The first two levels of Passion
One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested. — E.M. Forster
The first level of Passion: What will make you happy?
Some of us respond to the question of what will make them happy, by thinking no further than the next hours or day or weeks. They’d be happy to see a certain football game, to get a date with some interesting person they met recently, to get an A on a test or assignment.
This young mother knew what she wanted. She wanted children, finally she has her first child, a beautiful little boy and she’s very happy.
It takes more effort to think of what will make you happy for the rest of your life.
Find what makes your heart sing and create your own music. — Mac Anderson
What are your goals? What do you want out of life?
I have to smile when I remember an encounter I had with a good-looking young man I met at the beach one summer. As I talked to him, I asked him what his goals were, what he wanted out of life. How would you answer that question? I don’t remember this poor boy’s name, and perhaps that’s for the best. But I recall his answer in detail.
“I want to go to a nice college, get a nice job, marry a nice girl, live in a nice house, and have a nice family.”
My rather rude response was to make the sound of vomiting. I turned around and left without looking back. I sometimes wonder if he had any clue why I was so disgusted. He thought he had goals. He thought he knew what he wanted, but his answers were completely without meaning.
There seemed to be no subject he was interested in, certainly none he was passionate about. He had no idea what he might want to study or what kind of work he might want to do (other than being “nice”). One might wonder what sort of girl he’d consider nice, what kind of house he’d think was nice, and what the difference might be between having a “nice” family and simply having a family.
Imagine that I am asking you the same questions, “What are your goals? What do you want out of life?”
How would I respond to your answers? If your only goal is happiness then it seems that you have no goal. I’d have to ask you to be specific. “Exactly what is it that will make you happy?”
The young man on the surfboard clearly is passionate about surfing.
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who are alive. — Howard Thurman
It isn’t necessary for you to set yourself a grand goal like stopping global warming, or saving the gorillas from becoming extinct, or feeding all the world’s starving children, though these are wonderful things to work toward.
If you want to work as a secretary, you might want to be an excellent secretary, one who is skilled and works with a boss who appreciates your efforts like the secretary in this picture.
If you want to sell cars, you might want to be a salesperson who listens to the customer and helps them find the car they want and need, a salesperson they trust and appreciate, someone they will visit again when they’re looking for another car, someone they will recommend to their friends. Even the salesperson whose only goal is to make more money than anyone else has a clear, easy to understand goal. It rates much higher than getting a “nice” job.
The purpose of life is to love and be loved, to enjoy the ordinary, and to savor the present moment. It is finding work that brings pleasure, and continuing to learn, grow, and evolve. Discovering your purpose means finding out who you are and striving to be that person all the time. — Joe Love
The Second Level of Passion: What are your goals in life?
Having clear goals, preferably written goals, give you a much better chance to achieve something in life. You can still be a hometown person, marrying someone you went to school with and finding work down the street from the place were you grew up.
The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. — Bill Copeland
Perhaps that secretary’s real goal is not connected to her job. Perhaps her main goal is to raise a children with opportunities she never had. Maybe she is saving her money to put a down payment on a house.
Perhaps the salesman hopes to someday get a promotion. He might even plan to own that business or another one. He might have other dreams. His hobby might be painting, making pottery, woodworking, singing or even writing. He might continue to improve these skills with hopes that someday, he could make a living doing what he loves most. But he is realistic and knows he needs to make a living until he can become a success in his chosen field.
To continue The third and fourth levels of passion