As you may have noticed, Janet Attwood is the first person to ever appear on the cover of Healthy Wealthy nWise magazine twice.
No we didn’t have a last minute hole in our schedule, and we’re certainly not running out of fantastic people to put on the cover .
The reason we have Janet back with us this month, is because she has just released a FANTASTIC book – The Passion Test – that is literally changing the way we run the magazine.
Healthy Wealthy nWise is all about living your dreams and passions with balance – it’s about becoming the person you know deep down in your soul you are meant to be. We’re focused on that because we know it’s the secret for living a fulfilled life, and we want every one of our readers to have that kind of life.
So when Janet approached us about doing an interview series for the magazine based on the principles of her new book, we took it a step further and decided to turn them into the cover stories too.
Beginning next month – in October – the cover stories of Healthy Wealthy nWise will be the stories of people who we consider to be Real Life Legends. People who are living a life On Fire. People who are an inspiration to all of us.
Janet will be taking each one of these Legends through her Passion Test via live interviews that you are invited to attend (more about that later), so we thought it would be appropriate to ask Janet back so she could tell you in her own words, where The Passion Test came from, and how it works.
First let me give you a little background on her and then we’ll get right into the interview.
Janet Attwood is one of those people we call a unique. She’s an amazing woman who combines a unique blend of spirituality and practical, useful knowledge. Her passion and focus is supporting people, in every part of the world, in knowing their personal greatness and she travels the world doing just that. When we caught up with her for this interview, she had just returned from India and Nepal
Through her books and seminars, Janet shows her students how it’s possible to have a life of abundance while living their dreams. People seek her out because she’s so real and the tools she shares are so effective.
In 2001, Janet, with her best friend, business partner and ex-husband, Chris Attwood, partnered with bestselling authors Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen. Mark Victor Hansen is co-creator of the phenomenally successful Chicken Soup for the Soul® series which has sold over 80 million books worldwide (See the May 2003 issue of HWnW). Bob Allen wrote Nothing Down, the best-selling real estate investment book of all time, as well as four other NY Times bestsellers (See the March 2004 issue).
Together with these two giants, Janet and Chris created The Enlightened Millionaire Program to support the release of Mark and Bob’s latest book, The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth. This unique mentoring program teaches thousands of participants the principles of creating wealth in a way that benefits everyone.
Janet has led workshops in the US, Canada, and India and travels regularly to India as one of her passions. From time to time she takes a small group of women with her to experience the spirituality and rich traditions of this ancient culture.
She also has three beautiful golden retrievers, Chris Jr., Lilly and Diana, and two cats, Errol and Katmandu, who are the world for her.
With that said, let’s find out about The Passion Test….
Liz Thompson: Janet, can you tell me how The Passion Test came to be?
Janet Attwood: In 1978 or ’79, I took a seminar in San Francisco called Yes to Success. The course was taught by Debra Poneman, who now is one of my very best friends. In the seminar, Debra was talking about this survey that had been done on the most successful people in the United States.
They did this survey on about 100 people, and at the end, it turned out these people all had one thing in common. These mega-successful people had all fulfilled the five most important aspects of their life which they felt were necessary to have success as they defined it.
That really stuck with me, that knowing the five most important aspects was the one thing these incredibly successful people in all different fields had in common.
I thought, ‘For me to be able to start living what I feel is my most passionate life, all I would have to do is define what my five most important passions are.’
That’s how The Passion Test started. I figured out a way to uncover what the five most important passions were in my life and look at them in a very balanced way.
I asked, What’s important to me emotionally or relationship wise?
What’s important to me about my environment?
What’s important to me for my career?
What’s important to me financially?
What’s important to me on a humanitarian basis?
I started writing down all of these different things.
Then through this very easy process of delineation, which people will read about in The Passion Test, I came to figure out what my five were and what anybody’s five could be.
Liz Thompson: What makes it such an effective tool? How is The Passion Test different from regular goal setting?
Janet Attwood: Most people aren’t clear. You walk into a class on setting goals, and most people don’t sit and think, ‘What’s my passion? What is important to me?’
