Finding passion

5 January 2017
5 Jan 2017
West Lafayette, IN
3 mins

There’s a reason passion is a word both for the love of a partner and the love of a craft.

There’s an energy around two people in love. It surrounds them and spreads to the space around them, and it gives them the hope and optimism to step forward into an unknown future. I can see it in their eyes when they look into each other; I can feel it in the way they hold each other; I can hear it in their footsteps as they walk down the aisle.

As I watched this year’s Golden Globes, I saw the same light in the eyes of the people not only on stage, but in the audience. These musicians and actors and writers and directors loved their craft just as sincerely, and it came across in the way they spoke of each other, the way they described their careers and the people in them, and the way they spoke of their work and their life.

Take your broken heart; make it into art. - Carrie Fisher

When Meryl Streep quoted these words on stage to a rapturous applause filling the hall, when she called on filmmaking and acting to bridge boundaries and cross perspectives where we are struggling today, the audience responded to her words because they, like many other actors and filmmakers elsewhere, saw their passion, their love, recognized and their importance reaffirmed on stage.

I see the same love, the same passion, in writers, in dancers, and in musicians, but also in entrepreneurs, in teachers, and in scientists and engineers. The most accomplished of these people create and work because they become bound by their love and belief in their craft.

Writer Josh Milburn called passion the perfect combination of excitement and perspiration – the excitement to make us fall in love with something, and the perspiration to carry us through the sacrifices and struggles we endure in the relationship between us and our passions.

Looking at these people so emboldened by their work, it seems like there would be nothing that could make them happier than to work their craft to perfection every single day. It seems like passion in our daily work is a key to being happy in our daily life.

But how many times a week are we that excited and in love with what we do? For how many hours a week are we on the edge of our seats, poised for the next leap in whatever we may be creating or helping deliver?

We miss out because we settle for tolerance over chasing love. Too often, we make ourselves okay with the daily mundanity and blind ourselves from who we could be when we find the one true love – something each of us can be passionate about, something each of us can fall in love with. Underneath the daily grind, everyone seems to believe there’s someone out there for them, and I believe everyone has something they love to do, waiting to be found.

The most hardworking, devoted people don’t get tired from their work, but instead seem to be energized by their job. They aren’t pushing themselves – they’re being driven by their passion, by their love.

So why do we settle? Why don’t all of us spend our lives looking for something we can be passionate about, when we spend many of our days looking for the perfect lifelong partner?

Why do we give up so easily in our search of a passion?

My goals for 2017

Some small lessons from accidentally doing citations for 16,000 people

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