“What are you passionate about?”
“What are you passionate about?” This likely is a question you’ve been asked multiple times in the past and spent quality time reflecting. In fact, in my opinion, it can be a bit misleading if we’re not careful. Case in point, Chris was awfully passionate about “leading to Chris’ agenda” early on in life. I had big dreams of what “success” looked like and was passionately running after it. This wasn’t all bad; however, personally, my passions were a little too me-centric. You get the point? That being said, the question “what are you passionate about?” still is a critical in finding fulfillment in our daily walk as well as finding the right players for our team.
To share an analogy of what I mean, let me use a teenager who’s an athlete and wants do something with sports when they grow up. While possibly not sports, all of us had some childhood dream. Yes, some of the funniest moments I have are to attend my wives preschool graduation ceremony to hear all the kids offer up who and what they want to be when they grow up. Professional athletes, doctors, and teacher normally top the list. Now, for a few, they continue to pursue these passions to a point of fruition; some with positive motives and others for not so positive motives. However, for most, they aren’t going to become the next Andrew Luck, D Wade, Tiger Woods, or any other professional athlete that comes to mind. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t better understand and pursue the deep passion within. It does mean we might have to look at it through a bit different lens.
When talking to that teenager about sports (or adults about other passions), I tend to encourage people to get to the core of their passions. You see, it’s normally not playing the sport which is a teen’s core passion; it’s more about key attributes of playing the game and being a part of the team. The young man that wants’ to be the quarterback likely has gifts and talents related to being a leader. What we often have to do is help someone like this understand, the passion likely isn’t about being “the quarterback” it’s more about being “a leader”. While they’ve had this experience on the football field, we have to help them bridge the gap to a point where they understand that passion can be fueled by leading in many other differing environments. This is a simple example which hopefully gives a bit of insight to more complex process.
In my upcoming book, I talk about how passions are one of multiple threads wound together in the overall understand of “knowing yourself” and using this to live a “life of significance”. Referencing Restless by Jennie Allen, I talk about key “threads” woven together that aid in the process of “knowing yourself”. These threads are: Gifts, Sufferings, Places, People, Passions. Today, I’m simply planting the seed that “Passions” are only one of the threads. In a culture that often highlights it as the “primary” thread, I’d like to offer that it’s one of a few others equally important.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can use Gifts, Sufferings, Places, People, and Passions in your life to better “know yourself” and live a “life of significance”, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Through this process, what I’ve discovered is that I am uniquely equipped and passionate about aiding others in going through a similar process of discovery.