Passion (noun) – strong and barely controllable emotion

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

How I Found My Passion

It was in my senior year English class that I haphazardly figured out what I wanted to do with my life. Ms. Furkin was my Honor’s English teacher that year, and I was taking the course for dual credit – high school and college. She gave this crazy, what seemed like an almost childish assignment: to make a coat of arms. We were to section the shield into six individual spaces, and I honestly can’t remember what any of the sections were supposed to depict except for one: what we wanted to do with our lives if we could do anything – ANYTHING – in the world.

Most people used that space to draw or somehow otherwise symbolize their future career choices. I almost did too. But with more thought, I for some reason decided to be more ambitious and share what I really wanted to do: change the world. I drew a picture of the earth and with me standing beside it with a magic wand, poofing the change I wanted to see in the world.

It was just a simple picture, but it depicted something raging inside of me that I could no longer hold back. I didn’t have the best of childhoods, and everything I was seeing evolve around me…. well, it stunk. There was never any good news on the television or radio. My high school sweetheart’s brother had just died the year before in a horrible car accident with four others; he was only nineteen. I knew without a doubt that all I really wanted to do was somehow change the world. I had no idea how I was going to do it, but the very picture I drew that day is still as clear as the keyboard and screen in front of me today.

The cool thing was that when my assignment was returned to me, Ms. Furkin herself told me that she knew that somehow I’d figure out a way to change the world. Maybe she was just being nice, but to me, it was all I could do not to cry. Someone believed in me. Someone believed in my dream, my passion. I showed the assignment to my previous English teacher, Mr. Willis. He looked at me in all seriousness and told me he believed if anyone could do it, I could.

Needless to say, I had amazing English teachers in high school. They were tough but more sincere than anyone else I’ve ever met. To know that these people believed in me was just the motivation I needed to pursue what became my passion in life. Everything I’ve intentionally done in my life has been toward the pursuit of somehow changing the world. I still don’t know how to really do it, but when I think about whether I want to do something or not, I think about how I can somehow achieve this goal.

I’m older now and not naive. I know that there’s probably no chance that I’ll be able to somehow change the whole world. But I’ve learned that by helping to change one thing at a time, or helping one person at a time, I truly am changing the world… one act of kindness at a time.

What is passion?

Passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion by the Oxford Dictionary of English. It is something that is desired intensely and may (or may not) involve what seem like irrational but irresistible actions.
I don’t know why I have the passion I do, but I’m sure it has to do with my past experiences and how they’ve molded me into the person I am. I want to be the person I needed when I was younger. I want to help the person who needs encouragement or a couple of dollars or a hot meal. I want children to know that they’re not alone because I know what it feels like to feel that loneliness. If someone is cold and needs a blanket or shelter, I want to help them, because for me, this is how I change the world.
One thing I know for sure is that this passion burns inside of me and even in my darkest moments, it just won’t die. We all have that spark for something. Figure out what it is, and let it guide you moment to moment.
I’m fortunate. I get paid for my passion. I was able to figure out what I love and what it is that burns inside me, and I made it my job. It is my calling.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

What is your passion?

Pay attention to each moment of your life. Take time to notice where you are. Pay attention to how you feel. In order to find your passion(s) and discover what you truly love, you have to let yourself feel your emotions.

Stop thinking about others for a bit. If you’re trying to find YOUR passion, you’ve got to let it be YOUR passion, not your parents’ passion for you, not your spouse’s passion for you, not anyone else’s vision of what you’re supposed to be or what you’re supposed to be doing. To find YOUR passion, you’ve got to think about yourself in order to figure it out.

Who are you? Get to know who you are. One piece of advice I’ve heard is to get to know yourself as if you were dating you… and fall in love with yourself while you’re at it.

Finally, think, if you could do anything in the world – ANYTHING – what would it be? Make a coat of arms if you need to. 🙂