Early in my working career someone told me that passionate people don’t have to be externally motivated. They are carried along by their passion which generates more energy from which to draw. Passion and energy go hand in hand much like Forrest Gump and Jenny, blogs and visitors. One struggles without the other.
That passionate people didn’t need to be motivated convicted me for decades, wondering why I couldn’t settle at anything, constantly on the move from one job to the next. Every two years I’d be scrolling the Jobs Vacant columns, restless, frustrated and eventually depressed. Was this really all there was to life, an endless merry-go-round of one unfulfilling job after another. Something was definitely missing but how to find the link that would bring traction.
The catalyst was another soul-destroying dead end job. The kind from which I knew I’d wake one day and realise I had died … five days ago. So, 1 August 200X I resigned with no dead end job to step into. With so many working years ahead there had to be meaningful work that could motivate me beyond the pay cheque. Along the way there had been many opportunities to scoot down the exit ramp on that highway to hell but fear is an unrelenting taskmaster. Thank God for epiphanies!
Today I understand the statement that passion requires no motivation. My passion today is shared with a young girl of so many years ago who feared making mistakes because parental judgement was so harsh. That young person allowed others to make the decisions ‘because they knew best”. No they didn’t, and I realise that now as a
somewhat much older version of that young girl. So let me tell you about my passion.
My passion gives me purpose; it draws out the last ounce of perserverance within me. It is about so much more than me because it is outward focussed – into the community and among people. There are days when that desire to be in the centre of my passion burns so strong it almost sparks. Those days I feel I could climb Mt Everest – without oxygen – just passion, perseverance and the energy that living out that dream generates. Each day presents opportunities to use my God-given talents and skills to help someone and in so doing serve my community and my God.
Sure there are days when I feel less than passion-driven but being human is part of the deal and there are elements in my life over which I have no control (sigh). Other days are so rancid with drama I sit in front of the television at night and pinch myself: Why am I doing this? Those are good times to remind myself that the ‘worst’ passion-driven day is better than the best day at any dead end job. When the guts have been punched out of passion, it is time to step back and recharge, get creative in another area. I love to scrapbook, cut up big pieces of material, sew them back together again and make quilts – seems kinda pointless, but fun. And of course, there’s blogging … which has become an obsessive passion.
Did you know there are two types of passion? Harmonious passion and obsessive passion. Blogging falls in the obsessive category, quilting and scrapbooking tend to be harmonious.
Work falls in the former category for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most important is that it provides fulfilled achievement as well as a sense of well-being. Passion-driven work has given me confidence to set my own rules and develop strength of character to stand up under the repercussions of my actions, when my perspective or actions are not appreciated or understood by others. When we are passionate about an issue we are often called to stand alone and to be strong, alone.
When the hard times comes, as they surely will, passion becomes a source of strength that once more points the way. It propels us forward and holds fast when our own brilliance has dulled under the weight of whatever – mine is social injustice. Passion picks us up, dusts us off, and sets us on our feet again.
Tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity to be the difference. Passion carries me through.
What carries you through the tough times? And wine doesn’t count – although it sure helps!