Finding Your Passion

April 10th, 2014 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on Finding Your Passion

passionT.S. Eliot wrote, “It is obvious that we can no more explain passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.” Passion is central to life, and when we live our lives with excitement and wonder, we feel fulfilled. But how many of us feel this way at work?

Every day, too many people spend more than half of their waking hours working at a job for which they feel no passion. For many people, prying themselves out of bed in the morning and basically sleepwalking through the day becomes the accepted norm. We buy into cynical lines like, “it’s called work for a reason — it’s not supposed to be fun.” So how do we find our passion at work?

The key is looking in the right place, and oddly, the right place is actually not at work. If we want to find our passion in work, we must first find our passion in life. We must examine who we are at the very core of our being, and then discover what excites us and moves us every day. That is the key to finding our passion at work.

So, let’s walk through an example to provide a little more clarity on this issue. Imagine your job is to unload trucks. We don’t even have to define what the product is that you unload – let’s just say, it’s a widget. So, how can you find passion in this job, day in and day out – unloading widgets? First, examine your life and determine what you’re passionate about, independent of your work. Let’s say that turns out to be basketball. If dreams really did come true, you’d be playing professional basketball right now. Instead, you’re unloading trucks – it seems like your “passion discrepancy” is quite large here, and perhaps not even resolvable.

Now, let’s look a little deeper. Is it the game of basketball really where your passion lies? Does dribbling a ball up and down a court truly make you feel alive? Or, is it your passion for winning; the competitive nature of understanding that it’s your craftsmanship versus your opponent’s that will ultimately determine the outcome of a game? Typically, it’s attributes like these that we are passionate about. Basketball is simply the vehicle that allows us to live out those passions.

But, you realize, your job is not playing basketball. You unload trucks. So, what do you do? You bring the attributes that you’re passionate about in basketball to your work. Competition and excellence are what really drives your passion, and once you see this you are no longer bound by the game itself. Whatever you do, if you bring your competitiveness and drive towards excellence into your approach at work, then you will feel your passion, even if your work is unloading trucks.

If you want to experience your competitive nature, you unload a truck faster and more efficiently than any one else. There will never be a day when another teammate unloads more widgets than you. You become so skilled, and so proficient in your unloading capabilities, that you become the best. You become untouchable in terms of your skill at unloading a truck. The same passion that came forth in the game of basketball, has now found a home in your work. This happened because your came to truly understand what your passion is. This is how we all find happiness and excel at our jobs. Every workplace will typically provide a limited range of jobs and tasks. On the surface, it may seem that none of them is suitable for bringing out our passion. But that’s only because we are looking for our job to create the passion, instead of first, finding our passion from our life.

Passion is key to a successful work experience and to your enjoying how you spend the majority of your waking life. Go find it… and then bring it with you to work. Everyone will benefit.