That Funny Thing Called Passion…

I had all sorts of things going through my head this morning as I was trying to decide what I wanted to talk about.  I decided on passion.  So many people seek to find their passion in life that it leaves me wondering if we end up missing it all together in our continuous quest to find it.  Do we have assumptions about what it means and feels to have found it? Has what we are looking for been romanticized by books and movies about people finding their passion that we miss what is right in front of us?  The reason I ask is I am wondering if I could truly tell someone what mine is.  I can’t really say that I could in the traditional sense.  I know the things that I like and what I find interesting, but saying it is my passion, that’s tough.  If you don’t mind indulging me, let’s look into this a little bit together.

Looking at Wikipedia, here is what the site puts forth as its description:

“Passion is a very strong feeling about a person or thing.  Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.  Passion may be a friendly or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, discovery or activity or love to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject.” Wikipedia – Passion

Reading through this more closely, I’m finding that passion is a very broad term that ranges from the simple  – “a friendly interest in” to something a bit more extreme – “a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion.” So how are we supposed to know what it is to mean for each of us and what our passion may be?  Does that mean I can have more than one?

For me, I know I am interested in all sort of things and sticking with the simple definition of “a friendly interest” then could all of these things be my passions?  It sounds odd to think of having a wide variety of passions so when people talk about finding their passion, is it really a reference to the more extreme definition of a “compelling emotion?”

Here are my thoughts after reading through this and thinking about it a little:

I think we have a wide variety of passions in our lives.  I think we have to acknowledge the passion we have for our families, our friends, our work life – maybe not everything about our jobs, but at least certain tasks that keep us there  – and our hobbies.  Our passions can drive how we spend our time when we allow ourselves to focus on what we want.  I also think that with time and age, we start to naturally grow into understanding ourselves better and what we do and don’t want.

When I was 20, frankly, I didn’t have the confidence and courage to live my life for myself to say that I was living in line with my passion.  It was a life lived for my boyfriend, my parents expectations, and my perception of what life was supposed to be.  Now that I’m 40, I still love and trust the people in my life, but they also aren’t going to decide for me what I do and how I do it.  I’m living life for me and that means spending time doing things I’m interested in.  Or by definition, I guess that means what I’m passionate about.

So I think it comes down to keeping it in perspective and understanding you may already have identified some of your passions.  The thing is, your interest might not be fully developed to the be the extreme definition yet – that compelling emotion – we all are looking to feel to call it our passion.  It could be the next step in evolving our interest that could make the difference.  Once we do unlock the passion for a particular area of our life, I think it helps us start the next chapter in our lives.

“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves.  The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interest.”

~ Sheryl Sandberg

Have a great day!

~Steph

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