What’s the difference between a passion and a fantasy?

We all have goals and dreams – things we’d love to achieve in our lives. But have you ever wondered whether some of those dreams are really what you’re meant to do in life or whether they are simply fantasies?

At a Passion Test workshop recently someone asked me that very question. Say, for example, you dream of becoming a renowned concert pianist. Is this a worthy goal or is it an ego-based delusion?

Well, here’s a test you can do to help you identify what’s behind your dreams and goals.

Step 1: Extracting the Value

Every goal you set for yourself will be inspired by a higher-level value or emotional state of being. We all do things because of how they make us feel, right? So this feeling is the true motivation of your actions – and it’s going to tell you a lot about whether your goals are worthy of pursuing. To access this value, you simply ask the following question repeatedly until the answers start repeating: ‘When you have what you’re looking for, what will that get you?’

You’ll end up with high-level Values like happiness, fulfillment, security, and inspiration.

Step 2: Testing the Value

Once you have the Value you’re trying to elicit, you need to test whether you can get the same Value without achieving success in your goal. In other words, are you dependent on a physical outcome in order to achieve the desired emotional state. Why do we need to do this? Because a dream is only worthy if it’s done for its own sake and is not an attempt to buy happiness or some other state of being (remember all that about staying in The Now).

The way to test this is simply to ask, ‘Suppose you never achieve goal, will you still be able to be Value?’ (Replace Value with the particular state of being that’s motivating your goal, for example ‘happy’).

Let’s look at some examples.

Example: “I want to write and publish successful novels”

Step 1: Extracting the Value

When you have written and published this novel, what will that get you?

‘An audience, fame.’

And when you have an audience and fame, what will that get you?

‘Money.’

And when you have money, what will that get you?

‘I’ll be able to do the things I love.’

And when you are doing the things you love, what will that get you?

‘I’ll be inspired, at ease.’

When you are inspired and at ease, what will that get you?

‘Happiness’

So the Value here is happiness, with the flavour of inspiration and ease.

Step 2: Testing the Value

Suppose you’re never able to write and publish those novels. Can you still be happy?

‘I don’t think so. It would be difficult.’

So this tells us that the person is wanting to buy happiness by writing novel. They are dependent on a physical outcome in order to achieve an emotional state. They don’t actually want to write novels because it’s their deep purpose and joy, so this goal is an ego fantasy.

Let’s try something else:

Example: “I want to be a renowned concert pianist”

Step 1: Extracting the Value

When you are a renowned concert pianist, what will that get you?

‘The joy of performing in front of large numbers of people, the excitement of performance, the knowledge that I’m creating a moving experience for people.’

When you are experiencing the excitement of performing in front of large numbers of people, and you’re creating a moving experience for them, what does this get you?

‘Joy and inspiration – I’ll be living my purpose.’

And when you’re joyful and inspired, living your purpose, what will that get you?

‘Pure joy and gratitude, pure inspiration. ‘

So the Values here are joy, gratitude and inspiration.

Step 2: Testing the Value

Just suppose you’re never, ever able to be a renowned concert pianist – will you still be able to feel joyful and inspired and grateful in your life?

‘Yes. I enjoy playing piano regardless of the size of the audience. I can still feel that joy and inspiration if I’m playing for one person or just for myself. It would be great, though, to play to thousands of people. That would really turn me on.’

In this example, the person is not dependent on a physical outcome to achieve their desired emotional state of feeling joyful, inspired, and grateful. They recognize that they have access to these feelings already, so their work as a musician is done for the joy of it. Of course, they will be paid for their work, but it’s not the primary motive, it’s simply the natural energy exchange for the work they love doing.

Conclusion

Many of us make the mistake of thinking that by having something or doing something we’ll achieve a lasting state of being. In fact, the creation process begins with being and flows to doing and having – when you are happy (a state of being), you will do things and have things that reflect this happiness.

So look carefully to see whether your desire is an attempt to reverse this order, in other words to try to achieve a state of being by having something or doing something. If you take away the having or the doing, can you still achieve that same state? If not, you need to check your motives.

Want to do The Passion Test and get clarity on your goals?

I present The Passion Test in workshops and individual sessions.  Let’s work together to find out what you really want and how to get it. It all begins with finding clarity on your true purpose.

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Inspired Coaching & Hypnosis – expert coaching and hypnotherapy in Cape Town.