Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Passion on Purpose

"Your true passion should feel like 
breathing; it's that natural."
Oprah Winfrey

"Wow! Just look at her go!" I exclaimed as I saw the exuberant musician attack her instrument during a performance of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 at Orchestra Hall. "Now that's passion in action." What had started in a demure and proper way—cellist dressed in a fancy evening gown with cello in-hand and hair styled neatly—quickly turned into a flurry of fingers, strings, a relentless bow, and hair flying everywhere. Alisa Weilerstein was in her element.

Passion? Undoubtedly. But do we all play the cello? Of course not. However, whether it's playing music, building a shed, or teaching a class, discovering and incorporating passion into our lives and work is something we can do easily—that is, if we are aware of what our passion is.

Discovering our passion first starts with awareness. How do we find our passion? A quick support is Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose, by Chris and Janet Bray Attwood. The Attwoods take you through the process to help you find and activate your passion. They even have a simple test on their website. Awareness starts with recognizing passion in others as well ourselves. Think of those times you felt happy or at peace. What were you doing? Who were you with? What environment where you in?

Finding passion in your life is a key essential to well-being and purpose. Like finding better balance, passion is a natural part of who we already are—it's always inside of us. We just need to pay attention and notice what it feels like. We can connect with our passion more easily when we are in alignment.

Do you think passion has a role in the workplace? According to the 2011 Deloitte Shift Index Survey, passionate people were twice as likely to be 'energized' or 'inspired' by unexpected challenges in the workplace than those who were disengaged. This is a prime indicator that being passionate about what we do and who we are makes a different. Deloitte's study also revealed that passionate employees constantly seek to stimulate new thinking and creativity. And what company doesn't need more of that?! 

Since passion is something that is dynamic, we can learn to activate our passion by incorporating it into what we already do. For example, if you love cooking, you don't necessarily have to be chef for a living, but you could volunteer to cook for an upcoming fundraiser or charity event. How about if your passion is sports? Your passion for football can put you in a state of joy by coaching your son's football team. Be creative! 

Above all else, remember that passion is a part of who you already are—a part of your core and sense of purpose. Reconnecting with yourself, your gifts, and your happiness will always help bring more passion into your life on purpose.

Read more about living your passion on purpose in my third book, 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance, coming in 2013!

Connect with yourself; connect with others; connect with the world.


The Ambassador of Goodwill