I have a friend named John.
John is a captivating public speaker, and shows it in this viral video about finding your passion. People think John is an expert at passion, they think he has special knowledge on the subject and that he can teach them something.
They are right, and totally wrong.
What John teaches is mostly insignificant. It’s not that what he says isn’t true, it’s just has nothing to do with why he’s so effective. The reason people love John is he embodies passion when he speaks. He is constantly demonstrating it. He could be giving a speech about furniture, and you would come away feeling like you’re closer to finding your own passion. Even off the stage, this is who he is.
If we go out to eat, John is passionate about the best food in Santa Monica.
If we’re talking about coaching, he’s passionate about helping people.
If we’re talking about writing he’s passionate about self-expression.
He’s passionate about being passionate.
This explains why most people feel frustrated when they do things like “find their passion” or “discover their purpose”. They are mistaken about where all that comes from.
John seems to have found his passion, and is therefore a passionate person, but that’s the wrong order. John is passionate, and therefore anything he does seems like something he’s passionate about. How could it not?
So what does that mean for us?
It means that trying to find our passion could be leading us down the wrong path. If we continually look outside for the thing that will ignite our inner fire, we may never find it, because that’s not how the whole game works.
The way it works is simple.
Step 1: Become passionate.
Step 2: Do anything.
That’s it. It actually doesn’t really matter what you do after step one, because you’ll have already have achieved your goal of feeling passionate.
So Why Aren’t You Passionate?
That’s the real question.
Instead of taking passion tests, dream job seminars or quizzes to help determine our purpose in life, why not look ourselves in the mirror and get really honest.
Why are we doing things we don’t want to do?
There is a whole host of reasons people stray from their truth. For me, my favorite is pleasing other people, or more specifically avoiding other people’s disapproval of me. I want everyone to like me, but unfortunately I can’t control that, and the more I give in to that impulse the less passionate I become.
You want some of that? People are charismatic to the extent they are at peace with people not approving of who they are.
We have an innate desire for acceptance so we water ourselves down and serve it for $2.19 at Starbucks. Let’s face it, no one hates Starbucks coffee, but no one is in love with it either.
That’s us. Watered down because no one can handle the jolt we might give them if they really drank in all of us.
It’s the same with raising kids. I know my parents are passionate people, but like most parents they wanted to make sure they were coloring within the parental lines, and being passionate is a risky move.
I can still remember the moment I got to witness my mother in a chosen moment of passion. I was young, and we were driving together when the song “Desperado” by the Eagles came on the radio. She said “oh, I love this song” then turned it up. I think she even maxed out the volume in her car, and it shocked me. Not because I hadn’t heard loud music, but because in that moment she let herself be Karen, instead of “mother” and it moved me.
To this day, I still remember how it felt to see my Mom give herself the gift of enjoying that song fully.
Your Passion Is Available Now
That’s the good news.
You don’t have to find it, because what you’re looking for isn’t out there. It’s inside. You have the chance to live with passion in every moment, and all it takes is the courage to face whatever fear is in your way.
That’s the bad news. It’s take courage, and it’s hard.
Wah wah 🙁 😉
Make sure you watch John’s speech How to Find Your Passion