We have all enjoyed the idea promulgated by the evangelist Rick Warren when he wrote the rather mind-tantalizing book, The Purpose Driven Life. On the surface, this title and indeed the precepts espoused in the vogue book, look appealing and rather instructive, until you really start to think about it.
The question that stood out for me was the imbalance that the title, Purpose Driven Life, presents when you think about what our long-gone philosophic fathers, who wrestled with distinction on all life's questions, said about life. The things that Pastor Warren and the more modern writers are positing are not questions without answers from our past Greek Mythologies and the like. And I am not suggesting that Pastor Warren and all of those writing these so-called new revelations books shouldn't be granted a modicum of respect. But I think its time we start piggybacking on what has already been posited by these fathers and mothers of life's fundamental findings because they are rooted in serious inquisition and knowledge instructiveness that can help provide the context that seems to fade away in these new self-help books. By instructive, I mean taking some of the fundamental ways of reason and apply them to the new found knowledge of our technological advances and ground it in templates that we can all connect to our past so as to master the future of our success. The present is just a laboratory.
I say all this to say that when I read the Purpose driven life, I felt something very important was left out. Purpose alone isn't a driver of life without Passion. I guess purpose for me sounds too "destinational." It sort of suggests that the journey itself with all its flaws and amusing failures don't matter toward the ingredients of a purpose driven life. One philosopher that would have taken issue with this one-track approach to life would have been Friedrich Nietzsche. His approach to life was the important balance between the Apollonian and Dionysian view of life. Wherein the Purpose driven life is Apollonian, because it's logical and calculated while my point of Passion driven life is the Dionysian balance that introduces the elegant gumption of fearless strive replete with the extreme reckless abandon of going for it all regardless of the restricting fear to fail. Passion is sometimes blind because it's from the heart and its romantic and even naive. But unlike the calculation of Purpose, which we need as a marker of our destination, Passion is willing to improvise and disregard the harmful critic of the bystander who isn't invested as you might be in your dream.
I speak to this from experience. Three years ago against all odds, I founded an NGO that revolutionized the hotel industry. Through the Global Soap Project, I take partially used bars of soap from the hotel and recycle them and donate them to the poor around the world to fight diseases like diarrhea and childbed fever. To date we have given away about 500,000 bars of soap to 23 Countries around the world. Upon seeing our noble work, Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu humbled me when he so fondly endorsed out idea as a Good News story.
I say this to say that while I was purposeful in my formation of the Global Soap Project, I arrived at my purpose with an unrivaled passion that ignored the critic of the unsuspecting number of friends who thought the concept of recycling soap was idiotic. We all have a purpose to some degree but many of us forget that the journey is the paved with passion.
Someone once said, "We all have dreams but some people live out their dreams while others dream out their lives." In my next blog, I will tell you how Dionysian Passion has driven me to Apollonian Purpose.