Passion is defined as “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling” and is often associated with a “strong amorous feeling or desire.”
Recently I’ve considered this. I contemplated what I’m passionate about. I looked at my life and wondered…just what do I have a “powerful or compelling emotion” for? What motivates me to carry on? What creates a strong “feeling or desire” in me?
For starters, love for my wife and son are the most important motivators for me. I will work and do anything to make sure they are taken care of. I feel a powerful emotion which compels me to do what I do, whether I like it or not. As long as in the end they are financially taken care of, then it doesn’t matter what I do. I’ve worked in fast food for eight years. It was a terrible job with many rude customers and employees that wouldn’t work hard. But I did it all because I was married and I felt a duty to my family. At the time, it was just my wife and I, but the urge to provide was strong. She worked (and still does) but that didn’t matter. I was determined to work in order to earn a paycheck so we could enjoy life. So far, that attitude has continued to fuel what I do and my family is the better for it.
But beyond the basics of living, what else burns passionately within me? I found the question difficult to answer.
I admire people with strange hobbies. They may collect the oddest things, but at least they are passionate enough to be involved in something. It’s what motivates them to action. It’s what gets them going. It’s the thing that creates a sense of accomplishment in their lives. Not like I agree with all the weird hobbies (I mean come on…collectors of beanie babies I’m looking at you!) In the end, they demonstrate a higher lever of passion than I do because they are all in. They don’t go partially into it. They dive on in without a lifeguard.
Me…I’m on the shore watching. Worried to get my feet wet.
But why is that? What passion do I have? What pushes me more than anything else?
I respect people who give their lives over to their religion or beliefs in a positive way. In college I studied Christian monks. Their desire to be so close to God that they gave up their lives to study and pray and sing and work with others in a community appealed to me. They had a level of devotion I didn’t. They were passionate about their beliefs. (Now, I have no respect for religions that condone killing in order to placate their god or bring about a change. There is no room for that. Besides, it isn’t passion, it’s ignorance disguised as truth) There are still people today of various faiths that practice a high level of devotion and promote a positive, peaceful future. I have the greatest respect for them.
I’ve always been fascinated by Hitler and the Third Reich. I was in awe of how one crazed man could convince an entire nation to embrace and promote his ideas of hate and genocide. Hitler had an infectious passion for his beliefs and though they were immoral and absolutely wrong, he was able to bring the German people to his cause. I still marvel how something so heinous could’ve been embraced by so many. It only shows how passion can drive someone, good or bad.
Passion has the ability to change the world. Fortunately for us, Hitler’s passion was crushed.
But what about us now? What about our world today? What kinds of passion do we have and how can we harness the best of it to move us forward? I mentioned this on Twitter a couple weeks ago, but it bears repeating:
Being passionate about something or some cause can spur creation and change. What drives you?Why do what you do?
For me, I’m still seeking that answer. Lukewarm isn’t a way to live. There has to be more.