Passion: An emotion applied to a very strong feeling or desire. Intense, compelling, enthusiastic. The Passion Flower (right) was named by Spanish explorers who thought it resembled three nails and a crown of thorns, reminding them of the "Passion of Christ"..
Rosanne and I were talking earlier today about the importance of passion in life. We concluded with the generalization that nothing is achieved without a degree of passion and that working on things that matter to us personally is the key..
When we do things autonomously, purely for the challenge or because of deep passion for a particular undertaking or cause, we can achieve happiness, not only for ourselves but others as well. Passion is all about allowing yourself to get lost in something important to you -- a dream, a goal, even a person with whom you have a close attachment..
Passion, I believe, is of utmost importance when we reach midlife. This is a period when we finally have the opportunity to shed the burden of having to live up to the expectations of others -- parents, a spouse, children, employers. In mid life we truly need passion that will energize and motivate us and provide us with a guiding force around which to organize the balance of our lives.
.Some of us may have carry-over beliefs, concepts and ideas that are keeping us from realizing the passion in our life that we deserve and we need to take a close look at that possibility. A process of elimination may be necessary. Ultimately, identifying our midlife passion(s) will help us make the crucial decisions we all face. What will we do with our new-found leisure time? What were the day dreams of our youth? What have we always wanted to do but were afraid to try? What are the things that matter most in our lives?
-- our children,
-- our grandchildren,
-- our spouse,
-- our work,
-- our special interests,
-- our religion.
Somewhere in this mix we should be able to identify passions with potential to transcend mere personal pleasure, something that benefits others, makes the world a better place. Something that we can pursue with a whole heart and experience a resultant robustness unknown to our youth. My friend Bob Wilmott and his Ethiopian prison ministry comes immediately to mind as a classic example, although we don't all have to travel across the globe to realize our passion. Bruce Huff is another who pursues his old-timers hockey and slow pitch softball with enthusiasm and a fire in his belly that is almost unbelievable...
Personally, Wrights Lane has become a passion beyond my fondest expectations. I get totally lost in it...and I do it for my readers too. And something else: I just realized that the above list of potential passions is, in reality, my personal list of passions. I am a lucky guy! My life's cup overflows with passion..
What fuels a fire within you, dear reader? If you can answer that question, then you have identified a bonafide passion. I pray that you will work the daylights out of it -- and be lucky like me, Bob and Bruce.