What is passion? How do you find your passions?

January 3, 2013 by Joshua
in Awareness, Blog

Next on the list of words under my name at the top of this page is passion. See earlier posts for values, meaning, purpose, and importance.

I think people understand passion more precisely than the previous concepts. Also, I think people also connect passion to emotion, so I don’t have to explain why I’m connecting the concept to emotions like I did for the earlier posts.

The dictionary‘s three relevant definitions are

  1. emotion
  2. intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction
  3. a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept

Wikipedia starts its page on passion with

Passion (from the Ancient Greek verb πάσχω (paskho) meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.

The term is also often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love – to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject. It is particularly used in the context of romance or sexual desire though it generally implies a deeper or more encompassing emotion than that implied by the term lust.

I like these definitions, so I won’t differ much from them. I’ll add that passion comes from experience with investment on your part. Like love, passion may occur at first sight, but I find for something to become a full-fledged passion, you need to invest in it.

Passion is intense emotion directed to a goal developed from experience.

You don’t find your passions. You create them.

I wrote about how you create or develop passions, not find them in my post, “You don’t find your passion, you create it“.

I find this distinction important. I often ask people what their passion is (which I ask instead of the boring question “So what do you do?”) and by far the most common response I hear is that they don’t know their passions, but they wish they could find one. They misunderstand that you have to create passions. If you’ve been in love you know that love builds — no matter how much you loved them at first sight, you loved them more for sharing experiences with them.

If you hope to find the love of your life just through falling in love at first sight, you’ll be looking and hoping for a long time. If you plan on listening, giving, learning, growing together, and so on, you can likely expect to love a lot more. Plus all you can start by finding a person you like and can build with, something easier to find than someone who falls in love with you the instant you fall in love with them, before knowing anything about each other.

Same with passions. If you hope to discover your great life passions, like if you just turn over enough rocks you’ll find some buried treasure, like you expect life just to hand them to you, you’ll wait a long time.

If you want to find your passions, find things you like. Devote time, attention, energy, and other resources to them. Take them to where they have a life of their own so you get swept up in them. You can expect you’ll change your environments, beliefs, and behaviors.

There, now you have passion in your life.

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1 response to “What is passion? How do you find your passions?

  1. Pingback: Overview of Understanding leadership, values, meaning, purpose, importance, passion — six key concepts of this web page » Joshua Spodek

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