Early in my life I was taught to take what you do best and do your best with it. I believe in setting the bar high and doing all you can to reach it. We may even have to try many things before we find the thing that we do best. Presumably somewhere along the line though we will discover something that calls us to excel at it, something we feel passionate about, and foremost, something that fills our heart with purpose. Unfortunately passion, excellence and purpose are not easily experienced although the possibilities exist everywhere. My very first conscious recognition that excellence could be appreciated in every aspect of life was at a dirt bike race some 25 years ago.

I was a spectator at the event and not a huge fan of dirt bike racing. I was just hanging out with my friends and watching with mild interest. It became apparent very early in the race who was going to win. The leader quickly established a lead distance of about half a track and never missed a beat. The rest of the pack moved along somewhere behind him, no one stood out, except for maybe a few who were doing worse than the rest. But this One excelled. His skill for his chosen path was far above and beyond the norm. He implemented each maneuver with a grace and confidence that can only come with endless hours of practice and understanding not only for himself but for the machine, the track, his peers and the hobby itself. Nothing threw his concentration off. He stayed completely committed and dedicated to the task at hand. He had developed an attitude of focused harmony; he was one with what was required of him. I was blown away. It was an awesome experience to witness someone’s passion so vibrantly. Since that moment I have looked for excellence and have witnessed it everywhere.

Mostly people aren’t committed to a purpose, aren’t passionate, and aren’t playing out their lives with excellence. It’s not that they don’t want to, they just haven’t found where or how to do it. But once in a while, out of the blue, someone appears who is, and then they’re easy to spot. For example, occasionally you find an excellent teacher. You might not see it when you first look, but when your child comes home from school bubbling with excitement and a new fire burning in their eyes with a need to achieve, you know they have encountered excellence. Hopefully that fire burns long enough for them to ignite their own passion.

This is the thing about passion and excellence; it’s contagious. It spreads, igniting and firing up dormant minds and energy in a random fashion. That bike racer didn’t inspire me to excel at bike racing but rather to find and develop that same fire within my own heart in my own way. And I didn’t stop until I could feel that fire in my own soul the way I felt just watching him. We all hunger for this passion to ignite within ourselves because it tells us that we are here for a reason, that we have a purpose.

To be in the same room as the spirit of excellence can be an intimidating experience. It is not easy for us to witness another’s excellence if we are overly aware of our own lack of passionate purpose. It is always easier to criticize, to try to minimize the other’s accomplishment rather than maximize our own. Our western world believes in and creates attitudes of competitiveness and one-up-man-ship. The prize goes to the winner and we’ve all been conditioned to want the prize. We have not been trained to look into our hearts and soul for the thing we feel passion for, for the thing we long to be excellent at. We have been taught to strive fervently for the sake of getting and staying on top. Passion itself has not been applauded, just the winning. In our world today financial success trumps almost everything else. Unfortunately, we have been taught that wealth and prosperity come at a cost, a sacrifice of some heart piece. But no matter how close it may seem to come; money doesn’t buy happiness or excellence and definitely not purpose. Achievement itself is not the same as excellence. We can achieve any goal if we determine to do so, set our minds to it and stick to the plan. Continuing excellence is soul driven and promises fulfillment.

When we witness excellence in another we become aware of the power they have. Working and living from your passion is an empowering experience and it is a force that is recognized by others as power. The need for power has driven men to madness. A lust for power can focus and channel all the creative force of an individual towards self-destruction. Trying to take power from anything outside of our selves will cause us to implode in grief and bitterness, confusion and pain. True power can only be realized in one’s own expression of excellence. When faced with excellence we will feel bombarded with emotions that need to be acknowledged, accepted and released. We will wade through feelings of inferiority, of jealousy, of egotistic pride and criticism. But there is a better, easier way. When we have the opportunity to experience another’s brilliance we can allow ourselves to blissfully harmonize with their passion, feeling our own awakening. If we can learn to forgive our own shortcomings, accept ourselves as we truly are we will see that we too own a unique signature of excellence that can easily co-exist with anyone else’s.

Purpose can be painful, difficult and often the thing we least want to do. The funny thing about purpose is that it often doesn’t look like anything we’d expect or want. Although another may inadvertently bring you to your purpose they can’t give it to you. They also can’t take it from you. You have it all for yourself. It arises out of you and compels you to be who you are. Purpose isn’t affected by anyone’s approval or disapproval. It simply is. Purpose is self-motivating; it makes you put your feet on the floor every morning and keep putting them one in front of the other all day long. This is beyond responsibility and duty. You do it because your soul demands it.

In fact it is our purpose that gives us life. It is purpose that propels a spark of light through the veils of consciousness to embark on another journey through physical life on this plane. Purpose has a divine quality to it because it is the heart-string that connects us to consciousness. It is that which allows us to maintain a resonant familiarity with the divine spirit. Our purpose is our inherent need – the thing that can’t be denied no matter what it costs us. Purpose is connected to evolution and thus to our karma. And because purpose is connected to growth it isn’t always pleasant. Every person lives to fulfill his purpose. And that’s a hard pill to swallow. Life happens on a continuum, beyond the short life cycles of one person or another. We are all connected in some way. We know this. We want to assume that purpose is beautiful and glorious, harmonious and cherished. But it’s not always. It can be painful, ugly, revolting and despicable to our rationality and to humanity.

We can recognize the force of purpose at work when we see that we played a pivotal role in how a situation unfolds, this may be through conscious or unconscious effort. We are only purposeful in relationship. Purpose is part of the healing effect of karma. It is a dynamic charge that must be activated and released into consciousness to push start something into a new possibility. Purpose is not lived for others alone, there is always a self-serving, self-defining aspect to it, but maybe one that we don’t understand in front mind.

Purpose will be fulfilled, it is more of who we are than what we do, and there seems to be a force larger than our own free choice and will which determines the time and place for ones purpose to be revealed. Passion and excellence are forces that ignite creative invention within our selves and others, building the path of life before us, opening possibility for many others, and paving the way for purpose to unfold. People search obsessively for their purpose; trying many hats on for size, they are usually looking for a profound demonstration of responsibility and climactic change. But purpose can also sneak up on you quietly, subtly, and discreetly. All we can do is observe patiently, with an open heart and willingness to play our role when we are called, and then play our role excellently with passion.

Author's Bio: 

Andrea Connell is a full time practicing Reiki Master-Teacher. She offers classes, seminars, workshops and private sessions on Reiki, Metaphysics, and Meditation through her business; Centre for Applied Metaphysics in Campbellford, ON. She is available to speak to your group. Andrea is passionate about helping her students become the very best practitioners/teachers they can be.