Getting to the Heart of Passion

Written by on April 2, 2015 in Self Awareness with 18 Comments

The Heart of PassionHas “passion” become just another overused buzz word? Think about it, everywhere you look you’ll find it … pursue your passion, monetize your passion, share your passion, create a vision around your passion, passion branding, build your business and life around your passion.

It’s a shame that such a powerful word has become so diluted but the truth is many people these days feel that talking about passion has become just another cliché. It’s not that the original meaning and intent no longer apply. It’s that the word has been overused and misused to the point where the original meaning no longer shines through.

The next time a person tells me they are passionate about social media, or real estate or whatever I’m going to throw up on their shoes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with passion, but if you are passionate about something you do SHOW me instead of relying on it as a tagline for your business! ~R. Gillette

Maybe it’s Time to Rethink Passion

Now I admit there’s a hefty measure of personal bias behind what I’m about to say, but I think passion is still relevant. Perhaps the best solution is to worry less about media related rhetoric and more on living it.

This brings us to an even more important issue, which is that for all that has been written about the topic, many people continue to struggle to identify their passion. For one thing there remains a good deal of confusion over the difference between passion and purpose. In basic terms, passion is the fuel behind your purpose. Most people have a single underlying purpose that over the course of their life will be fueled by many different passions as they naturally change and grow over time, developing new interests and abilities based on their experiences.

What this means is that attempting to identify a single all encompassing passion is like trying to hit a moving target, which could easily blind you to the fact you may already be living a life of passion without realizing it.

I tried finding my “passion” for a year. It didn’t exist. I love learning in general, have a deep curiosity, and am fascinated with visual arts. In the end, I’ve adopted “deep interest of the moment” for my lifestyle and it’s a lot less stressful. ~J. Philip

6 Questions to Identify Your Passion

Questions are a powerful way to probe your subconscious because as soon as you ask a thoughtful question your mind will go to work trying to come with the answer. Our job then is to ask the right questions, and learn to listen for the answers. In this exercise begin by creating a list of as many things as you can think of that you really enjoy doing and then spend some time using the following 6 questions to explore each as a potential passion.

  1. Does it make you feel good about yourself?
  2. Would you do it for free?
  3. Do you lose all track of time when you do it?
  4. Do you talk about it to anyone who will listen?
  5. Do you look for opportunities to share it with others?
  6. Does it make you want to get out of bed in the morning?

I can especially relate to this last question. I’m an early riser by nature anyway, but when I’m working on a project it’s not uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night and check to see what time it is because I’m so excited to get back to work. There was a time when I’d try to make myself go back to sleep, but now that I write full time I can indulge my “passion” for writing and then catch up on my sleep later.

If one or more of your interests fits the criteria of these 6 questions then it’s definitely worth looking a little deeper to see if it aligns with your personal values and overall life purpose. We all have passions. Sometimes you just need to clear your mind, ask a few simple questions and then give yourself a little creative space to explore the possibilities.

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.


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  1. Kimba

    “Most people have a single underlying purpose that over the course of their life will be fueled by many different passions as they naturally change and grow over time, developing new interests and abilities based on their experiences.” Best description I’ve ever read that succinctly explains the difference between purpose and passion.
    Kimba recently posted…7 Years in Fuzzy Bunny SlippersMy Profile

  2. A lot of people care a bit too much about what words other people use, instead of just doing what fills them up with joy. Yes, the words passion, purpose, and authenticity are used a lot. But I care more about what’s going on in my own life :)
    Linda Ursin recently posted…Playing is good for adults tooMy Profile

  3. Looking too hard made me miss it the first few times around but somehow it found me. The minute I started living my passion I just knew it and I’ve never looked by since.
    Betty Eitner recently posted…March is Women’s History Month – Part 4 – Women in AVIATIONMy Profile

  4. Sue Kearney

    Just voted for you, Marquita, and you are ahead of the pack. Go you!

    Having just launched my Facebook group and eBook, I know exactly what you mean. The content creation followed me from waking into dreaming, and popped me out of bed each day. Still are, in fact. And I am doing these for free. Yes, I hope paying clients will come my way from this work, but still…. I call this passion.

