I Think I Know My Passion. Now What?

January 18, 2012.  8:08 pm.

When you get in touch with your passions and those that have naturally been motivating you, the next question is: Now what do I do with them?

Here are some of the things I’ve seen, learned, and throw back to my class (and anyone who asks):

  1. Passion & calls aren’t just about what you feel like doing or just self expression.  Passions are the intersections of your abilities & talents, desires & interests, sense of duty & responsibility and the world’s need.  One of my students recently wrote “I have realization that passion is not about it has something to do with my work or hobbies, it’s not what you like to do, but its matter to you most or what you loved most.”  So it’s not just self centered. In fact true calls and passions really serve a larger purpose .As Fredrick Buechner says, “It’s the intersection where the heart’s deepest desire, meets the world’s deepest hunger.”
  2. You follow where they lead you.   That seems to be the obvious answer.  Passions drive us to go somewhere or do something.   There was a guy named Steve in the 80’s who wanted to make computers personal.  And even if he was kicked out of the company he started, he kept on following what he felt he needed to do.
  3. But sometimes following your heart is scary.  What if I fail?  What if it doesn’t work out? I was already sort of ok where I was. What if I won’t be happy?
  4. Not doing it is scary too.  A good friend once asked me, “When you grow old, will you regret not trying this thing that you love doing but are scared of doing?”
  5. Sometimes it is what we really want to do that causes us the deepest joys and deepest fears.  I had a friend once who was asked  what was the happiest time of his life. He said being a volunteer teacher in a very poor province.  Then he was asked what was the saddest time of his life. He said being a volunteer teacher in a very poor province.
  6. Thinking about forever or the how far your passion can lead you (& demand from you) doesn’t help.  The thinking is natural & really happens when you think of following your passion, but it doesn’t help. Sometimes it can be paralyzing.  You’re thinking about the future goals & requirements but using your present imperfect abilities — obviously it won’t measure up.  I’ve never met anyone who was not scared to follow their dreams.
  7. Sometimes some try to find certainty by making plans and projecting costs & benefits.  I’ve never met anyone who made a leap of faith because of a plan.   It’s love that makes you jump not the bottom line.

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