I was exhausted.
My mojo was no where to be found. Truth be told – all I wanted to do was to find a couch and sleep.
Unfortunately, this was supposed to be my “highly productive” weekend. I brought home piles of work I had been avoiding and was planning to plow through it.
I just didn’t care. It felt like I was swimming in molasses.
While I was staring out the window – my wife entered the room. She took one look at the pile of folders in front of me and my wilting face then shook her head.
After a brief pause, she succinctly (and profoundly) said:
“You always lose energy when you aren’t passionate about your work.“
She then turned and walked away.
She’s right. My fatigue is directly correlated to my passion. If I don’t want to do it – I come grinding to a halt. I’ll surf the web, rearrange crap on my desk, organize my email or just stare off into an abyss. It becomes work with a capital W.
Conversely, when engaged in what I’m doing – time stands still. I can go on and on without stopping. I lose myself to the moment and am immersed.
The bottom line – Passion is powerful.
To name just a few benefits – Passion:
- Provides energy when the going gets tough.
- Adds depth, breadth and color to events and activities.
- Puts a sparkle in your eye and a skip in your step.
- Indicates alignment with what you are doing and why you exist.
- Is like that one great golf shot – it keeps you coming back for more!
So, given the positive impact, what do you do to seek, nurture and maintain Passion in your life?
You aren’t going to experience passion 24 hours a day. However, you should strive to increase passion year over year.
Living or working without passion is a soul-draining existence. Can you do it? Sure you can – but why? You are getting older; make life better while you’re at it!
Do the Work:
1. Start by Building Awareness. Ask yourself questions like: What provides me with the most passion? Do I experience passion at work? Do I have passion in my relationships? Do I have passion at home?
2. Dig Deeper. Identify the major components of your life. For most, they probably include:
- Work (e.g., job, career, profession, etc.)
- Family (e.g., immediate and extended)
- Personal (e.g., hobbies, health/well-being, learning & development)
- Spiritual (e.g., soul-based, altruistic, etc.)
- Community (e.g., avocational, not-for-profits, friends, etc.)
3. Rate Them. Consider each of your categories. Rate the level of passion you experience in each (on a weekly basis). Use a simple rating scale – “Satisfied“, “Need More” or “Not Great, but Okay for Now“.
4. Target Areas to Improve: Focus on the category of your life that “Needs More” Passion. Spend time thinking about (or better yet – tracking) your daily activities in that category. Identify what provides you with the most passion and what throws you into the pool of molasses!
5. Make a Move. Using your data, pick 3 things you can do to increase your passion. Start small and build up. Remember, there are always tedious chores in life/work that are non-negotiable. That’s okay. The goal is to get more passion in areas you can control.
6. Begin Again. Once you effectively increase the Passion in that category – move the the next lowest rated area and repeat Steps 4 and 5. Continue until each of the major categories have the levels of Passion you desire.
Passion is an underutilized tool on your Deliberate Journey. While you enjoy it when it is present, I’ll bet you don’t do enough activity to build and maintain it. You can create it. To do so requires some thought, effort and refinement, but it’s possible.
Give it a go – you’ll be glad you did!