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Mapping your passion journey

Years ago I heard a quote that has provided me with a great deal of wisdom. I take this quote to heart and it has provided me with a great deal of insight along the way.

"Sometimes the best vacation is the past."

Simple. To the point. Sometimes it's helpful to mentally (and emotionally) connect with the past to help inform your future. The same is true for those of you on a journey to discover your passion! If you start now, by mapping out where you've been on your journey, you will discover how valuable that information is in the future.

Charting my journey to help orphans As many know, I'm passionate about helping orphans and at-risk kids around the globe. Ten years ago I began a nonprofit organization, Orphan World Relief. Whenever I talk about the organization, invariably I talk about how it all came about. Whether I'm speaking to a group of nonprofit leaders, business executives or potential donors and volunteers, I walk through my journey. I've done it so frequently that I don't need to refer to my documentation, but early on I relied on journals to help me recall my path.

My map starts at the beginning of my life and has some steps along the way:

  • Being given up for adoption when I was born.

  • Learning I was adopted in 5th grade.

  • Questions to my parents through high school & college.

  • Discovering my biological mother (and two sisters) when I turned 30.

  • My first mission trip to Ukraine.

  • The heartbreak of a failed adoption.

  • My second month-long trip to Ukraine.

  • Adopting my son.

  • Starting the business planning for Orphan World Relief.

  • Gathering a board.

  • Filing for nonprofit status.

  • Determining which programs we'd start with as a nonprofit.

  • Beginning fundraising.

  • Officially a 501c3 nonprofit!

There were other steps along the way and depending on my audience and the topic I'll edit my talk and not cover all milestones. But you get the idea.

Fast forward ten years to today. Our late-summer trip will be back to Ukraine to walk through the founding of Orphan World Relief and visit one of the most amazing programs that we partner with.

As you begin your journey consider your own milestones and the details that you may want to remember. Even if you're still in discovery mode, journal it out! You never know where these thoughts may take you. Sometimes it's simply good to see how far you've come!

If you need some help, Be Passionate, has some resources to help you out including:

Passion Discovery Journal available on and Barnes and Noble!

Start writing and from time to time, look back and uncover your own past. It's worth the trip!

It's your journey... connecting with your past to understand your progress may yield you valuable insights going forward!


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