is the plot that all three have in common? I thought to myself, “come on, ‘ It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, world’ and ‘Patton’? What the heck would they have in common?

But as I thought more about it, it became clear that the common story line in all three films is “A quest for something extremely valuable”

  •  “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world”: To find $250,000 dollars
  • “Patton”: To defeat the Nazis
  • “Galaxy Quest”: To save an alien race from destruction.

A big part of my passion is to pursue that which is valuable, that which will make a difference in the lives of others. To be on a quest for meaning.

So, to discover your passion try the three movie approach:

  • What are your three favorite movies?
  • What is the common story line that ties them all together?
  • Write out the answer in a statement you can share.

We’re narrative creatures and navigate life through stories. There is a reason your favorite movies resonate with you. Finding out why and in what ways their plot connects will move you closer to discovering your passion.

I did discover how “Blazing Saddles” relates. It a movie whose quest is to laugh at ourselves and our foibles. What can be more valuable than that? Good news for the lovers of stupid, silly, movies, like me.

How about you? What are some of your favorite movies. Why are they your favorite?