Copyright 2006 Synergy Strategies
Before we launch into this article, I want to share a case study with you. There once was a man, Jack, who worked very hard in his job. He had gone to school in an area of interest and got a job working in a like industry. He found a good wife and they had 3 wonderful children. Life was good in his adult years, but he found himself feeling like he was just on the treadmill of life. He got up every morning, he went to a job that he liked but where he longed for a break, some type of long awaited vacation. He had lost most of his hobbies, due to the time restraints of working many hours at his job, balanced with trying to take care of and spend time with his family. The dreams Jack had talked about in his youth (travel, starting his own business, becoming an armature golf player, winning fantasy football, etc.) where still in the back of his mind, but only faintly. Jack had a successful life by America standards (income, job, home, family, etc), but he did not jump out of bed in the morning: he did not have a spring in his step and he seemed to carry a high level of stress. In general he was happy, but not HAPPY.
This is a story of a man with a great life, but of a man who is lacking PASSION.
Today I am going to share with you the TIP of the iceberg in what passion is: Ill help you to better understand why and how to discover your passion. This is a pretty extensive subject, but my hope is to get you thinking about what passion is and how that might look in your life.
What is passion? Webster defines passion as a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.
I define it as: Passion is an internal subconscious emotional calling that fuels the perspective, focus and actions you take as you live life and fulfill your purpose in life.
Passion is not obvious, like the ability to throw a football, being a gifted musician or a talented craftsman, or living as an amazing inventor are. Passion is not on a conscious level, something that you are thinking about daily and noticing. Passion is more energetic in nature and therefore hard to see.
People say they are passionate about their kids, families, hobbies, etc. While these are all admirable, I would say these are interests that bring joy and pleasure. They may also be the tip of your passion or an indicator of your passion. While passion is a common word to describe an emotional state of liking something a lot, the passion we are talking about here is a much bigger concept. Here, it is about the core attributes that drive you and get you excited about life and living.
It is also important to recognize that people often confuse passion with purpose. As I see it, purpose is the vehicle that you ride because of your passion: your purpose is what you do (ex. Playing sports, writing music, reading literature, or parenting.). Passion is the fuel and energy that you use to drive: passion is how you are fueled (ex. by creativity, by problem solving, or by helping people).
Passion is the internal fire burning inside you as a result of using your natural gifts, talents and purpose here on earth. You have passion before you use it, but it is like a match unlit. Passion gets lit when you use your gifts, talents and purpose and results in personal fulfillment and life in the flow, where everything works together and every area of your life is filled with joy, contentment, and synergy.
Why have passion? Is it possible that everyone has a passion or are some people just more emotional?
Screen writer, Joss Whedon says, Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.
Passion is seen as you look out into the world and selflessly allow yourself to be an instrument, using your gifts and talents. As you do this, you will begin to see your reflection and therefore more readily identify your passion. After you identify your passion, by experiencing the lit fire inside, you are able to focus in and use those gifts and talents more your purpose and passion are united and drive the most fulfilling adventure of your life!
The reward of living a life of passion is incredible! Once you have tasted it, you will crave for its return. It is an amazing overflowing of your heart, body, mind and soul. You have energy, direction, purpose and focus. As humans we all want this, but sometimes it seems too hard to achieve, so we give up, and decide to just enjoy what live gives us.
“What life gives us?” I ask. Don’t be fooled, we are not here on earth to be floating down a river on an inner tube, just passively taking in what life has to offer. You will not find passion in that inner tube. You might hit some rapids and get a little taste of it here and there, however if you want to know what living a life of passion means and is, you have to go look for it.
Life can dish out some hard knocks, tough lessons, challenges and adversity. How you handle those are up to you. You see, there is a quote that states, Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with it. The more you can look at life as a lesson, something to learn from and a gift, the happier you will be. The more you are living in your purpose and passion, the easier it is to see things from this perspective. Do you want to have this synergy in your heart, body, mind and soul? Do you want to be content, overflowing with joy and being of value to the world?
Jack Finds Passion Jack became tired of stumbling through life. He did some investigation and found out a few things: he enjoys the outdoors, being invigorated by the fresh air, strategic thinking, and intellection. Earlier, when he was playing golf he was engaging a few of these passions, an appreciation of nature, strategic thinking, and intellection. He had stopped playing golf because of a lack of time. The irony is that after picking the hobby back up, he seems to have more time and energy.
At work, he also noticed that his job had become dull because he was not reading the statistical reports like he did when he had first started his job. Back then, when he read the reports, it motivated him and got him excited about driving strategies that would save the company time and money. So, he started reading the reports again and found himself more engaged at work. The momentum helped him do things faster, be more positive and actually finish up on time many days so that he could get home to his kids.
Since Jack was getting home on time, there was a little break before dinner when he could go outside and play with the kids: he loved throwing the ball and teaching little Jake how to ride his bike! It even inspired him to equip the family to embrace Saturday morning rides on the local park trail.
As Jack realized that his passions were being outside in nature, using his intellectual abilities and creating solutions and strategies, he found that these same things showed up in every area of life. It was exciting and compelling! He was happy, fulfilled and had found a synergy in every area of his life.
You now know what passion is. You now know the benefit of inviting passion into your life. Take the time to explore your personal passions and to integrate them in your life. Passion is a phenomenal gift. If you want to LIVE life to the fullest and enjoy it along the way, take time to discover you passion. Put them into your daily life. You will find you have time for everything you did before and more.