I was speaking with a gentleman in the parking lot about his profession. As the conversation progressed he began to change. Right before my eyes he began to morph into a different individual. His body language, energy, breathing, intensity all changed.
This man was speaking about his passion and it was evident.
During the conversation, he brought up a question that his daughter asked him.
“What is passion?”
That’s an interesting question.
I believe most people can recognize passion in an individual but don’t know what is for themselves. That is because they don’t know what their passion is.
Not because they don’t have one but because they have not taken the time to explore what it is that makes them ignite, what sets them on fire.
They haven’t dug around in the vast resources of their life, their beliefs, and emotions to dig out what they should be doing with themselves. They have become accustomed to everyday life and the whims of their bosses and employers while that fire that God put in them begins to smolder and die.
Fire needs oxygen to stay alit…
…just as your passion needs you to breathe life into it to remain alive.
Another question his daughter asked:
“Does it have an end?”
For those of you living in your passion right now your answer is ‘it better not’.
That feeling of purpose, that drive to achieve and to keep achieving is intoxicating, isn’t it?
I don’t really have an answer for this question because it depends.
I believe passion itself will continue burning as long as you give it energy but your passions may shift from one direction to another. In that sense, the answer is yes and no.
The key to remember is this:
Some years ago, I asked my mother why she had so much time off at the end of the year. She has been working for the government for a number of years.
She doesn’t get sick, doesn’t recklessly spend her leave hours, and she accrues a lot of credit leave ( overtime hours ) because she is a supervisor and very dedicated to hitting her marks and her team hitting theirs. Due to all of this extra work, she has built up a substantial amount of leave hours.
So much so that she has what is called ‘use or lose’ hours.
I asked her what this meant. Her answer was that she had to use those leave hours before the end of the year or they would be lost forever.
This is significant because this is paid time off. If she uses them, she is paid. If she doesn’t, she loses that money because she didn’t take the time to use her leave.
She said that she has maxed out the amount of money that she can make. Whether she uses the leave or works the rest of the year in the office she makes no more money.
She said, “Either I use it or I lose it.”
[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]Fire needs oxygen to stay alit just as your passion needs you to breathe life into it to remain alive.[/tweetthis]
That, No Doubters, is what happens to your passion when you don’t step into it.
You either use your passions or you lose your passions.
Don’t get so caught up in building and creating someone else’s passions that you lose sight of your own.
Speaking parent to parent, I know that this may sound difficult because you want to be a great parent and give your children a better life than your own. Do that then!
Give them the life that you did not have but I also recommend keeping that flame alive. Keep fanning it somehow with a weekend class here and there, taking the family to that event that you love so much, building a business in you spare time that will allow you to be more present with your family…
be an example of a person that stands for more than good ethics, good morals, good character but someone that stands for a passionate, purpose-driven life.
IF you have no clue what your passion is or how to find it here is a suggestion:
- Set aside some time over the next week to reflect on your life: what experiences got you fired up, when have you felt more alive than other times, what cause makes you want to go tell the world?
- Research this experience or event.
- Spend some time exploring what you can do to live in this passion more often: are there classes, is there an event, can you volunteer.
Foster and nurture this passion so that it grows. You may not quit your job but you can do something that makes you feel good and is meaningful to you. We always have time ( or make time ) for the things that we truly want to do. Get to work on your passion.
I promise you that is will be worth it.
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