Do you have it? If you do, what is it, where does it come from, and what triggers it in you? Do you take that passion into your work, your role, your relationships at work, your culture? Did you used to have passion, but seem to have lost it? Have you ever had passion for the work you do now, and if not, why?
I want to touch on passion because of its central nature to our being. We have all witnessed people who are passionate about what they do—artists, athletes, poets, singers who are “in the flow” of what they do. In moments of flow, time stands still, things come and go with little effort, and the person feels alive, connected, creative, and whole. Most people have experienced moments like this; many connect with their passions at least occasionally. Those who are following their dreams and living their lives with full vigor do so from their deepest passions. For those of us observing people who wear their passions on their sleeves, are we not in awe of them, maybe even envious? They seem to be more successful, creative, happy, and joyful!
Passion is based on one of the most fundamental forces of all: the instinct to express life fully. Passion is a force of nature. It is a rich, soulful emotion. It is always an internal event, not something from outside you. It connects your thinking and feeling parts, and it makes you feel bigger, better, bolder, and more alive.
Passion is the juice of life. It is joy manifested through you. When you are living your life through, with, and around your passions, you are elevated to the highest sense of yourself where enjoyment, connection, positive energy, pleasure, success, accomplishment, and meaning reside—all of which define a life well lived! Passion makes life worth living! It is the bridge between our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about who we are and what we want. It is the creative thrust that arises from within us and propels us to action.
A key element of the authentic leadership equation is passion, because passion is the energy behind authenticity. Those who know what their passion is have a zest for life, and those who live their passion enjoy reward and meaning. They have reached enlightenment in and through their work. In fact for these folks, work isn’t work, it is “play on steroids.”
I have come to know passion and its importance for the human family. It is at the center of our existence. It has been said that love is all there is, and love is what makes the world go round. Love, manifest in human beings, is what we call passion—the eternal flame of love’s energy is at the root of all life. Passion is the life-force. It is our motivation system from fulfilling our basic survival needs to satisfying our most vivid, expansive dreams and desires. It drives our senses and moves us toward higher states of love, happiness, connection, meaning, and satisfaction. It fuels our values, vision, desires, and outcomes.
Passion = Meaning + Fulfillment + Love + Connection + Hope
Take a moment, and stop and ask yourself:
– “Do I know what I am passionate about?”
– “If I do, am I fully expressing my passion in my work?”
– “If I have lost my passion in my work, what can I do to bring it back?”
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, are you willing to begin a journey of introspection, get some coaching or join a peer group, or explore new avenues to get your mind and spirit activated in new ways?
If you know your passion but don’t bring it to your work, then ask yourself why, what’s holding you back from bringing that personally positive energy into the thing you spend the most time doing? Or, are you just in the wrong position or with the wrong organization? Either way, what price are you paying for not being passionate about what you do, why you do what you do, or where you work?
If you are a leader:
– Are you channeling your passion mindfully every day, in every encounter with your people, to help bring about the best and highest results for all? How do you know?
– Have you misplaced your passion, and if so, are you ready to re-engage with it and bring it back into your work? What will it take for you to reconnect with your passion?
– If you don’t bring passion into your work, or are faking it, do you realize your people are probably on to you and your inauthenticity? Remember when you had someone pretending passion with you, and are you ready to wake up to the current realities of your working that way and the effects on your team?
We all have lapses with passion, maybe even at times question why you are doing what you are doing. When I do, I find an easy question I can ask myself is, “What do I truly stand for in this moment, with this endeavor, with these people?” It reminds me of what’s important to me and gets me right back to square with what makes me come alive, allowing me to be more present, open, inviting, connected and effective as a leader.
Passion is directly linked to our values, our natural gifts and strengths, a vision, and a strong sense of purpose. It takes plenty of personal soul-searching and reflection to gain conscious clarity about who we are as values, passion, gifts and purpose. I encourage you to turn the light of inquiry inward, and connect your spirit to your higher ideals. This will re-ignite the pilot-lite within you and allow you to see and think more clearly and creatively, connect more deeply and meaningfully with others, and enrich and enliven your life and others’ lives around you.
Passion is the fuel of being a conscious leader. Light yourself up and watch your world improve dramatically!