Discovering the four passions

By on October 24, 2010

Photo © Elena Derevtsova


Last month’s article on reinventing yourself mentioned four key Passions you must discover to recalibrate your internal compass and ensure that your next incarnation is more aligned with your authentic self. Here, in more detail, is what they are and how to discover them.


The first Passion is your Passion for Being. This passion consists of your values, principles and style. Aligning with it requires accepting who you are – the good and the bad – while also connecting with who and how you aspire to be. 


Living in a foreign country lands you smack in the middle of an experience that challenges the myriad assumptions you have made about the right and wrong way to be and to do things. At first you will be confused by these differences, then intrigued, and, eventually, annoyed. How long this period of annoyance lasts depends on your ability to be curious, let go of your ideas of who you are, and play with different ways of being. You may be surprised to discover new values and principles that are a better fit with who you wish to be. 


The second Passion is your Passion for Doing and Knowing. This passion is comprised of your natural talents and wisdom. To discover it, you must set aside all of the hard-earned skills and knowledge you have proudly defined yourself by to date, and begin to ask the following: What kinds of activities most energize me? What comes naturally to me? What do I long to learn? What might I love to do (if only I thought I could, if only I could make money from it, if only people wouldn’t think it was silly)?


Japan offers many opportunities to branch out and explore things that you normally wouldn’t. See which ones you stick with and which are just passing fancies. Sometimes the most powerful lesson in exploring other things that you might love to do is that it reinforces how much you love certain elements of what you already have been doing. 


The third Passion is your Passion for Giving. This passion is about discovering a sense of purpose and meaning. One of the clues that can point you in the direction of your purpose is to be curious about the needs you see.


Living in a new culture exposes you to many needs you may not have been aware of before. You might see a need for better cheese, more equality for women in the workplace, or, as I did, for helping foreigners in Japan to discover their authentic life path. Every person sees different needs. The needs you feel most connected to point to your strengths, and your desire to give back by addressing them may spawn anything from a blog entry to a new career direction, a book, or even a business. 


The final Passion is your Passion for Creating. Understanding this passion involves getting clear on the vision you have for you life as a whole, not just your work. You may discover after being in Japan for a while that some of your goals lose their importance. When you are no longer surrounded by colleagues that you were competing with back home, for example, you may discover that your goals of climbing the ladder in your former career have lost their meaning. It can be unsettling to find yourself momentarily without direction, but, ultimately, your commitment to try on new values, explore your talents, and seek out your purpose will inform a new vision for your life and work that will lead to not only greater success, but more lasting fulfillment. 


Andrea Jacques, founder of Kyosei Consulting International, has spent more than 20 years developing the potential of individuals and organizations worldwide. Five of these years were spent in Japan where the core philosophies of her work on the relationship between passion, performance, and profits took shape.  A dynamic speaker, coach, and facilitator, her work integrates leading eastern and western thought with top-tier leadership, engagement, wellness and sustainability consulting to build the capacity of people and business to thrive. Her clients represent a diverse cross-section of industries including banking, retail, government, insurance, academia and high-tech. She can be contacted through her website at

About Andrea Jacques

Andrea Jacques is the founder of Kyosei Consulting and the author of Wabi-Sabi Wisdom: Inspiration for an Authentic Life (available on She has spent more than 20 years developing the potential of people and businesses worldwide, five of which were in Japan. A dynamic speaker, coach, and facilitator, her work integrates spiritual insight with top-tier leadership, wellness and sustainability consulting to help individuals and organizations build thriving, purpose-driven cultures where employees know their work truly matters. She can be contacted through her website at