What is Passion anyway?

Last week I was working with a couple of young people in their late 20’s and early 30’s. Ultimately, their basic question was ‘What shall I do with my life?’ I was shocked to hear this question because they both had opportunities for development in their careers and earnt a decent salary that allows them to travel and have fun. It was also revealed that both of them are well educated and on a career path that can be forecast for the next 5-10 years. Dream lives, aren’t they?

Except that none of them seemed happy with their lives. According to their sharing they were both lost and confused. As we continued our discussions, it soon turned out that neither of them were sure if they followed their passions and dreams or were just on automatic pilot.

So, we started talking about what their passions might be in order to see if they were on the ‘right’ path or not. And this is basically where our conversation got halted The young man shared that though he really liked being an engineer and having career prospects to strive for, he does not feel ‘whole’ and contented. He admitted that he could not wait for the week to end. Neither, does the money he earns make him feel happy. He did not feel inspired, he said.

The young lady talked about how much she felt out of place at work and bored though her job was actually stressful. Even though she was admittedly passionate about sports and living a healthy lifestyle, it does not seem to make up for the stress and boredom she feels at work. At the same time, they both shared how grateful they were for the opportunities they have had so far and the comfort they live in.

To my observation, however, neither of them had any real idea what ‘being passionate’ meant. So we started exploring who they are in their uniqueness and what that individuality requires them to ‘do’ in order to feel whole and contented.

Passion is a funny word. Do you know that it actually stems from the Latin word for ‘pain and suffering’? In the Bible, the Passion of the Christ was his crucifixion, his final great deed for humanity, according to scholars. In my understanding passion is ‘great enthusiasm in serving self and others with inherent (unique) abilities and a sense of commitment to make that happen’.

What I can say from my own experience is that I am the happiest when by serving others I actually serve myself.

And you, what are you passionate about? What are your greatest strength and unique abilities that can serve you and others at the same time?