Instead, they think about what they want to achieve. Now, knowing what you want to achieve is important, but the step before goal setting is discovering what it is that turns you on and gets you excited.
The reason The Passion Test is so effective is that it provides a simple, easy way to clarify what is truly important to you.
I say it as a mantra in my book, To the extent that you’re clear about what you’d like to have show up in your life, it will, and only to the extent that you’re clear.
The Passion Test allows people to immediately clarify and continue to clarify, over and over again, what’s important to them.
Liz Thompson: What is so significant about these top five passions?
Janet Attwood: I’ve been really lucky in my life to have worked closely with Mark Victor Hansen, Robert Allen, T. Harv Eker from Peak Potentials, who is getting to be very well known, and many others. I’ve been very lucky to have worked with them, and every time, I’ve seen that what you put your attention on grows in your life. All of these guys know exactly what they want to put their attention on. If you don’t know what is important to you, you don’t know what to put your attention on, right? If you can’t put your attention on what your passions are, what do you have? You’ve got vague generalities. Also, most people have been used to putting their attention on what they don’t have, on their problems, so what shows up?
That which you put your attention on grows stronger in your life. You can’t put your attention on your passions until you know what they are. That’s why identifying your top five passions is so important.
Liz Thompson: Is there something magical about the number five?
Janet Attwood: What I feel about the number five, is that for me, if I get too many things going on, then I can’t put my attention on them. There’s nothing that I coach on or teach seminars on that I don’t live. I’m a walking seminar. (laughing)… I’m a work in progress.
Five was the number that I found magical for me to be able to put my attention on without being all over the board and diluting the process.
Liz Thompson: It’s a clarifying and focusing thing?
Janet Attwood: Yes. I was just coaching someone the other day and I asked him to email me his top five. He did and then said, Number six is really important too. What should I do with that?
I emailed back and said, Save it for after one of the five gets taken care of, and after that’s fulfilled in your life, then move one up.
Liz Thompson: Staying focused is so important!
Janet, how has The Passion Test helped you in your life?
Janet Attwood: Are you kidding? I couldn’t live without it. Remember, I’m a work in progress. I take it every six months.
My passions and desires change or transform in a very subtle way over time. They’re evolving. So every time I take it, I find there’s more clarity around what is truly important to me. As I’ve gotten really clear, I’ve found out that my life is just a reflection of what my passions are, so today, everything I do, I’m passionate about. There’s nothing I do that I’m not passionate about. It just doesn’t even happen anymore it’s automatic.
Liz Thompson: That is fantastic.
Janet Attwood: People might think, All my life I’ve wanted this and that, and once you start taking The Passion Test, you start to laugh. It was like the guy I was coaching today. In the middle of the coaching program, I said, It’s funny to find once you start taking The Passion Test and start the elimination process to discover your top 5, many of the other passions in your list of 10 or 15 all of a sudden, lose their importance. The great part about choosing is that you’re able to easily rid your mind of unnecessary thoughts about what you think you need to have to be passionate, happy and fulfilled in your life.
Liz Thompson: Who has taken The Passion Test?
Janet Attwood: I think your readers have heard of the famous and wonderful, outrageously great, Mark Victor Hansen?
Liz Thompson: Yes, he was on the cover of our very first issue.
Janet Attwood: We love him. Also, Jack Canfield (See the August 2003 Issue), who is a dear friend of mine, Rabbi Yehuda Berg, who is the personal, spiritual mentor to Madonna, Demi Moore and many other people. If you’re a lover of People magazine, you’d know about him. Thousands of people in the U.S. and Canada, and abroad have taken the test – I’ve been teaching courses in Asia, as you know.
Liz Thompson: Yes, we are very excited to hear about that.
Is The Passion Test for everyone, or just for people who are self-help junkies?
Janet Attwood: I would say it’s absolutely for everyone, and the reason I say that is because everyone has a unique gift. Everyone is unique, and their unique gift is tied to what they love and value. It’s for those people who really want to drop into who they are and live their uniqueness. That’s why no one is the same. That’s why we are absolutely unique. It’s a way of screening out the clutter, and getting to the essence, the beauty, the gift of everyone’s uniqueness.
