Do You Find Passion or Does it Come With You?
The idea that we experiment and seek experiences in life until we find our true passion and calling is ingrained deeply in the human psyche. Consider the wisdom in this quote of unknown origin:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
There is little doubt that finding our life purpose creates an essential clarity and allows us to make choices that align with what we are truly committed to. Unfortunately, the idea of finding passion or becoming passionate seeps its way into our thinking about everyday tasks, projects, and obligations. When we don’t feel passionate about the work in front of us, we engage differently, usually with less energy and dedication.
The most talented among us take a different view. They see the locus of passion being inside the person, not in the activity. In other words, they choose to bring passion to everything they do. Like all attitudes, bringing passion to everything you do is a decision. It doesn’t require self-motivation, nor a unique discipline.
Don’t confuse being passionate about everything to bringing passion to all that you do. No one loves all of the tasks and assignments they are responsible for. But the choice is yours to convey energy and enthusiasm about the quality of your work, the people involved, and the importance of doing things right. For leaders, the fire they display often lights a flame in others.
Don’t wait for passion to come to you.
Carry it with you each day.
Greatness starts with passion.
I remember the day I discovered my true passion and calling - It was the first day of my Intro to Industrial/Organizational Psychology course with Professor Matt Riggs at CSUSB. I had always felt I looked at work differently than other people in my circles. It was never just a job for me. Every job I had since 14 was an opportunity to learn something new, to figure things out, and find better ways in doing the work. Working for the wrong bosses, this got me into trouble at times. But working with the right bosses, some of the best experiences in my life. I/O Psychology gave me the vocabulary to put names to things I encountered in my work and the methodology to take things to the next level. Twenty-four years later, I feel I approach work with the same amount of passion albeit maybe at a somewhat slower pace. I recently finished Ryan Holiday's Ego is the Enemy. Toward the end of the book is a quote from Joseph Conrad that I liked very much and I think applies to today's post: "I don't like work, nobody does, but I like what is in the work, the chance to find myself." (I'm paraphrasing). My advice, be passionate about the work you do and who you are. Don't apologize. If some people take issue with it, you're spending time with the wrong people. Get yourself some new people.
I absolutely love this. It makes me reflect on the importance of making a positive impact on the world. The importance of clarity in our impact. And the fuel that passion provides to unless brilliance in ourselves and those around us.