Recent article of mine written for ArticleBase.com
We often hear the importance of pursuing passion in life to realize the full potential each of us possesses. By spending our lifetime doing what we love, what inspires us, and what turns us on our chance of finding happiness should increase. If there is a nobler or more worthwhile pursuit I do not know what it is. We all want to be happy.
Yet the discovery of what we are passionate about let alone how to pursue and realize that passion proves elusive to many. Passion is defined as an intense or vehement emotion, occupying the mind in great part for a considerable period, and commanding the most serious action of the intelligence. It drives us, inspires us, empowers us and ultimately gives our lives meaning beyond just existing. We all want to find our passion, we all want to live what we are passionate about, but we often have no clear direction. In spite of best efforts, some are destined to never realize that personal passion that defines who we are and more importantly who we can be.
Not only is it important to discover that inner passion and purpose but once we identify it we need to pursue it. Knowing what excites and drives us without having the ability to chase it can frustrate and derail the best intentions. Too often the realities and requirements of everyday life prevent us from doing what we would love to be doing if we only had the choice. How many businessmen secretly dream of being musicians or artists but the realities of “making it” in the world prevent them? Imagine the feeling of waking up each day excited to jump out of bed knowing that what awaits you is what you love to do. And if you follow your passion it is not only about getting to the destination since every step along the way is something you enjoy doing.
So, if you had all the money you wanted would you automatically realize your passion? Could you buy that passion perfect just for you? I don’t think so.
Alas for those that never sing but die with all their music in them ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
I believe that living our passion is as much about the day to day journey through life as it is about achieving any ultimate end result. For example let’s say that you discover you love playing the piano and your passion is to become good at it. You are entranced by the beautiful melodies and harmonies that baby grand can produce and you want to make sweet music yourself. Accepting that it will take some time you commit yourself to regular practice and you stick with it. You begin to improve over time and find yourself enjoying the sounds you are creating as your increasingly nimble fingers dance over the keyboard. In fact since you are seeing progress you may even find it a bit easier to sit down for the obligatory hours of practice. Surprise – your passion to be a good piano player is being realized along the path toward that goal. When you find yourself enjoying the act itself you are chasing your passion. You are on the right track as effort required is a labor of love that you gladly undertake. It is not just about being a good pianist but more becoming a good pianist – it is the passion felt along the way, that is the passion pursued, that is the purpose achieved.
Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things ~ Denis Diderot
Sure I can buy a first rate (aka expensive) piano but what then? Without the inner drive and desire to become a good piano player how will I motivate myself to put in the time required to get good? Without inspiration practice will be painful and progress never quite fast enough. Eventually should I stick with it I will likely develop a reasonable level of skill and the ability to play the music. But if I am passionate about playing I will make music. Putting my emotions into my playing, feeling the notes rather than merely reading them, inspired and turned on by the act of playing that magical keyboard I will go where those technically adept players will never go.
In the end I guess you can buy your passion – but with effort and focus not money. You need to look inside yourself and find what it is that most inspires you. You need to understand that yes you can live a life should you be forced to do other than pursue that passion. But when you look at that life you also need to realize that by accepting less than what you want, by doing other than what you love, you become a passenger rather than a driver.
If you are just existing and calling it a life, it is up to you to right the course. Nietzsche said “is not life a hundred times to short for us to bore ourselves?” What are you willing to do?
If you are unsure of how to find your personal passion you may want to take a look at my book Are You Just Existing and Calling it a Life? Through real life examples you will learn to understand the roots of passion and identify specific steps you can take toward generating a blueprint of the purpose and life you could be and should be living.