Liz Thompson: I completely agree. We know that each person is unique and each person has a gift, and why do you think so many people still don’t live their passion?
Janet Attwood: In our society, people have been taught that you can’t make a living and do what you love to do at the same time. Most people think that! What I love to do, I do as a hobby. I’ve really seen it take a huge leap since 9/11 because since then, I would say that the United States experienced a real, spiritual rebirth.
People started looking at what they value and what is important to them and realized that at any moment, at any time, anything could change. What do I love? People are waking up to the realization that – to the extent you are living your passion you’re happy and successful. I’m talking about being happy and successful in a balanced way.
There are lots of so-called successful people who are not happy. They might be financially successful, and that’s all they’re able to focus on. The rest of their life drops away. To me that’s not real success.
Do you know that only 3% of the people in the world ever achieve financial freedom? And that only one-third of those, or 1% of the world’s population actually enjoy their wealth once they have made it?
So whats the point of anything if the enjoy part of life is left out? I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy my life, and every aspect of it NOW!
Most of us have been taught to focus on what we do wrong and how to fix that, so we focus on our problems. By focusing on what’s not working that’s what starts to become realized in our lives. Have you ever heard of the Bowling Study?
Liz Thompson: No, what is it?
Janet Attwood: When I co-created the Enlightened Millionaire Program with Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen, Mark and Bob told me about the the Bowling Study. Two groups were asked to bowl a game.
The first group was video taped, the video tape was edited to show their mistakes, and they were told to study what they did wrong and then try to improve themselves.
The second group bowled their games, and their video tape was edited to show just the things they did right. They were told to study those things. For example, when they bowled a strike, they were told to study their form and repeat what they did right.
Then both groups were asked to bowl again after they’d studied the video tapes for a while, and both improved. However, the team that focused on what they had done right improved vastly more than the other team.
There are people who are successful in our society who may be successful in some areas, as I said before, but very unhappy in other areas because they haven’t gotten clear on all of the things that are truly important to them. They may be clear on a few things, but not all of the things really matter to them.
Then they achieve financial success, but they’ve got cancer or have a heart attack and what good does their money do them. Or their family life falls apart and they end up divorced and alone.
Of course, it works the other way as well. I have dear friends who I would say are hugely successful spiritually, but they’re completely broke, uncomfortable and struggling. Again, they’ve gotten clear on some of their passions, but not all of them.
When you have looked at all the parts of your life that are truly important to you and begin to live those, then your life begins to take on a greater meaning.
Liz Thompson: And it’s so much richer.
Janet Attwood: Yes, right. It’s like all of a sudden, with The Passion Test, you’re really starting to know you. It’s like dragging one leg of the chair and the rest of the chair comes with it. That’s what happens when you start focusing on the fullness of your passions and what you’re here to do in your life.
Liz Thompson: Janet, you’ve given The Passion Test to so many people. What do you find is the most important ingredient for people who are living their passions?
Janet Attwood: Notice I haven’t said this was going to be easy? For me, all my life, I wanted to be in front of people because I’m a communicator. I’m very comfortable, in many ways, with that thought. One of my passions is to travel the world, which I do, and be a transformational leader of love and peace.
When I first started stepping into that space, it wasn’t like it wasn’t scary. When I was standing in front of my first three-thousand-person audience I was saying my mantra, every prayer I knew, and gathering all my friends to put their attention on my clear-sailing success. One of the things is to be fearless and know that you just have to step out there and go for it. Be honest.
A lot of people are afraid to be honest about what they love, because they’re so afraid they won’t be able to have that, and then they’re afraid they’re going to be disappointed, so they stay in the comfort zone where nothing seems to move and everything seems to stagnate.
In a passionate life, it’s a life on fire, a life where, at any moment, you don’t know what’s going to be happening. I’ll tell you, that’s when you’re really breathing. You’re that person everyone wants to be around and you’re turned on and you’ve got that energy and there is something brewing inside you.
