Passion; What is it and where do I find it?
Good Advice – Or Not?
‘Find your passion’ never stops trending on social media and other places. I think its one of those catch-all phrases that means different things to different people, but is it good advice? Let’s take a closer look at the phrase and its unspoken implications.
What Does It Mean?
According to Wikipedia, Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something. Passion may be a friendly or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, discovery, or activity or love – to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject.*
I’ve spent the last 20 years watching documentaries and speeches in which people encourage others to find their passion. It led me to believe that I actually already have one and that I need to go look for it. In hindsight though, I think encouragement to develop a passion might be more realistic.
I was also left with the impression that each person only has one or two passions in their life. But, that denotes a rather narrow focus. What happens if neither one of those passions is successful? And, of course, the big question is, “If my true passion fails, am I forever doomed to a meaningless life?” 😨
Another impression I was left with is that if I find my true passion, success will come easily. If we define success as the attainment of our goal and don’t reach it – what then? Have we FAILED? Or, have we simply found one thing that didn’t work for us along the way?
If there are pitfalls, passion is the factor that motivates you to keep going. For instance, what if my new found passion brings epic challenges along the way? Will I be resilient enough to let it go and work with something else? Or, if there’s still a glimmer of hope, will I stick with it long enough to see it through to completion? I believe that’s where passion comes into play. It is the glue that sustains us over long periods of growth and development while we work towards our goals.
Develop a Growth Mindset
A “growth mindset,” Dweck says, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a tendency to believe that you can grow. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she explains that while a “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
According to Carol Dweck of Stanford University, when you know that your intelligence, character, and creative ability are not static, the positive growth results are staggering. When you view these traits as liable to change and growth through application and experience, it changes your definition of success.
Growth mindset is my new plan of action to take the place of bouncing from one place to the next in failed attempts to find my passion. Now, I will develop my passions. How about you? Has anything in this post resonated for you? I’d love to read your comments. 🔥