You may have heard the phrase, “Follow your passion, not your pension!” This is a phrase that has been around for quite some time, and it is somewhat “dated” as to the reference to a pension. Years ago, many jobs had pensions attached to them, but not so many anymore. So, don’t get caught up in the “pension” part of the quote, and miss the main message. The intent of this phrase is to live your passion, and to not be more committed to the pay and benefits of a job at the expense of loving what you do. Another way this has been described is, “If you love what you do, you will never spend a day of your life working!” These phrases describe the importance of passion.
If passion is so important, and I believe that it is, what is it, exactly? How can passion best be defined? Passion and its importance are described fully in the recently published 2nd edition of my book originally published in 2002, How to Thrive in Spite of Mess, Stress, and Less! Passion is your answer to the question, “What inspires me to be who I am to be?” It is the “inspiration to wholeheartedly and enthusiastically employ all my energies and resources into having-choosing-the life I want.” Passion includes purpose, mission, direction, and energy. Without passion, life has less meaning. People with passion are fully engaged in living a life of purpose and meaning.
Passion is often thought of as manifested as excitement, and it certainly can be that in some people. There are others, however, whose passion is quiet, yet nonetheless present. When you see someone who is doing work they love even when that work is not financially compensated, you can assume passion is involved. While motivational speaker Tony Robbins exudes passion, Mother Theresa did as well, although the expression of passion in these two people was/is very different.
People of passion change things. The changes people of passion make are usually improvements, although this is not always the case. Likely you can think of someone who is very passionate, yet their passion is not positive, and can even be destructive. What a terrible waste of talent.
Commit yourself to positive and life affirming passion, and make the world better for not just yourself, but for others as well.