“Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.” —Yo-Yo Ma
For others it is, “Just what IS your passion?
Passion, for some of us, changes. As a child, passion might be sports, dance, bugs or books. But with age comes a broadening of our periphery and life has a way of changing our vision. As though looking through a magnification of what is, we open our lens as wide as we can see to gain that perfect view.
Is our passion the view itself? Does our passion fit within our sights or is it hidden somewhere that we’re not even aware of? Do we even know if we have passion? Disappointed, we walk away without a firm conviction of what our passion is.
If we can’t see it through the magnification of a lens, then where and how can we find passion? Where does passion live and how do we know we have it — when we spot it?
What IS PASSION?
In an article published by PsychCentral by Malini Mohana she writes
“So that intense creativity, or euphoria when engaging in something meaningful to you — it is real, and it is something physiological that happens within your brain. It is one of the least researched aspects of psychology, yet it has the biggest impact on our personal lives.”
“Motivation does not give you the energy to work, but allows you to change your perception of everything you do. Your change in perception will affect the long-term behavior in which you engage.”
If one definition of passion is a strong and controllable emotion where were you and what were you doing when you felt this?
Sometimes we have to meditate to find it within ourselves. As we recapture those moments in our mind, it is here in the pure essence of intentional purpose we find passion.
SO HOW CAN WE BRING PASSION INTO OUR LIFE TODAY?
- Begin by making a list of everything we remember enjoying as a child. Would you enjoy that activity now? Frank Lloyd Wright played with wooden blocks throughout his childhood and perhaps well past it.
- We revisit our positive memories of childhood: Whatever we remember engaging in that we loved doing, ask qualifying questions, write them down and examine them.:
- Which of those wonderful “feeling” things we once did can be a part of our life now?
- How can those experiences shape our career choices today?
- If you were to make examples from pictures of the past, the present, and the future showed those situations, those places or things that gave us joy, what would they be? In the 70s we called them a collage, today we refer to them as Dream Boards or Vision Boards.
When we surround ourselves with images of our intention of who we want to become or what we want to create, our awareness and passion grows. Whatever we focus on and think about with purpose manifests and becomes our reality. Remember the little boy who asked his mom which wolf will grow to be the biggest, the one to be feared? His mother replied, “the one you feed the very most.”
And so it is with our dreams and desires.
Some of us may begin by looking at what moved us on a personal level as we search our childhood to first resurrect those people, places and things we felt passionate about. Maybe animals held a special place in our hearts, or playing with rocks and different substances. For others it could be bugs, birds, or model planes. Passion was most likely found in those things we repeated, day-in and day-out. We never wanted to let it go because it felt, what? Exciting, rewarding.
Close your eyes and literally see yourself at that joyful time and place, and look at how it made you feel.
Please look at the words you use to describe these feelings you experienced as passion. Sometimes what we felt took us out of ourselves to dream as if in a fantasy where we didn’t want to come back from. This is the passion we’re seeking to recapture today.
Write each of the activities down, and then put them in order of importance. Let’s not forget the times we won awards, were on stage or somehow recognized for exemplary behavior or performance. By doing this we begin to form a pattern of like-situations and engagements. A common theme may begin to appear.
As our board evolves and becomes more focused, we will recognize what is missing.
In order to know what we are passionate about day-in and day-out, we have to know what gets in our way. How do we squander our time and what do we do when we’re not doing what we are passionate about? How can we minimize poor intentions or procrastination that absorbs precious hours and minutes of every day. This is OUR life, it is OUR time to make a difference to ourselves. It is our opportunity to lift us up emotionally, spiritually and/or physically.
WHAT IS IT YOU WANT TO ATTRACT MORE OF?
First: Make a list of people who are doing what you would like to do and begin the process of planning by asking pertinent questions:
- What did that person have to do to get where he or she is today?
- What is the specific thing you find passionate about that keeps you coming back?
- How long have you felt like this?
- What are your memories that surface when you recognize this one area of your life and how can you recreate this passion today in a way that would be satisfying to you?
- If not, why not?
Second: If there were four things you’ve never done but always thought about doing what would they be?
If we don’t reach out and try different life experiences, how can we begin to form our personal vision of core desires? If one thing leads to another, what are we doing to explore our world? Write these four things down. If we got rid of what we don‘t like, what would be left?
Third: Make a list of four things that you enjoy and could do relatively successfully. Maybe you’re not a Prima Ballerina, but you love to dance. Maybe you’re not a Fullback on a football team but you enjoy sports. These and other interests are still stepping stones for a passion in the same arena: maybe you’re a teacher and haven’t discovered yourself in this role yet. A coach, a leader. We don’t have to be passionate at something to be good at it!
WE ARE NOT OUR JOBS!
Each of us is defined, not by what we do during a normal work day but rather by the passion we bring to others and to ourselves in some manner, every single day. We don’t have to be paid to use our passion, we just have be the passion.
If you love being around animals, helping others, or cooking food all day long, if you love what you do and could do it forever – that’s your passion!~ It could be cutting the grass, but if it makes your heart sing, if it moves you to heights not otherwise felt, then that’s your sign.
Another gauge might be if you could work for free for the next ten years what joy or excitement would sustain you? A passion of fixing cars, painting, caring for others? The list is endless.
OUR GOAL IS TO BE ABSORBED DOING WHAT WE LOVE.
I know. I thought too, that taking important jobs that paid well would move me. But it didn’t.
What did move me were certain parts of the job, however, that were previously closed to me. These two parts were my interaction with clients and writing. Little did I know that these two things would open the doors of my heart years later. They influence my personal passion today.
Now that I am retired, I experience a passion that I could never have imagined doing for the rest of my life. I’ve become a published author and remain passionate about helping others in recovery.
Never in my old age could I have imagined writing a 115,000 word book, and were it not for my passion, I would not have. Each year-worth of rewrites were met with excitement to get started, and when I was away from it for days or weeks, it was all I thought about. That is passion: the looking-forward, the excitement and yes! Even the obsession with something was the passion necessary for me to complete it once and for all.
My passion today is to begin another book, maybe two, to do it again and feel that same sense of satisfaction that comes from doing something that brings me joy, peace, and personal satisfaction.
Lastly I will say with complete honesty I cannot imagine being any more contented were my book a best seller (which it is not), or if it were in the top ten (which it is not.) It will be the sheer magnitude of satisfaction, of being immersed in a project that we love, that we keep coming back to. Your passion will call you, like it did me, not for the neon signs or any other recognition but because we experienced real undeniable bliss and blessed contentment.
Acceptance of passion for what it is, one of my great rewards for living. I hope with the same passion I bring to my writing, that you will find what moves you in this life.
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