Is Your Passion Gone?
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

When was the last time you woke up in the morning and couldn’t wait to get out of bed? When was the last time you were so engaged in a task or project that time just flew? When was the last time you felt so much love and affection for a person that you couldn’t wait to see them? Your mind and emotions were consumed by them.  I hope you have had those feelings today!

According to the dictionary, passion is any powerful emotion or feeling. We can be passionate about people, hobbies, exercise, and yes, even work. That’s right; we can be passionate about anything in life. We can simultaneously be intrigued, motivated, and challenged all at the same time. Passion drives us to complete seemingly menial or difficult tasks while at the same time feeling joy and pleasure.

During the winter of 1999-2000, my dad and I restored an old wooden boat. As part of that restoration, I had to clean, repair, and repaint the bilge. The bilge is the inside of the bottom of the boat. Often it is covered with floorboards, so you never see it. When we pulled up the floor of our newly acquired treasure, it was a mess. I mean a real mess. A half an inch of grease, dirt, sludge, dried minnows and worms, and even beer can tabs. I had the pleasure of cleaning the bilge. I started with a putty knife, moved on to a pressure washer, and then onto brushes. You should have seen the look on my wife’s face when I came to the door asking if she had an old toothbrush laying around. That’s right a TOOTHBRUSH to scrub underneath the ribs in the bilge of our newly acquired treasure. Twenty-six hours later the old boat was finally clean enough for repairs and repainting. How could I spend so many hours on my knees scrubbing grease, dirt, sludge, dried minnows and worms, and beer can tabs? Passion. A passion for bringing this beautiful old boat back to life. I need to say; I enjoyed the process very much. I saw past the pain of kneeling on one and a quarter inch wide ribs to what she would look like after the restoration.

The question is, can we cultivate passion? My simple answer is yes. The difficulties we face today are the many distractions in our lives, and we don’t have the time to focus on anything long enough to cultivate passion. If you want to become passionate about your job or career, take some time to honestly think about it. Why did you choose that career path?  What did you love about it when you started? Reflect on the best times in your job rather than dwelling on the tough days. Within in a short period of time, the passion and excitement will return.

If you are struggling with a lack of excitement in your career and life, join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we discuss a variety of tools to rediscover your passions.

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