There once was a man, Jack, who worked very hard in his job. He had gone to school in an area of interest and got a job working in a similar industry. He found a good wife and they had 3 wonderful children. Life was good in his adult years, but he found himself feeling like he was just on the treadmill of life. He got up every morning, he went to a job that he liked but where he longed for a break, some type of long awaited vacation. He had lost most of his hobbies, due to the time restraints of working many hours at his job, balanced with trying to take care of and spend time with his family. The dreams Jack had talked about in his youth (traveling, starting his own business, becoming an armature golfer, winning fantasy football, etc.) were still in the back of his mind, but only faintly. Jack had a successful life by America standards (income, job, home, family, etc), but he did not jump out of bed in the morning: he did not have a spring in his step and he seemed to carry a high level of stress. In general he was happy, but not HAPPY.
This is a story of a man with a great life, but of a man who is lacking PASSION.
What is passion?
Webster defines passion as “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.”
I define it as: Passion is an internal subconscious emotional calling that fuels the perspective, focus and actions you take as you live life and fulfill your purpose in life.
Passion is not obvious, unlike the ability to throw a football, being a gifted musician or a talented craftsman, or living as an amazing inventor. Passion is not on a conscious level, something that you are thinking about daily and noticing. Passion is more “energetic” in nature and therefore hard to see.
People say they are passionate about their kids, families, hobbies, etc. While these are all admirable, I would say these are interests that bring joy and pleasure. They may also be the tip of your passion or an indicator of your passion. While passion is a common word to describe an emotional state of liking something a lot, the passion we are talking about here is a much bigger concept. Here, it is about the core attributes that drive you and get you excited about life and living.
It is also important to recognize that people often confuse passion with purpose. As I see it, purpose is the vehicle that you ride because of your passion: your purpose is what you do (ex. Playing sports, writing music, reading literature, or parenting.). Passion is the fuel and energy that you use to drive: passion is how you are fueled (ex. by creativity, by problem solving, or by helping people).
Passion is the internal fire burning inside you as a result of using your natural gifts, talents and purpose here on earth. You have passion before you use it, but it is like a match unlit. Passion gets lit when you use your gifts, talents and purpose and results in personal fulfillment and “life in the flow,” where everything works together and every area of your life is filled with joy, contentment, and synergy.