Your Passion Action: Identify Barriers and Benefits

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Purpose: This is a simple but critical exercise in creating change, whether on an individual, community or social/political/economic scale.

Preparation: From now on in the Joyality Program, let’s call the actions you just identified that you (and others) could take toward your issue/passion your “passion action”. You will be able to refine your passion action as we journey through the Joyality Program, so allow yourself to be creative with the process.

Process: Underneath where you’ve written your passion action in your Joyality Journal, draw a vertical line down the middle of the page. Now, to think about what the barriers and benefits are related to your passion action, ask yourself a few questions:

Barriers (write these down the left hand side of the page):

  1. What is stopping you from taking this action?
  2. What will be hard about taking this action?
  3. Are there any skills or resources you need and don’t have in order to undertake it?
  4. Are there psychological or social barriers to taking this action?
  5. How will you overcome, deal with or address these barriers? (write these down the right hand side of the page, beside each of the barriers)


  1. What are the benefits to you in taking this action? How will your life be better if you do this?
  2. What benefits are there psychologically and emotionally? Physically? Socially?
  3. What are the benefits to other people and the planet when you take this action? Describe these in some detail … what will the world be like if the issue you are addressing is resolved, healed or transformed?
  4. Will taking this action make it easier for you to take other actions?

Reflection: Now that you have identified the barriers and benefits of the action you have chosen to take, you have a much better understanding of what taking this action will involve. You will be prepared for the challenges and take them in stride instead of allowing them to discourage you. You also have a clearer idea of why taking this action is important to you and how your life will be better if you do this.

Source: This process was developed by Eshana Bragg and Rachel Taylor, inspired by the community based social marketing approach developed by environmental psychologists Doug Mackenzie-Mohr and William Smith (1999).


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