Have you ever wondered what it truly means to live with purpose and passion? Meet John R. Miles—a former U.S. Navy officer turned CEO and Fortune 50 executive, whose dynamic career has uniquely positioned him to guide others toward transformative success. He’s not just a voice on leadership and personal growth. He’s lived it, making his guidance and storytelling resonate. An award-winning, bestselling author and keynote speaker, he also hosts the #1 Alternative Health Podcast, Passion Struck. In a captivating conversation, John shared insights to empower individuals to embrace their authentic selves and lead intentional lives that transcend conventional success, fostering profound meaning and passion.

For the full interview, listen to our ‘Evolving with Gratitude’ podcast episode, embedded in this article (above) and also available on your favorite podcast platform.

Living an Intentional Life

We began our discussion with John emphasizing the significance of living intentionally, a theme deeply woven throughout his book. He cited a powerful quote from Sharon Salzberg, a renowned meditation teacher and author: “There’s no commodity we can take with us. There is only our lives, whether we live them wisely or whether we live them in ignorance. And this is everything.” John elaborated on this idea, explaining, “It’s not the mistakes that we make in life that we regret. It’s the what-ifs, the should-haves. That all comes from when we’re unintentional about the life that we are crafting. That’s the demarcation point between living intentionally or without intention.”

There’s no commodity we can take with us. There is only our lives, whether we live them wisely or whether we live them in ignorance. And this is everything.

—John R. Miles

Exploring the Passion Struck® Model

John’s Passion Struck® framework, featuring twelve steps to unlock an intentional life, empowers individuals in profound ways. Let’s take a look at its core elements—the key concepts that support the framework:

  • Mindset and Behavior Shifts: These foundational steps are crucial for catalyzing meaningful changes in our perception and responses. They are designed to nurture growth and fortify resilience, enabling us to adapt and thrive in changing circumstances.
  • Psychology of Progress: This element emphasizes the importance of deliberate, intentional actions tied closely to intrinsic motivation. It aligns one’s deepest aspirations with their everyday actions, ensuring that each step taken is impactful and purpose-driven.
  • Deliberate Action Process: The power of structured and intentional steps in the journey toward achieving personal and professional goals is significant. This process is about setting clear objectives, planning meticulously, and executing with precision.
  • Intrinsic Motivation: Key to sustaining the drive needed to consistently pursue one’s passions, this aspect of the framework helps individuals overcome obstacles through a deep, enduring commitment to their personal vision and goals.

Together, these elements form a powerful blueprint that we can use to unlock a life of intention, impact, and fulfillment.

The Concept of the Gardener Leader

A standout concept from our chat, the ‘Gardener Leader,’ is something John passionately advocates. He believes in nurturing team growth much like a gardener tends to their plants. He explained, “At the core of being a Gardener Leader is the commitment to nurture your team’s growth. This means being observant and supportive and providing training and resources necessary for development. Simultaneously, it’s crucial to step back and allow team members the autonomy to take risks and make decisions. This balance empowers them to act confidently in critical situations.”

The Importance of Conscious Engagement

When we explored the concept of conscious engagement, John highlighted its pivotal role in leading a Passion Struck life. He contrasts this active involvement with the passive, subconscious way many people experience their daily lives. John explains, “Conscious engagement is about actively participating in your life, rather than merely existing as if on autopilot.” He urges us to steer clear of a pinball machine scenario, where distractions and external pressures can easily lead us off course. By remaining intentional about our focus and how we engage with our environment, we can navigate life more purposefully and effectively.

Conscious engagement is about actively participating in your life, rather than merely existing as if on autopilot.

—John R. Miles

6 Actionable Steps to Live a Passion Struck Life

While John’s book theorizes these concepts brilliantly, it also offers actionable steps to seamlessly integrate them into our everyday lives:

  • Pursue Your Ideal Self: Think about who you want to be versus who you are now. Set practical goals that will help bridge that gap, moving you closer to the person you really want to become.
  • Overcome Self-Sabotage: Take a hard look at the ways you might be holding yourself back. Recognize and address your patterns of self-sabotage. Once you’ve identified those roadblocks, come up with strategies to counter these tendencies and keep moving forward.
  • Embrace Self-Reinvention: Keep checking in with yourself, and don’t be afraid to change things up as you go. Stay flexible and open to new possibilities, and you’ll keep growing in the right direction.
  • Develop Intentionality Like a Muscle: Treat intentionality as a skill that can be strengthened with practice. Start small by setting intentions for your day or tasks, and watch your focus and effectiveness improve over time.
  • Align Actions with Deep Ambitions: Make sure everything you do lines up with your long-term aspirations. It’s all about staying motivated and making sure every little thing you do moves you closer to those long-term goals.
  • Understand That Action Leads to Action: Adopt the mindset that once you get the ball rolling, it’s easier to keep it moving. Each small success builds momentum for the next step, so don’t be afraid to start, even if it’s just a tiny action.

These steps are designed to help us craft a life aligned with our deepest desires and highest aspirations, transforming theoretical frameworks into practical, everyday actions.

A Call to Intentional Action

As we concluded our conversation, John encouraged us to reflect on their own lives and consider the areas where intention could be injected more robustly. “It’s all about the execution of our plans,” he reiterated, pushing us to think about how we can actively make choices that align with our deepest values and ambitions. To dive deeper into the Passion Struck philosophy and start your journey toward a life filled with purpose, visit John’s website or tuning into his podcast for extensive resources and inspiration. His approach not only enlightens but also empowers individuals to take meaningful steps toward a more fulfilled and intentional life.

With gratitude,

Connect with and learn from John R. Miles


Passion Struck: Twelve Powerful Principles to Unlock Your Purpose and Ignite Your Most Intentional Life by John R. Miles