Can you immediately tell the difference between having a ‘passion’ and knowing your ‘purpose’ in life? Many people tend to confuse the two in their lives, and end up doing something that they’re passionate about for a short time, thinking that it’s their purpose, but ending up finding that their life is missing something.

Passion is your compelling emotions behind your dreams. Your feelings drive your passion. Purpose is the why behind it all. Purpose is the deep reason for your existence,” says wellness entrepreneur Jessica Lauren DeBry.

Knowing the difference between your passion and your purpose can make it easier for you to do the things that you’re passionate about without burning yourself out on them, and it also can guide you towards your true purpose in life.

Here Are 5 Differences Between Finding Your Passion And Finding Your Purpose

“If you wanted to start a campfire with passion and purpose, you’d start with a foundation of wood (your purpose), and start the flame with a match (your passion).” – Jessica Lauren DeBry

1. Passion is about your emotions

The things we do in life are often colored by our emotional response to them. We do things because we like them, because they make us feel good. Passion is the emotional drive to do what you do; it is the emotional spark that gets you moving forward with what you want to do with your life. It is a force that drives you forward.

“Passion is your compelling emotions behind your dreams. Your feelings drive your passion,” adds DeBry. Passion is important, and it’s something that you need in your life – but of course, it isn’t everything.

2. Purpose is about the reason behind them

Where passion is emotional, your purpose goes behind that. “Purpose is your motivation, your why. It brings in action so it focuses on verbs. Purpose completes you,” says entrepreneur George Krueger.

Your purpose is the reason that you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. You’re not simply passionate about something just because you like it! There’s a purpose behind that passion, a reason behind that driving force. Your purpose is the foundation on which your passion should be built.

passion quote

3. Passion can often be about selfish motives

While passion isn’t always selfish, passion often has the capacity to be selfish. “You can pursue a passion for your own pleasure. It can be purely self-indulgent,” adds Krueger.

When you follow your passions, you’re doing it because it feels good, because it’s something you deeply enjoy – even if that means putting yourself before others who really need it. Where passion can have selfish elements to it, purpose is never selfish. Purpose isn’t always about other people, but oftentimes it may be.

Purpose is not selfish. It involves serving others, but it’s not servitude. It’s feeling joyful about creating joy. It’s about adding value in the lives of others while creating value in your life. It’s win – win,” says Krueger.

Your purpose may require you to put others first, and may require you to put aside your own feelings for the sake of the greater good. But the best part about that is: you won’t mind at all, because you know it’s what you were put here to do.

4. Purpose has a significant focus

Where passion can be all over the place, wild and exciting, purpose is much more focused. When you feel so strongly for something, it doesn’t matter what it is. Your passion can change at the whim of your own emotions and your feelings.

Purpose isn’t flustered by a failure, or sensitive to the criticism of our peers or superiors. Purpose does not stop if our results don’t go according to plan during the first fifteen tries. Purpose doesn’t stop if we mapped out this exact role for ourselves and then fail to obtain it,” says Diego Contreras on Thought Catalog.

Purpose is focused on the singular. When you find your purpose, it’s very specific. Your purpose is one thing that will fulfill your life and make you feel complete. Passion can come and go, but purpose is forever – or at least, until you’ve completed your purpose and found another one. Purposes are for the long term.

5. Passion is about “what” and purpose is about “why”

When you think about your passions, it’s all about “what” your passions are. Are you passionate about music? Art? Love? Your passions are things, whereas your purpose is about “why” – why are you drawn to this purpose in life? Purpose is all about your motivation to do what you do, whatever that may be. If you believe in a higher power, your drive is about “why” you were put here on this Earth.

Passion focuses on nouns. What do you love? It’s about the objects of your desires. Purpose is your motivation, your why. It brings in action so it focuses on verbs. Purpose completes you,” concludes Krueger.

Your purpose is extremely significant to your life and helps you shape who you are as a person. While passions can help shape and form your personality, your purpose will help shape and form your identity. You aren’t likely to find many different purposes in your life, but you will have many different passions.

Final thoughts

Having passion in life is just as important as having a purpose. Life is dull without passions. Passions make your life bright and exciting, but life without purpose is aimless. Knowing the difference between your passions and your purposes will help you get your life on the right track. Knowing what to put your time and energy into when it comes to your purpose will make having your passions all the more fun and focused. There’s always balance to life, and a balance between passion and purpose makes life worthwhile.