Lite Review: The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood

The authors of this New York Times bestseller have created a powerful system for creating your ideal life by helping you clarify what your real passions are. “When you are clear, what you want will show up in your life, and only to the extent that you are clear,” proclaim the Attwoods (formerly married and now friends and business partners).

The Passion Test was inspired by a research study done of 100 of the most successful, powerful people in the United States. What the subjects shared in common was they had all manifested the top 5 things they felt were necessary for their ideal life. After Janet created and sorted her own list, the foundation of The Passion Test was born.

Although the process is not entirely “effortless” the basic concept of The Passion Test is fairly simple: identify and prioritize in order of importance the 5 things that you most want to do, be and have. This exercise, and the other tools in the book, will get you started doing the inner work that will put you on the path to aligning your life with your greatest loves. And it’s an ongoing process, not just a one-shot deal. What you list is not static and will probably change and evolve over time. Indeed, the authors take the test every 6 months, and recommend that you do too.

In the time it took me to read and re-read this book, I changed and tweaked my list and other parts of the Test several times as I gained greater clarity. The process requires deep introspection and reflection which results in profound insights into your greatest loves and purpose in life. There are no right or wrong answers, as long as you’re truthful.

The book is divided into two parts and the authors switch back and forth presenting the material. In part one, The Passion Test is introduced as well as the formula for living your ideal life, which is: Intention – Attention – No Tension. This formula is credited to Bill Levacy, an expert on Vedic astrology, and a friend and advisor to the authors. The authors also share the 7 key principles they have discovered are essential to fulfilling your personal destiny:

  1. Commitment
  2. Clarity
  3. Attention
  4. Stay open
  5. Integrity
  6. Persistence
  7. Follow your heart

In part two, the authors inspire us with their interviews of well-known, highly successful people such as Jay Abraham, Debbie Ford, Marci Shimoff, Stephen M.R. Covey and several Saints that Janet interviewed while spending time with the spiritually enlightened in India (one of her top passions). They also meet and work with one of my favorite people, Byron Katie, creator of a system called The Work.

We also hear from everyday people who have taken The Passion Test and reported remarkable transformations. Through their experiences, we get a glimpse of what is possible for all of us when we are connected to the things we love the most and living the life we are meant to have.

In this chapter, the authors also share a tool they’ve used that I hadn’t heard of called Jyotish. They define it as “an ancient discipline for determining when conditions are favorable to begin any major new activity in your life. It provides predictions of future tendencies or probabilities.” Janet shares an example of how the information she received from a reading played out in her life. It was pretty remarkable. The authors ask you to consider getting a reading as it may prove to be a valuable aid in decision making.

There’s a great resource section located at the back of the book where you’ll find information about how to take The Passion Test online, and the websites of the people, programs and organizations presented in the book.

Can you imagine a world where everyone is happy because they’re doing what they love? As prolific author and motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer has said, “Don’t die with your music still inside you.” I recommend that everyone take The Passion Test. The deep insight and clarity you’ll gain are well worth the effort.

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