(Excerpts from How to Discover Your Purpose in 10 Days.)

Have you ever wondered what billionaires Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet have in common with you? It’s an exciting possibility. You may say it’s definitely not the fame or the fortune. So what is it? Each of us has been given a slice of divine brilliance that, when uncovered, developed, and applied, has enormous compensating rewards. It’s called a ruling

Your ruling passion comprises the ruling or governing desires and convictions in your heart. It is an intense, driving, and overwhelming sense. It is a deep-seated interest, which causes an energetic pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause. It is the subject or cause for which you feel passionate. It causes your juices to flow. It excites you and commands your utmost attention. It might be a wrong you feel compelled to right. It can ignite your anger or stimulate your most important interest. You must learn your ruling passion and follow it.

Most people a live life null and void of the passion to fulfill their personal greatness. In a recent Gallup poll, research indicated that over 70 percent of working people are dissatisfied with their jobs or careers. It’s no wonder that customer service is such a problem in society today. If people herald Blue Monday, Hump Wednesday, and Thank God It’s Friday, then clearly their passion is misplaced.
Ruling Passion and Your Career Choice

What Oprah, Bill, and Warren understand is that career decisions should be governed by your ruling passion. Selecting an occupation that you are passionate about enables you to excel at unparalleled levels. This is why identifying and pursuing your passion is key. If obstacles are encountered, they can’t sidetrack you or deter you from achieving your best.

What Awakens Your Ruling Passion?

Seeing others do what you love to do gives rise to the passion. You may even say “I can do that” or “I can do that better than they.” While in graduate school at Harvard University, I met Del Meriwether, a world-class athlete and medical doctor. He said he was watching the Olympic track-and-field competition on TV and decided, at age 30, “I can do that.” He decided to train and run the 100-yard dash. He not only beat impossible odds, but also qualified in the 1971 Pan American Games for the 100-yard dash, set a world record, and won a bronze medal! Featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1972, he was dubbed “The Amazing Dr. Meriwether.” Your ruling passion is often ignited when you see someone else doing what you are gifted and talented to do. What’s amazing about you?

Have the Courage to Follow Your Passion

My husband often tells the story of his college roommate, who had always been musically inclined but attended the University of Michigan as a premed student. Because of his love of music, he decided to take his elective courses in the music school. He loved it and wanted to pursue the music curriculum, but his parents urged him to become a doctor. Therefore he continued taking courses in both areas and struggled with what to do with his life. He knew he had a burning passion to play music. He knew if he became a doctor that he would only be doing it to please his parents. Therefore after a period of time and serious contemplation he decided to change his major because music was his ruling passion. His parents wisely supported him in it. Eventually, he married, and he and his wife formed a duet. For many years they have performed all over the world and have been highly successful. They cannot imagine doing anything else. It takes courage and honesty to pursue your passion.

Identifying Your Ruling Passion

Each one of you has gifts, talents, and natural abilities. When they are developed and fueled by your passion, success is inevitable. A clue to determining your passion is the ease and confidence with which you pursue your lifework. Your ruling passion could be:

the arts
meeting the needs of the poor and downtrodden
entertaining people
helping the sick to be healed (healthcare)
improving the environment
making people laugh
saving lives

In this short list, there are thousands of careers or life pursuits that can be undertaken with joy, excitement, and fulfillment. Ask yourself the following questions to unravel your ruling passion.

1.If all of your financial obligations were met and you had an unlimited supply of money, what would you do for work? What problem would you try to solve? Whom would you help? What contribution would you make to society? What type of legacy would you like to create?
2.What are your deepest, heartfelt dreams that you would like to fulfill in your lifetime?
3.What can you do today and every day to fulfill your destiny and receive the accolade “The Amazing . . . ?” You fill in the blank.
Money Is No Object: Passion is Your Currency

Hundreds of thousands of people have used their ruling passions as their currencies. Look at every rags-to-riches story: these people were are all fueled by courage and sheer ruling passion to make a difference with their gifts. All you have to do is read the Horatio Alger Association’s list of Americans who have received the award for outstanding achievement in spite of adversity. The list includes such notables as Mary Kay, Ray Kroc, Joe Dudley, Thurgood Marshall, Boone Pickens, Oprah Winfrey, and a host of others. Read their life challenges to encourage yourself.

For example, the man who invented the lifeboat began at 12 years old. He had no money, learned on the job, was mocked for developing an iron boat, and spent years proving his invention to a doubting society. His name was Joseph Francis. Living in Boston, a coastal city, he learned of the unimaginable number of shipwrecks and life-threatening horror stories that occurred at sea. Even at his young age, he was deeply affected, which gave rise to his life passion. He birthed the idea to create a life-saving boat. From the ages of 12 to 18 he dedicated his spare time to building and developing a life-saving boat prototype, fully equipped and tested to save lives. Joseph Francis’s name became great because of his commitment to pursuing his ruling passion, which gave rise to one of the greatest life preservers—the lifeboat.

Most people want to be successful. We have learned that if you do not pursue your ruling passion, then your greatness will be trapped on the inside. Langston Hughes said it best: What becomes of a dream deferred? Does it dry up or does it explode?

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways2.html.

Author's Bio: 

Catherine B. Eagan is a multimillionaire entrepreneur, speaker, teacher, and world-renowned financial coach. A Harvard University graduate, a former private banker, portfolios of over $250,000,000, and the best-selling author of Dominating Money and How to Discover Your Purpose in 10 Days, Catherine coaches and trains thousands worldwide on how to achieve financial independence, while discovering their passion and fulfilling their purpose. She established The Wealthy Women Seminars and Teleconferences to aid women in managing assets and building wealth. Visit her Web site at http://www.catherineeagan.com, and learn key tips to build wealth.