Do you know what I like to tell people, along with being honest and fearless? It’s easy when you realize the thing that is your deepest heart’s desire is also God’s unique gift to you. Who do you think is speaking in your heart, other than the Creator, or for those who like to think of God as nature, it’s Nature speaking to you.
Be fearless and honest about who you are. I heard a lecture, and it’s one of my favorite ones, by Reverend Michael Beckwith from Agape International Spiritual Center in L.A. He was talking about the importance of living your passion. He said, Martin Luther King already did Martin. Gandhi already did Gandhi so well. Mother Teresa – no one can do Mother Teresa like Mother. You be you because no one can be you like you.
You don’t see Mother Teresa going, I wish I could have been Elizabeth Taylor.
Mother Teresa was Mother Teresa. She was so congruent and so clear.
Was she fearless?
Did she know that when she went into the slums of Calcutta she wouldn’t be killed?
No, but she had a passion for saving people, so she just took the first step and then the next step.
What happens is that Nature truly organizes in an amazing way when people decide to step out and step into what is truly their passion. The other thing is to not censor yourself, because you can’t see how it’s going to be. The only job we have is to truly understand what we’re passionate about.
What moves me?
What turns me on?
What do I wake up in the morning for?
Know that the actual mechanics of how that’s going to show up, you have no control over.
The only control we have is to put it out there and say, This is what I’m about. This is what I do. Watch the synchronicities start to align themselves. All the people, places or things you need in order to align yourself with your passion start showing up.
When you start putting your attention where your passions are, the mind is like a computer, so whatever you input has to output sooner or later. How? That’s what we get to watch. We get to step out of the movie, and at the same time, be a part of it. That’s where the real fun stuff comes, because then you’re truly living in that place we call the moment, being here now, and being here with what we believe in.
Liz Thompson: I think that’s so important. In living your passion, it’s not about knowing what the whole picture is going to look like when it plays out. It’s clarifying what you see NOW and taking that next step.
Janet Attwood: Right. For instance, I wanted to interview enlightened people, and look at what I’m doing. I’m traveling the world interviewing some very high beings on this planet. You can’t be walking, living and aligned with your passions unless you’re aligned with who you are, which is a by-product of being an enlightened being.
How would I have known that, in India, I would be asked to co-create this TV show to interview enlightened people?
It wasn’t until I gave myself The Passion Test and discovered my passion was to hang out with enlightened people on a regular basis that I had the desire to write a book interviewing the enlightened. Again, you don’t need to know the how just the what. The how is God’s job!
In the U.S., look what I’m doing with Healthy, Wealthy nWise, but could I ever have known that ahead of time?
I’m just in the groove, putting my attention on what I love and taking each step as it’s offered to me every, single day.
Liz Thompson: Janet, we want to let the readers know about this new series we’ve got going. Tell us about how The Passions of Real Life Legends came to be.
Janet Attwood: I gave the test to people like Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. They were two of the first people because they are buddies of mine. I called them up and said, I’ve got to give you this. You’re going to so dig it. I realized, through those conversations, how valuable it is to talk with people like both of them about their passions, the obstacles they ran into, and how they could overcome them.
To hear their personal stories…. I was sitting there with tears in my eyes listening to what it took for them to live their passions, and what they had to overcome, yet how they wouldn’t let go because they knew it was in their hearts. They knew what they had to listen to, not anything on the outside, but totally what was inside of them.
The Passion Series came to be, because just by interviewing them and giving them The Passion Test, I learned so much. I realized it would be such a gift to let hundreds and thousands of people hear interviews like that.
When I gave The Passion Test to Jack and Mark, both of them had fulfilled all five of the passions in their lives. What was also really great was that they were so crystal clear – that was so cool.
I said, Can you tell me ten of your passions? and they immediately whipped off fifteen! That’s a sign of a person who knows where he’s going. That inspired me too, so I wanted to share this with people of Healthy, Wealthy nWise when I saw what it did for me.