    Sue Kearney recently posted…Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse: Connection in balanceMy Profile

  5. Hello Marquita. I never went looking for my passion. It just revealed itself to me. I live to travel, and travel is the focal point of my life. I am most fortunate that I have been able to combine my passion for travel, with my passions for fascinating people and handcrafted chocolate, and that quest has now become my life.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…talking chocolate in Kingston, OntarioMy Profile

    • Good for you Doreen. Of course we each make this journey through life in our own way and in the end what’s important is that we do our best to use the many gifts we are each given to share with the world. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. :-)

  6. It’s difficult to define passion because I think it means different things to different people. I’m passionate about the people in my life that I love — my family and my friends. But maybe that’s not the correct term to use. I don’t think the word is important. If you feel you are living a full life and doing what you love to do then I guess that counts as passion. (PS – I cast my vote for you and you’re in the lead).
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Have You Refreshed Your Social Media Accounts Lately?My Profile

    • Well said Jeannette and I agree with you about the importance of defining what passion means to you. The point is to get beyond the marketing taglines and back to the original intent. And thanks for your vote. I’m normally quite happy to work behind the scenes, but I think this is good for the business so I’m going to get out of my own way and do my best to garner a little attention for ERL. :-)

  7. Mark

    What a really great message M! And I have to say, I think R. Gillette’s request within their quote is really spot on!

    And I totally love your six extremely helpful questions BTW.

    Now I don’t know if as you mentioned, maybe the word “passion” has become a little too over used as of late!

    But I would add, that if anyone can honestly answer yes to at least five of your six questions,then they are most definitely passionate about whatever it is!

    And they should probably be doing it on some level!

    And like you suggested, maybe it’s just time to clear your head and explore the possibilities! Thanks for sharing another terrific post!
    Mark recently posted…Five Incredibly Sinister Ways Newbie Entrepreneurs Constantly Sabotage Themselves!My Profile

    • Yep I have to admit that I’m rather fond of Gillette’s quote myself. Glad you enjoyed the article Mark and like the questions, this exercise really works wonders when someone takes the time to think it through, especially if they do the work in writing.

  8. Hi Marquita,
    You are right, this word is really overused, like many others. Do people even still think about what it really means?
    Your questions are really good, this is right how it feels and what one would be really like to do for it. It is true that we learn new and grow and the passion may change. Again a great post and subject to think about.
    Thank you

    • Hey Erika, and glad you liked the article. From the various articles, comments and general rants I found when researching this topic I tend to agree with you about the original meaning behind the word having been lost along the way. Doesn’t have to be that way though, so hopefully this will at least give readers something to think about. :-0

  9. Dave

    You know, I venture to say that there are many words that are diluted in today’s world – and passion is certainly one of them. In some ways, it has unfortunately become cliche – where someone brings it up and you are instantly turned off by it. And that is a real shame. Because, as you say, it is a vitally important piece of the puzzle – the fuel behind your purpose (I really like that analogy, by the way!)

    Although I like to use words, I couldn’t agree with you more here – it’s more about showing than saying when it comes to passion. And when you do live it, it doesn’t need to be stated. It is clearly evident from the aura that emanates from you :-)

    Your questions confirmed my passion – to a tee. Specifically, I have always been one of those people that thoroughly enjoys my sleep. And yet, it has occurred more often than I can count where I wake up in the middle of the night almost wishing that it were a few hours later so that I could start my day. Let me tell you, that’s an awesome feeling 😉

    Great article, as always – and my vote has been cast. There is no denying your passion Marty. Your actions speak much louder than any words you can pen – and that, my friend, is saying a lot :-)
    Dave recently posted…Calculated loveMy Profile

    • You are so right about “passion” not being the only word in question Dave. For example in researching this article I came across a surprising number of rants about the word ‘authentic’ and it really is another of those words you see everywhere. Personally, I’d like to see the word ‘optimize’ banned for life! Thanks for your kind words, and vote. As I’m sure you can imagine, this is not one of my favorite things to do, but it’s good for the business so I’ll suck it up. :-)

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