I’ve been thinking a lot about what the word “passion” means to me lately and how my own definition of the word has evolved.
Merriam-Webster defines passion as (1) : emotion <his ruling passion is greed> (2) plural : the emotions as distinguished from reason b : intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction c : an outbreak of anger
a : ardent affection : love b : a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept c : sexual desire d : an object of desire or deep interest
Then one day something shifted in me and I began to feel passionate about events, activities, causes and hobbies in my life.
It was that butterflies-in-your-stomach, I-can-do-this-all-day-and-forget-to-eat, I-would-do-this-even-if-I-didn’t-get-paid-for-it feeling.
What those ‘things’ are can be different for everyone: it could be building a kick-ass app, defending a life-changing case, trading valuable stocks or taking a gorgeous picture. What matters is that when I got in touch with my own passions, I noticed myself in the company of others who were in touch with theirs. Ideas were exchanged, meaningful conversations were had and inspiration was ignited.
And that’s how my life flows today.
Eventually, I started doing those ‘things’ more and more because when I wasn’t doing them, I went back to that old place of going through the motions. Doing what everyone else thought I should be doing and living up to someone else’s idea of success.
In 2009, I wrote a blog post called Ignite Your Light. I had to giggle when I looked back and read it because while the items on the list (manis/pedis, the beach, etc) are things I like, I was still very tied to my own comfort zone.
When I ventured outside of that comfort zone was when I found my true passion.
I was reminded about passion, feeling stuck and finding fulfillment last night when I saw the The Giant Mechanical Man now at the Tribeca Film Festival. A film about two people trying to find their own passion and pursuing what ultimately makes them happy rather than what the people in their life think will make them happy.
The message rang loud and clear again as I climbed in bed and picked up Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions and dug into Chapter 1. In a section titled Work Your Passion, she lays out a few simple questions to ask yourself to guide the reader into her passionate self:
- When do you feel ahhhh-MAZing?
- What activities cause you to feel useful, vital, better than before?
- When do you have that “there’s more where that came from” feeling?
- What feels so good and so easy to give that you give it generously?
- What do you do best – that gives you a rush while you’re doing it?
- What lights your fire?
“Passion will always move you in the direction of your authentic self” – Danielle LaPorte