Janet Bray Attwood is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, “The Passion Test-The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose,” and “Your Hidden Riches – Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning and Purpose.” She is also co-author of “From Sad to Glad: 7 Steps to Facing Change with Love and Power.”
As an expert on what it takes to live a passionate life, she has presented her programs as a featured speaker to hundreds of thousands of people around the world including, The Dali Lama, Sir Richard Branson, T. Harv Eker, Jack Canfield, Lisa Nichols, Stephen Covey, Brendon Burchard and others.
Janet has taken hundreds of thousands of people through The Passion Test process all over the world. Janet is the co-founder of The Passion Test Certification Program, which has over 3000+ Certified Facilitators in over 65 countries. Janet is also the co-founder of The Passion Test for Business, The Passion Test for Kids & Teens, Enlightened Bestseller program, The Passion Test Reclaim Your Power Program for the homeless and The Mastery of Self Love Program.
Janet co-founded one of the first online magazines, Healthy Wealthy n Wise. Before becoming a top transformational leader, Janet worked in the corporate world. In one of her positions, she was the marketing director for the 3rd largest book buyer in the United States, “Books Are Fun,” managing the marketing department of over 40 marketers. It was during her tenure there that the company was purchased by Readers Digest for 360 million dollars.
Janet is a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council that Jack Canfield, the co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, created after taking Janet’s Passion Test.
For her ongoing work with the homeless and kids in lockdown detention centers, Janet received the highest award for service from the President of the United States, “The President’s Volunteer Service Award.” Janet received the “World Peace Flame Award” from the Life Foundation International for her work in promoting peace.
Her path to where she is today started when she was a young woman teaching transcendental meditation at a meditation center. It was a non-paying job and she slept on the floor. She loved teaching meditation and loved being around spiritual people. She was offered a Silicon Valley job with the possibility of making lots of money but it turned out to be a job she hated as she felt unfulfilled. One day she saw a flyer for a Success Seminar in San Francisco. At the Seminar, the speaker said that the top 100 successful people in the United States were all doing what they considered to be their top 5 passions. And with that, the light bulb switched on. Janet thought to herself that if she could figure out what her top 5 passions were then she could be successful. It was through that self-discovery that the Passion Test was born.
In 2013, Janet was knighted by The Order of the Orthodox Knights of St. John in Recognition of her commitment to the Healing of Humanity. In 2016, Janet received The Transformational Leadership Council award for her excellence in leadership.
HOT Magazine had the very distinct pleasure of sitting down with Janet to discuss her life, her Passion Test Program and the positive life transformations that are happening on a global scale.
HM: Janet, you have such a beaming, happy, positive attitude that radiates from you. What was your life like growing up, where were you born and do your siblings have a similar outlook?
JA: My mom used to tell me I was born passionate. She said my brother Johnny who was 2 years older than me, and my sister Mickey who was 5 years older than me, unfortunately, didn’t have the same enthusiasm as I did for life. My mom used to say it was no surprise that I was born in California because I had as much energy as the California sunshine.
As a child, I had the most magical relationship with my mom. My brother Johnny, and my sister Mickey, and even my dad, were all a little jealous of the amazing relationship we had. When I started kindergarten, my mom would miss me so much she would tell the school principal that I had to go to the doctor, just so she and I could play together. We’d watch our favorite Shirley Temple movies in bed and eat “fishes in the dishes” – sardines and crackers. Our connection was truly magical. However, when I was seven, my mom’s demons came back to haunt her and she became an alcoholic.
My world cracked open. As a child, my first thought was, “Did I do this?” From then on I became a very misunderstood and very unhappy person and until my early twenties, my world had become a nightmare. Then I learned how to meditate, and opened myself up to the world of self help. It was then everything started to change.
HM: In interviews, you’ve mentioned that you had your epiphany moment after listening to a speaker at a success seminar in San Francisco. Was it truly at that moment that you saw your life’s path ahead of you?
JA: Yes. I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. I was sitting in a seminar in San Francisco, California and the speaker started sharing about a survey that had been given to the 100 most successful people in the United States, and what the survey had found, was that all 100 of these people were all living what they considered to be their top 5 passions. When I heard that my whole world stopped. I remember the seminar leader went on to talk about “dressing for success” but I was frozen, all I could think about was, “if I could just figure out how to know what my top 5 passions were, I’d be like all those other successful people.”
In that moment, many years ago, sitting in that Seminar, was the birth of what is now known all over the world as “The Passion Test®,” the number one tool to help you get clear about the things that matter most to you, your passions.
HM: The Passion Test® has become such a global phenomenon, what can you tell us about it? Is it a single test or multiple tests?
JA: The Passion Test® is the only test you will never fail. It’s one exercise after another to help you gain a level of clarity about the areas of your life that are important. Health, relationships, career, spirituality, fun, environment, education, etc. Once you start to get clear on you’re your passions are in these areas, then you can start to magnetize those things to you. What we say in “The Passion Test®,” is “When you are clear, what you choose to have show up in your life will, and only to the extent that you are clear. That, clarity is power.”
Our passions, the things we love most in life, are the pipelines to our soul. They put us in direct connection with the deepest part of our own nature. It doesn’t matter how silly or how profound the things we love may be, when we choose in favor of them, they will lead us on to the fulfillment of our purpose in life.
