Passion is that special something that puts a light in your eye and a smile on your face. You know it’s a passion because you want to share it with others and find out as much as you can about it.
By its very nature, passion takes valuable energy – and when we spend our precious stores of that, it’s worth knowing where it’s going. Over the years I’ve found that my passions take one of three forms:
In my early working life, it was easy to get caught up in the ‘passion of the day’ – if leaders I admired were reading a particular business author and claiming to find their books brilliant, I would unquestioningly find them compelling too – usually because I didn’t have another opinion or sufficient life experience to make a personal judgment call.
Within months, that was forgotten and replaced with the next popular idea. A clear indicator of a theoretical passion.
Some passions have the hallmarks of sincerity. Something grabs your attention and of your own volition, you are interested enough to research it to quite a level of detail because it makes sense or seems right and good for you at that time in your life.
Most of us reach a point in our lives where we feel we could be healthier, need to lose weight, or reduce our stress levels. Depending on who we know or what media we listen to, we might discover that meditation and plant-based eating are good for reducing stress and losing weight. We might go and do some very in-depth research and get cracking on a healthy diet and practice meditation. Indeed, we might even keep these up for some weeks or months.
For many people, these passions are transient – they are too difficult to sustain, or once they appear to have fulfilled their purpose we revert to our old habits.
The passion that takes hold for life and which, no matter what happens, endures a mainstay and permanent interest, is what I call a soul passion. For many people, their children are that passion. Some lucky people find a vocation in life – a job which they would do for little or no financial reward because it’s their true passion. They just can’t help doing what they set out to do.
So when I have an ‘attack of the passions’, I now examine it closely.
Often, it’s a theoretical passion fuelled by friends, the media, or a short-term need. But whatever form it takes, I have learned to use the energy wisely and direct it into something long-term and worthwhile.