Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister

Passion

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passionfruitI think the word "Passion" is misused on our circles to the detriment of people who are trying to follow advice about engaging one’s passion. Someone approached me the other day and wanted advice because he did not feel like he had any passion. No job he really loved, No idea what to do with his life, just a bachelors degree and a need to feed himself. He wanted help finding his passion. This is what I told him:

We pretend like it’s something you really really enjoy doing, something that fills you with glee that you would do in your spare time just for fun. That’s not what a passion is.

It is actually a religious reference. The Passion is the crucifixion of Jesus. That doesn’t mean that Jesus loved getting crucified, that means that he cared enough about what was going on in that story (the perceived will of God) that he was willing to suffer, and suffer mightily in exchange for it.

So the adage holds true "do something as a career, you would do for free" but not because you enjoy it so much. Do it because you care about the results of it being done so much that you would endure it even for no money. Do it because it is your passion. Your crucifixion.

You may hear people who say their passion is video games, or ponies. You may hear businessmen joke that their true passion is Golf. Those people are idiots…. Unless of course the businessman means that he loves golf so much that he would do it every day, in the snow and the rain, that he would neglect his marriage and his children and spend long hours on the course until the blisters on his hand become unbearable because he has not yet perfected that dogleg shot. That is very rare.

More likely you care about something that matters more than golf. Something like human progress, or justice, or cross-cultural engagement. Maybe you hate it whenever animals are mistreated, when children are neglected, or whenever the truth is hidden from the masses. Maybe you would be willing to sacrifice to make one of those situations better. Do that.

Or, on the off chance that there really is nothing you care about, nothing that matters to you, nothing that grabs your attention because of it’s intrinsic value rather than what it pays, then you need to spend some time growing as a person. Get an easy job that pays enough to live on, don’t work more than half time, and spend the rest of your time learning to love deeply and analyzing with a professional what mechanism is broken inside you that previously prevented you. Because living without any passion is no way to live.

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Written by RyanGaffney

October 28, 2015 at 8:40 am

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