Passion: noun: strong and barely controllable emotion.
To fulfill our purpose on this planet, we must acknowledge and fuel the internal flame that lies within. Once we stoke the fire, we are able to embrace the power we have over our own transformation, success, and happiness. I believe passion is the key to unlocking our purpose.
If you haven’t stepped into your calling yet, it can be intimidating. Our mentors and peers can make living theirs out look so easy.
The truth is most people do not know how to turn their passion into a career. The world keeps spinning and time keeps ticking. We quickly become consumed by routine and complacency. When challenged to identify a passion, we can get defensive and throw out any host of cliché excuses:
“I need to worry about making money”
“Nobody loves their job!”
“There are not enough hours in the day to do it all!”
The ones lucky enough to zero in on their passion may face another big hurdle nearly simultaneously, fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of embarrassment.
With all these thoughts rattling around, things get noisy very quickly. Too much noise is a nuisance and only serves to slow us down. The first step towards living your passion is silencing the negative racket. At the end of the day, it is your life to live and why not lean into what makes you feel most alive!?
If you’re struggling to identify what that is for you, take a step back and dive deep into the following:
- “When do I feel the happiest and most engaged in what I'm doing?” - The things which excite us tend to be the ones we are most passionate about.
- “What comes easy to me?” - I believe we are given passion for something because we have the natural gifts deep down to pursue it.
I chased my first passion, softball, until I needed career-ending back surgery only two years into college. Suddenly, the world, as I knew it, came crashing down. In addition to losing the ability to play my favorite game, I lost my sense of self. Prior to my injury, I had wrapped my entire identity into being an athlete.
At the time I couldn’t see that this massive disruption was propelling me directly toward my purpose. Hindsight really is 20/20.
Unable to play, I came back to South Bend and began coaching. I found out quickly that it wasn’t the game of softball that lit me up and encompassed my identity. It was the opportunity to lead, cultivate strong relationships, and help others realize their own potential that set my soul ablaze. I had always loved playing on a team, but now as the coach, I was able to do more than just participate. I was facilitating growth, and helping others channel their own fires. My flame grew by each player I encountered.
Interestingly enough, my coaching network is also what led me to my first job in the insurance industry. I was given an opportunity simply because I had a visible passion for educating and empowering others. This opportunity set me up to live out my passion within a career.
The funny thing about stepping into our purpose through passion, is that we don’t usually see it coming. However, once it has revealed itself to us, it is nearly impossible to ignore.
Three Powers Of Passion
Passion is energizing: When we’re passionate we don’t need alarm clocks. Think of the excitement we feel the sleep before a big vacation. It’s so exhilarating that we cannot wait to get up in the morning. John Maxwell, an author and speaker on leadership, says passions turns the “have-to’s into want to’s. It’s the difference between the college courses you had to take in your first year and those you chose to take your senior year. If you know your passion and have the opportunity to pursue it in your work, climbing the ladder to success will be a lot less draining. “The law of attraction says we attract events and situations of similar frequency to our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs.” The greater your passion, the more positive energy you will experience.
Passion is contagious: It allows you to be more than you knew possible. It implores you to push limits which inspires others. Passionate people bring energy to everyone around them. In the presence of someone who is genuinely enthralled with the work they do; we can feed off of their liveliness and make it our own.
- I’d like you to think of the most negative person you know. How do you feel when you around that person? My guess is you feel drained of energy, and negative yourself. I’d argue we feel the complete opposite around someone who is passionate.
- Think about the last time you were in a meeting where someone convinced you to accept their idea. I’d bet their excitement and passion played a big part. When you love and care about something, it shows through your actions and energy.
Passion attracts people in a way that nothing else can. Passion is especially contagious when it’s rooted in purpose.
Passion boosts confidence: When we get the opportunity to talk about things we’re passionate about we instantly feel more confident. I personally geek out while educating others on the benefits of living a plant-based lifestyle, the way coaching young girls has impacted my life, and regarding what we do and how things are run at Gibson. The course of uncovering our passion is healing and enlightening as we get to know our most authentic self. Through this process we gain self-awareness, clarity around our values, and begin to reframe failure. The majority of successful entrepreneurs and athletes appear to be confident, and a big portion of that self-assurance likely stems from purely doing what they love.
No matter what we want to achieve in life, igniting passion is a necessary step in getting us there. “Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you.”- Oprah Winfrey