Again, it goes back to me – I’m my own student. I proposed it to you guys and said that I’d like to do a monthly on this somewhere in your magazine, and then the rest is history. I’m really excited about it.
Liz Thompson: So are we.
Janet Attwood: There are others I’ve interviewed and I’ll tell you, there have been times when I’m brought to tears because you get these huge ah-has. It’s like a pop, like when something explodes inside of you and it goes in at such a deep level.
Liz Thompson: You just get it.
Janet Attwood: Right. That’s what I experienced when I gave The Passion Test to these different, great people. I thought, If it did that for me, I’m sure it’s going to do that for other people.
Plus, I learned from working with Mark and Bob Allen that there is nothing like spending time with someone who is a model of what you want to have in your life. I thought, if we can get the greatest people on the planet, who are living examples of what happens when you live your passions to be interviewed on a call in front of the readers of Healthy Wealth nWise, that could really change some lives.
My passion is seeing people being able to walk into their passions. That’s what turns me on, and that is it. That’s why I want to travel the whole world talking about peace, love and passion.
Liz Thompson: Who are some of the other Real Life Legends that we can look forward to in the future?
Janet Attwood: This month, we’ve got the marketing legend, none other than Jay Abraham, and the guy walks his talk. Everybody get prepared, because Jay Abraham is among all of the greats – Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield and Robert Allen, Marshall Thurber. Ask them, they’ll be talking about Jay Abraham. When you bring up the word marketing,…
Liz Thompson: He is the guru.
Janet Attwood: That’s it. He is the guru. For Christmas, we’ve got the number one bestselling author of the phenomenally successful, great, wonderful, New York Times best seller, The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans.
Liz Thompson: He’s great.
Janet Attwood: Yes, he’s so great, and then for the heart of the universe, Rabbi Yehuda Berg, who is a spiritual guide to Madonna, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and author of The 72 Names of God and The Power of Kabbalah. We’ll also be having Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. John Gray, hopefully Byron Katie…. We’ve got a lot of Greats to look forward to. I don’t want to give it away and tell all of them….
Liz Thompson: You have to leave some surprises. It sounds fantastic.
So how can our readers take The Passion Test?
Janet Attwood: They can go to my book, which is online now, and I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be online because we’re in negotiations with publishers. It’s at: www.thepassiontest.com. I also coach people who want to go even deeper.
That’s just the beginning of the clarification process. There’s this whole process afterward that I walk people through and they can also go online and see our coaching program, which is great, and also our seminars and different CD series that we have available.
Liz Thompson: If they want to contact you in any way, the best way is through www.thepassiontest.com?
Janet Attwood: Yes, or: Janet@Stayinginlove.com. If they’d like to have me answer a question or two, I’d be happy to get back to them in my timely manner. My timely manner is when I know it’s the perfect time to do it!
If someone needs more in-depth coaching, they can also go to www.thepassiontest.com and sign up for our coaching program. To me, it is one of the most profound coaching programs I’ve seen out there. Not only do we coach people on what their passions are, but also what are their limiting beliefs surrounding their passions.
Liz Thompson: Got it.
What would be your number one piece of advice for readers who really want to live their passion?
Janet Attwood: Truly drop in to who you are and get still and quiet. Go off and sit in a room. Find a room that’s silent, away, and that doesn’t have a lot of accoutrements around it – just a table and a chair – and write.
Start writing, what I love to do, what’s important to me. Don’t censor – be fearless about it. I talk about all of that in The Passion Test book, which is really great because I give a lot of examples. I want you all to know that uniqueness of being you, and draw out that uniqueness of who you are. That’s your individual greatness and no one can compete with that. That’s your uniqueness and there is no competition. There’s no one who can compete with you when you’re being you.
Liz Thompson: That’s awesome. Thank you very much, Janet, and we are looking forward to The Passions of Real Life Legends, The Passion Test, and all this cool new stuff, and I know the readers are going to love it.
Janet Attwood: I’m really excited,and passionate about all of this Liz, aren’t you?
Liz Thompson: Absolutely!