Friday, May 3, 2013

The Passion Test - Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood

This is a New York Times Bestseller and talks a language I like. 'The Passion Test - The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose' is a nice, simple and easy read and one that could well put you in touch with your passions and your life purpose. After all what's a life that is lived without passion?

The authors, Janet and Chris, are co-founders of an online magazine Healthy Wealthy nWise and partners in Enlightened Alliances, a marketing consulting firm. Married, but separated now, the two have varied experiences: from sales to consulting, training to motivational speaking, working with lepers in India and practicing deep meditation, study Vedic tradition to interviewing saints in India, and some more. The authors bring a simple, sweet perspective of following one's passion, through their own lives. (And they are much more than that short resume I presented.) They constantly urge you - when faced with a choice, always choose in favour of your passions. All along the book we have Janet's own story of how she followed her passion and how it paid off. When you follow your passions, there is no way you can lose.

Anyway, the idea, as you must have got it by now, is to follow your passions. But wait - first identify your passions. So you take a passion test. Shortlist the same and put them up in your priorities. I agree with the authors that it is the 'what' (we are passionate about) that we must first be clear about before wondering about the 'how'. Most people stop at the 'how' and the 'what's are beyond them. Another thing I liked - that passion is a process and goals are outcomes.

Then of course most of us fall off the track from our passions because following your passions sometimes seems like hard work as it may not have an assured check coming with it. But the authors keep us on track with several other exercises like creating passions scores, passion cards, markers, vision boards, passion pages, 100th birthday speeches, appreciation games and other interesting methods to stay on track. Doing the exercises is a fun and interesting way to get in touch with ourselves. Also following your passion has its own way of rewarding you if you are honest to it - and to yourself.

The second part of the book has excerpts of interviews that Janet did with saints and wise people she met in her travels in India and the Himalayas. Their words of wisdom reinforces what the book has to say. Interesting stuff. From surrendering to life, to the importance of action without attachment to the result, the nature's guidance system, even a bit of jyotishya and the importance of trusting to speed up the process, Janet covers much ground and sets up the idea well.

It's good fun and certainly useful for those who wish to follow their passions and even otherwise its a fun and interesting read that could add some new dimensions to your life. I think the best way to gain from this book is to do the exercises and keep looking at them, working at them, bit by bit, everyday. With passions, once you start, you won't stop. Recommended.

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