Reports from the Road on Uncovering Your Passion

As you know, we’ve spent this past month talking about passion. And today, we want to do something a little different.

We asked a few of our fellow Trailblazers to jam a little on finding their passion and how it has shaped their lives. We found their stories to be very inspirational and we thought we’d share them with you to pass down some encouragement.

Our Trailblazers’ stories are made up of very unique circumstances, longings, struggles, and (of course) passion. But you’ll find that as you read, you’ll see a commonality between them, regardless of the path they chose:

Their purpose was innately a part them all along, they just needed the courage to look within to recover it.

We hope you find these stories useful, motivational, and hopeful.

Paige Burkes of Simple Mindfulness

“I’ve always known that I enjoy helping and teaching others. A couple years ago, I started my blog, Simple Mindfulness, to share with others and teach all the life lessons I’ve learned the hard way.

Once I started writing to help others, I realized that I had been doing this since I was in junior high school. Throughout my corporate career, I’ve informally counseled and coached many of my co-workers and they’ve told me how I’ve powerfully impacted their lives. Although I wasn’t quite sure of it when I started my blog, I realize now that this is the perfect expression of my life-long passion.

It’s definitely been an evolutionary process. You’ll never know if something is right for you until you do it. There are no failures. There are only experiments.

So many people are desperately seeking the answer to the question ‘What is my passion?,’ and they think that the most obvious answer couldn’t possibly be right. But your passion is whatever you’ve enjoyed doing for most of your life.

You’ll never find your passion on a piece of paper or in your head. It’s out there in the real world, in a world of amazing experiences. Challenge yourself to experiment with your life. Before you know it, you’ll be living your passion.”

Melissa Kennedy of Hunger Journey

“I spent most of my early twenties, bouncing from one educational pursuit to the next, in desperate search of something that would click and fulfill me on a level that I had yet to experience. With the mother-load of certificates by my side (and many that had to do with my strongest interests), I was left disappointed and unmotivated to pursue work in any of the areas I had studied. I couldn’t help but feel that there was something greater that I was supposed to do, something that could not be derived from a fancy certificate with my name on it.

Enter Trailblazer. The greatest thing Trailblazer has done for my life is made me realize that the gifts I carry inside are the ones I should be focusing on. I’m still learning and fine-tuning as I go, but now I carry new insight and wisdom that I will have for life. Instead of looking outward, I ask myself every day how the way I see the world can be shared and benefit others on their journey through life.”

Lori Stalter of Blithe Niche

“I was one of those people who believed I had to go on a quest to discover something new to turn into a business. Cancer and losing my relationship wiped existing passion out of me. The first six months on my own with my children were the darkest months of my life; even worse than the year I had spent in cancer treatment. I was afraid. I was bitter and angry. I had an enormous amount of grief to work through; both with how cancer changed my body and my life, and my lost relationship.

At the end of March, I attended one of Jonathan’s webinars for Trailblazer. Jonathan is very passionate about what he does and the passion is infectious. I was semi-skeptical about passion being something I had to rediscover – that it was something already inside of me. But I gave it a shot.

It took me six months, but between Jonathan’s mentoring, the assistance of fellow Trailblazer members, and continuing to work through my fears and inhibitions, I reignited the fire on existing passions and hammered out a business idea.

After four years of feeling lost and dead to passion, I’m delighted to take action, to live, and to step into my purpose as I continue rediscovering old skills and interests I haven’t used in fifteen years.”

Caren Baginski of Happy Momentum

“I’m one of those fortunate people who always knew what they wanted to be when they ‘grew up.’ When I was in 4th grade, I realized I wanted to be a writer. So I wrote, creatively. Then someone told me you couldn’t get paid to do that. So I went to journalism school, and I loved it. After graduation, I landed several jobs that require I write in a certain formula, and all of a sudden I found myself unable to creatively write like I once had.

And then I discovered yoga. Two years later, I became a yoga teacher and recovered a dormant passion: speaking what I’d normally write, while guiding someone through a physical practice that connects them back to spirit. The idea for my current business was born, but I had no one motivating me, or showing me the steps, to launch it.

I don’t remember how I found Trailblazer, but while I was listening to Jonathan’s webinar about the program, something clicked: Here was the path laid out. And even though I knew what business I wanted to launch, the following months helped me refine and define who I am and my gifts to the world.

In a word, Trailblazer has brought clarity to my passion. And a much-needed kick in the pants to turn that passion into action.”

Iris Barzen of Bright Little Socks

“I was pretty afraid of finding my passion. What if I got it wrong and would go on to pursue something that wasn’t really the one and only holy grail passion of mine? That’s why, when I went on my journey to self-discovery, I immersed myself into things like values, strengths and purpose, while totally neglecting the quest for passion.

Over time things, started to make sense. The knowledge I had gained about myself showed me a direction I could turn to, and when I dug deeper I finally had that moment of ‘this is my passion, this is what I want to do with my life.’

If you’re afraid of doing finding the wrong passion, dive deep into self-discovery. Learning about other parts of yourself will provide you with new insights, and once you’ve collected enough hints and signs, it’ll start to make sense. I promise.”

Do you want to recover your passion and craft your offer to the world like Lori, Paige and others in Traiblazer? We just created a brand-new program called the Offer to the World Project. It’s designed to help find your winning idea, and turn it into a message that easily spreads. Learn more here.

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Terry HadawayLessons and Greatest Moments of 2012Paige | simple mindfulnessJonathanLori Stalter Recent comment authors
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Lori Stalter

Thank you so much for living your passion, Jonathan! If you weren’t living yours, we couldn’t learn how to live ours. The last six months have been awesome and each day just keeps getting better. I’m having so much fun now. I’ve dropped all anchors and this boat is cruising. Yeah!


Cruising is always a nice way to live. Glad that you our in our community Lori. Thanks for being you.

Paige | simple mindfulness

Jonathan, Thanks so much for being a leader in this movement and thank you for the opportunity here! One of my big quests is to show others that they don’t have to follow the paths laid out by society. Questioning everything and doing “crazy” things is an awesome way to live. I see so many people in their 20’s who feel frustrated that they don’t have their lives figured out and they’re scared of screwing everything up. I’ve done the “tried and true” and the crazy and am here to tell my stories (crazy is awesome!). I just turned 45… Read more »


[…] from the ground up. I’m really proud of what we did with it and what our Trailblazers have accomplished this […]

Terry Hadaway
Terry Hadaway

Trailblazer is certainly helping me refine and focus my passion. It is interesting that my post yesterday was entitled, “Why Finding Your Passion Is Difficult.” I think the people here all have something in common–their passion was buried and needed to be unearthed. Thanks, Trailblazers, for setting the bar high.

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