Prepare for life and learning with Passion

Find Your Passion

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object.  —  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Passion energizes people to work toward their goals. They create a strong desire to accomplish something important.

The man in the picture is obviously passionate about photography. For some it is a hobby. For this man, it is his profession and his passion. Here, he has taken his own picture… a self-portrait.

I was surprised to discover that passion not only leads to achieving goals, it is also good for the brain. Dr. Ratey writes:

Any activity that gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment, that makes us feel glad to be alive, can help us care for and feed our brain.

Many people put off doing what they love, or what they know they need to do for themselves, until later in life, trying to get the world’s demands out of the way first. What a grave mistake! It is far better to make sure that part of our lives is consumed with activities that we can put all our hearts, minds, energies, and joys into at once.

Find a mission in your life. A commitment to a calling, a career, even a hobby that focuses the mind and the soul.   — A Users Guide to the Brain, p. 376

The four levels of passion

 Success isn’t the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. — Arnold Glasow

We can all experience some level of passion. Some passions are simply things that make us happy while others are grand passions. We may experience an intense desire to make a difference in the world. And there’s  wide range of passions between these two extremes.

Some of us discover our passions early in life, others don’t find a true passion until many years later. Some of us experience several areas of passion. Some of us have different passions at different times in their lives.

As a child, my passion was biology. When I was in about fourth grade I saved allowance for months to buy a book: The Word of Plant Life. During the summer between seventh and eight grade, I was in a week-long workshop on the injustice of segregation. I added a passion for Civil Rights.  As a teacher, I soon added a new passion for finding and developing more effective ways of teaching and learning.

How would you describe your passions?

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. He who looks inside, awakens.                         —  Carl Justav Jung