~Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music~
I remember back in my corporate days being in my client’s office in Los Angeles in late April. Spring was optimistically knocking in the air as the death of winter was a distant memory with this current heatwave. Rumors were flying around the proverbial water cooler as his Executive Team was in town to announce a third round of layoffs within his company. Needless to say, we were having a very disquieting discussion in his office behind closed doors. As he lamented on the fate of his career, I paused to survey his office, which was entirely decorated in purple and gold: the colors of the L.A. Lakers were adorned everywhere. It was still a month or so before the playoffs so I casually asked, “Your boys in the purple and gold ready to win another title?” His eyes completely lit up, and he went off on a twenty minute tangent about the brilliance of his beloved Lakers basketball team and how they would prevail in the playoffs. You’d never guess the Execs were right outside his office, holding their axes and ready to slash his job…
Three words for you: Find your passion. Something that lights up your eyes, fires up your soul and warms your heart. It doesn’t necessarily have to be noble like saving the polar bears (albeit a great cause) or on a global scale like world peace. To the contrary, it can be on a micro level that directly impacts you, motivates you to get out of bed in the morning, drives you to be a better person, and/or provides a healthy escape from the harsh realities of life.
Tony Robbins says Passion is the genesis of genius. I agree, but would modify this slightly by stating Passion is the genesis of excellence! Observe someone who truly excels at what they do and then examine their passion. Your favorite artist, actor, athlete, doctor, nurse, politician, personal trainer, coffee barista, spiritual leader: they LOVE what they do, and therefore are great at what they do. They pour themselves into what they do to the point of it embodying or defining who they are. It becomes part of their lifestyle, their identity, their very essence, woven into their fabric. It’s inspiring to witness passion in one’s chosen profession, regardless of their position in the social strata.
Conversely, too many of us succumb to the belief that work is a four-letter word and not to be enjoyed but rather a means to pay the bills and secure our future. We all need to balance our responsibilities, but also owe it to ourselves to pursue our passion(s) in a pragmatic way. Imagine the energy and enthusiasm you’d bring to work on Monday morning if you actually love what you do (yeah, what a concept, huh?). You’d be working at a higher level of performance because passion fuels your mind and body. New ideas, projects and dreams would be constantly buzzing in your brain because these are now concepts and adventures you truly care about and would look forward to putting into action.
But finding your passion is far more than just about what you do for a living. Ask any sports fan, dog owner, fitness fanatic or music lover. They find true passion in these hobbies, interests and endeavors and, as a result, discover both happiness and meaning to life. Often, it gives us purpose and taps at the very core of the essence of life. Our passions help us overcome the monotony and adversity we all face in life by adding a beautiful new dimension. It makes the mundane and routine enjoyable. Life feels rich and whole when you live it with exuberance doing the things you love so find and embrace your passion(s)!