A message from Christine Hassler about “Passion”
You see passion is not something you “find” like an apartment, a new restaurant or a great pair of shoes. Discovering your passion is an evolutionary and unique process. Most of us assume passion arrives like a thunderbolt of inspiration, instantly spreading wonderfully warm feelings and clarity about what we should do with our life. But do you know what the word “passion” truly means? Webster’s defines “passion” as “powerful feeling” and “great enthusiasm.” Further definitions include “emotions as distinguished from reason,” “suffering,” and “anger and rage.” Passion is not logical; it does not express itself in tidy, left-brain career steps. Nor is passion easy. The road to passion or “great enthusiasm” may require some “suffering.” You may experience “anger and rage” and “emotions distinguished from reason” to reach the “powerful feeling” of discovering passionate work.
The most valuable thing that I learned is that passion is a journey. It is not something that you can find, it is a discovery process - it cannot be planned. Passion emerges from of a myriad of experiences, a commitment to do self-investigation and exploration, and a willingness to risk not adhering to societal expectations.
And just being passionate about something is not a formula for fast success, and if you try to rise too fast, you might miss important lessons along the way. Having passion doesn’t keep us from experiencing pit stops in our career: sacrifices, fear, doubt, confusion, lack of money, and jobs we don’t like. Don’t let being stuck in one of these pit stops make you think you lack passion! Remember, passion is more a way of being than a destination, and it does not create satisfaction or ideal employment all by itself.
So relax. Enjoy where you are. I know there are things in your life that you love and that you love doing. Focus on those rather than obsessing about what you think you are missing. Look for new experiences to embark on, new people to meet, and new challenges to explore. Notice how you feel and what you are thinking when you do certain things. Remember, discovering your passion is a self-instigated exploratory process - there is no manual. Allow yourself some time and be open to the possibility that your passion will find you rather than you having to find it.
- Christine Hassler