This is the role and purpose of The Passion Test®, to systematically allow each of us to gain clarity about what we love, about what really matters to us. Once we’ve done that, then our simple (or sometimes challenging) task is to choose for what we love.
HM: What is the number one thing that stops people from living a passionate life?
JA: 3 things: False beliefs, false ideas, false concepts. In other words, thoughts like:
I can’t make money from the things I’m passionate about
I don’t have the skills to be really successful
I don’t know enough
I’m too old. It’s too late for me.
The reality is that these limiting beliefs are thoughts you hold that are Simply not true. They are our of sync with reality.
How long it takes you to fulfill your dreams is directly related to your beliefs. When you feel truly passionate about something, you will always have the ability to create it in your life.
You’re too old? Do you know that most millionaires are made after the age of fifty-five. While he cooked chicken for years, it wasn’t until Colonel Sanders was sixty-two that he started Kentucky Fried Chicken.
No matter what limiting belief you hold, there is evidence in the world to the contrary. Even if there is no one who have ever done what you are passionate about doing, there is abundant evidence of people who have been successfully doing what others thought was impossible.
HM: Many people live a day to day existence without a compass showing them the way to a more fulfilled life. Is that dealt with when taking the passion test?
JA: Yes, one of the things we tell people is that “Your passions are breadcrumbs that lead you on to the path of your destiny.” We repeat over and over that you are constantly creating your life, we all are. We create our lives out of the things to which we give our attention, and you attract into your life more of what you put your attention on.
If your attention is on the things you don’t have, all the problems in your life, all the bad things that are happening to you, then you are creating more of that. If you want more problems, more challenges, more unhappiness, then give attention to those things. If you want to find your purpose and live a passion filled life, then give your attention to the things that create those feelings. When you discover your deepest passions, you connect with the essence of who you are. The key to success in life is to live aligned with your passions and your personal destiny will unfold naturally and effortlessly.
HM: In your seminars you teach a formula for a passionate life that entails 3 words; intention, attention and no tension. Can you expand on those 3 words for us?
JA: Intention – Attention – No Tension
Intention means consciously stating what you choose to create in your life. We all are creating our lives all the time. It’s just that most people do it unconsciously. They believe that things are happening TO them, and as a result, that’s what they create. The Passion Test® process allows you to clarify your intentions so that you can begin living them.
Attention – “What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life.” In The Passion Test we say that “Action engages attention.” Taking whatever action you can think to take in support of following your passions keeps your attention engaged in living those passions.
No Tension – This is the element many people miss. There are two aspects to “no tension.” The first is to perform action from that state of calmness and peace inside. Developing that habit of living from a state of inner peace is why Transcendental Meditation® (www.tm.org) has been such an important part of my life.
Once you have done all you can think to do, then let go. When you hold on to your own ideas of how your passions will get fulfilled, it’s like stepping on your own hose. The flow of infinite intelligence is cut off. In my experience, you can’t know how fulfillment will show up in your life. This is why one of the seven keys to living a passionate life my book, “The Passion Test®” is: “Stay Open.”
HM: You have said, “Living your passion is living in your integrity”, what do you mean by that?
JA: Science talks about how we don’t exist in isolation. That each of us are part of a unified field. Imagine if everyone on the planet were living their passions full out and giving maximum to the world. What would our world be like? Pretty amazing wouldn’t you agree?
So how does one give maximum? By getting clear on the things that matter most to them and consistently choosing in favor of those things whenever faced with a choice, a decision or an opportunity. Always choosing in favor of your passions. Staying true, no matter what, to the things that have greatest meaning and purpose for you. When you can give maximum to yourself, by choosing in favor of your passions, that is how you can give maximum to others.
HM: From your bestselling books and your seminars, you have come to know and work with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Covey, Nobel Laureate F. W. deKlerk amongst many other notables. What’s it like being in a room with such major cultural personalities?
JA: Exciting, fun, joyful, passionate, loving, all of the good feelings, seriously! These giants have trained their minds to consistently choose in favor of the things that have greatest meaning for them. Plus, they don’t put their attention on limiting beliefs. Because of this, they are powerful beyond measure. And because of this, just being who they are, teaches others how to be more fearless and resolute in following their dreams and passions. They are what I call, “the teachers living the teaching.” Which means that just their mere presence uplifts all those around them.
Does it get any better than this?!
HM: To take the passion test, do people need to buy your book or can it be taken online?
JA: There are many ways you can take “The Passion Test.” One way is by reading the book, another way is by attending one of our online programs, or you can experience it “live” by one of our 3000 Certified Passion Test facilitators in over 65 countries. To find out a way that is best for you, go to www.thepassiontest.com.
HM: Finally, when we spoke last, you had commented on your constant travel, country after country after country. Do you ever take a holiday and if so, where do you like to go to recharge your batteries and where is home for you?
JA: Seriously? My life is a holiday. One of my passions is to love everything I do, so I always make sure no matter where I am or what I am doing, there is lots of fun attached to my agenda.
And, to answer your question, I have two homes. One in a little town called “Rungsted” in Denmark which overlooks the ocean, and the other home is in Italy, in a beautiful forested area called Gignese, that overlooks the majestic lake, Lago Maggiore.
HM: Thank you Janet