This week a reader asked:
“How do you identify PASSION when that word seems so intense? You’ve addressed this before & I’m reading 48 Days but the word “passion” itself seems too intense for me. I have a hard time saying that there is anything other than my loved ones that I feel “passionate” about… How do I identify passion when I can’t recognize what it is?
Yes, I do talk about the importance of finding your passion – as a pre-requisite to finding work that you love.
The dictionary defines “passion” as any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate. Others meanings would include a strong excitement, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.
Well, I hope you do have things in your life that you’re excited about – and those should help you identify your passion. Having a little life experience is a great help in uncovering our passion – because it’s not so much bringing something new into our life as it is uncovering what’s already there. Pablo Picasso said, “All children are artists, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
I see the same thing in working with adults. I agree with Picasso that all children have passions. You cannot find a two or three year old that does not show passion in many ways. How do we lose that as we grow up? I observe that “life happens” and often we just become numb to what our passions are. The responsibilities of life sometimes crowd out those things that were once most important. But we ought to be able to look back at our life and see recurring themes. It may be when you’re working with elderly people, or with plants, or when you’re working on ideas rather than with people at all. There is no right or wrong; but you should be able to see these patterns that help you identify your true passions. So it’s rather like peeling an onion – just peeling back the layers to expose what’s already there rather than discovering something new that you’ve never been aware of before.
So enjoy the process of unpeeling your onion – and watch your passions come into view once again.