The age old question that you are asked umpteen times in your life. Whether you are asked in an interview, by your friends, relatives, etc. It’s interesting that this has come around more frequently as a question as I feel it means we as a society are more concerned with what drives people. Not just what they aim for in the future, i.e. goals, but things that help wake them up every day and get out of bed.
Recently, in a book I read, there was a challenge to no longer ask “What do you do?” when you are meeting someone but to ask “What are you passionate about”? I was struck to my core by this line. It continued on to say that we define ourselves by our job and our title but is that truly who we are. Our passions are what encompasses who we are and what is left of us when we go. When you read an obituary, sorry to get daunting here, but when you read one do they say “X Smith was an engineer” and leave it at that? I mean, maybe some do but those I have read do not. They talk about the individuals passions and what they truly cared about.
I recently had a conversation about passions with a colleague and friend. She asked me to have lunch with her to specifically talk about my Passion Planner. When we sat down she brought up that she was asked this exact question recently and she was a little stumped. She asked me my thoughts and I was inspired to write.
When talking with her I told her I am passionate about:
- My relationships
- Living life
I told her when someone asks me what I am passionate about I think of things that make me happiest. I also shared that my passions have changed and they will change. New things come into our life all of the time and others leave. There are people I know who used to be passionate about a specific sport and now they just don’t care for it anymore.
I do find that sometimes our passions can take too much of our energy. We get so involved in them with our time and effort that we lost sight of why we are passionate about them. For this reason, if I find I am starting to not feel passionate about something anymore I start making a list. Yes, I AM that list person. Anyways, I start making a list of why I was passionate about it in the first place. If for some reason none of what is on the list rings true anymore, then I recognize it’s not something for me.
I have had things I have been passionate about that have relied on the people I was doing them with. Which makes sense, sometimes our passions are brought to us by those around us. This is why I have also taken the time to recognize it is the people around me I also need to be passionate about.
I need to be passionate about cultivating, nurturing and encouraging the relationships I have. These can be personal or professional, but I find if I don’t also focus on the people then my passion for things can fizzle out.
Passions can be simple things, no one defines what your passions are except yourself.