Here Are The Big Benefits of a Little Passion in Your Life
“Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.” (Urban Dictionary)
So what fuels your fire?
What inspires you to put more energy into something than is necessary?
And why is that beneficial?
You hear a lot these days about finding and living your passion - about being true to yourself and following your heart.
Sometimes these notions seem more fairytale-like than the reality we find ourselves in as our alarm clock goes off or when we are waiting in line at the checkout counter.
Tapped out by our daily routines and obligations, we hear these affirmations, chuckle and shake our heads.
Live with passion!? How do I squeeze that in? And even if I could, why would I bother?
This is why…
Passion clarifies values.
Tuning into those things that add a spark to your heart, mind, body and soul guides you to really recognize what makes you tick, to really know yourself. Many times, the things that define you most are difficult to put into words. So paying attention to how you feel and respond in situations sheds light on what is important and valuable to you.
For example, does being part of a team (gaming, sport, project, dance, etc.) speak to your heart? Perhaps it is the sense of challenge, community or achievement that draws you in. Those things that pull ‘the spark’ from you the most are the things that align with and nurture your values. Owning these values ripples out and influences every aspect of your day, so that more of your choices, behaviors and actions are infiltrated with passion.
Passion provides purpose.
Your spark is lit! Values focus your purpose: your reason for doing or creating something.
Have you ever noticed how different your attitude and enthusiasm are when you give your time and energy to a situation that you believe in and value, as opposed to one that you feel obligated to? When these stars align you feel more motivated, inspired and driven to accomplishment.
Passion unleashes aspirations.
Feel the drive! Passion shakes and wakes you up to opportunities and possibilities. It can be a bit like a jolt of caffeine. All of a sudden you catch a glimpse of something that could be: a goal you may have set off to the side or previously believed impossible. Remember, passion is ambition set into action…it emboldens you to declare your goals and make the move. How exciting is that?!
Passion promotes creativity.
Make the move! Passion builds self-confidence and security in risk-taking. It adds an element of wonder and joy to pursuing your goal. With fewer limitations on your mind you nurture your creativity and allow it to flow. More creativity allows for more options, allowing for more accomplishments.
Plus, this creativity seeps into innumerable pockets of your world. Has something like this ever happened to you? You are focused on picking out new flooring for your living room area today and the next thing you know you find yourself in an antique shop envisioning a golden-pink lighting fixture hanging in your house tomorrow. Or, you have such a great time learning to cut, polish and mount gemstones in your lapidary class you experiment with making other types of jewelry on your own for gifts. Once that creativity is flowing it is difficult to deny it.
Passion ignites others’ passions.
Embody the creative flow! You know the feeling. Your friend walks you through their flourishing garden, enthusiastically sharing every bug, leaf, flower and weed. By the time you are halfway through you are thinking, “I want one too! I am going to do this too!” and so it begins.
Passion is contagious. Being around folks who are passionate does two things: it inspires you to want to act on a passion of your own and your inspiration amplifies their own passion.
It is a very un-vicious cycle, one that you become enamored in.
I was privileged to witness just such a cycle recently.
A friend of mine, let us call him Amos, is a shining example of someone living their passion.
Amos hemmed and hawed a few months ago about gearing up his sugar shack to make maple syrup. The whole process is a lot of work, and cold, and time-consuming. Was it worth it? Who would care if he did not do it this year? He had other projects waiting for him.
Just when he decided not to do it, he decided to do it.
In the end, he just could not not do it.
Amos loves being out in the woods, checking the trees, warming up with the wood stove at the shack, lugging the sap through the snow from evaporator to evaporator, boiling it all down to perfection. It feeds his soul interacting with nature this way.
Neighbors, co-workers and friends would come by to help, learn and to sample the goods.
Each time, Amos would give them the grand tour of the woods and the sugar shack. He would pull them in with hands-on demonstrations of the process, make them taste-testing guinea pigs of varying types and batches of syrup. He would share his engineer level of scientific hows and whys in a down to earth, humor-filled language that everyone could understand and appreciate. Then he would send them off with a bottle or two of hot, out-of-the-pan syrup. Did he have to do all that? No. It feeds his soul interacting with folks this way.
The magic of transforming some watery liquid from a tree into a syrupy sweetness captivated us all. Multiple folks walked away wishing they too had a sugar shack, or thinking, “Hey, how cool is that? If Amos can do that, then I can do____.” and envisioning a passion of theirs begin to unfold.
Everyone involved becomes touched by the passion bug (high-five to the newest bee-keeping, honey-collecting friend in our group!).
As Amos packs up the sugar shack process once again, he is already enthusiastically looking toward next year, bolstered by this year’s satisfactions, inspirations and accomplishments.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
Passion is a grassroots kind of thing. It is a natural, deep-seated feeling of ‘Ah-hah!’ Those things for which you feel great passion are embedded in your soul, always a part of you.
Your passions also evolve.
Just as you shift, so too can your passions. Each day you experience life and gain opportunities to expand your horizons. It is natural that your passions shift too. You never know what might fire up your soul once you are exposed to it (maple syrup?). Stay open to the possibilities.
The next time you hear something about living with passion, instead of brushing it aside, think of how passion enhances life…clarity, purpose, aspirations, creativity, inspiration…and think, “Why not bother?”