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How to Recognize Your Passion and Follow It

By Sandy Schroeder

When people talk about passion, all sorts of images come up, like art, music or drama.  But really, passion takes many shapes, and lives within most of us.

Passion really is the spark that keeps us going. We may not completely recognize or understand it, but it is there. When you look closer it’s whatever you care about most, and focus most of your energy on.  If you are lucky, your passion is your job, hobby, or your family and everything fits just fine.

Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, an agency for many 500 Fortune companies, suggests we should all look for the passion within ourselves to understand and develop it. That’s where life’s best moments can usually be found.

Passion's Characteristics

Check these characteristics of passion and see if they fit. If not, you may want to look deeper for your passion. When you find it, the list might fall right into place.

Time Is Precious – People who are really involved with their passions seldom waste time. There are just too many good things waiting to be done in the current project, job or situation.

Time Flies – When you are passionate about a project, days fly by. The project holds your attention and often generates even more ideas.

Smiles Keep Coming – People who really enjoy what they are doing tend to be upbeat and optimistic.  If one idea doesn’t work, they have a couple more that might.  Because the work fits so well, it’s easy to get involved and stay involved.

Money Isn’t Everything – Often projects are lucrative, but it’s really all about the project. Enjoying the work really can be its own reward.

Enthusiasm Flows – People who are way into their passions can talk non-stop with another person in the same field.

Support Is Ongoing – People who are deeply involved in their passions never undercut the budget. They know the value of their work and they support it accordingly.

Passions May Be Contagious – Think about how you became involved with the work, hobby or job you love. Someone who is equally passionate about it may have recruited you. Or you may have just been drawn to it like a magnet. My younger son saw one video of Dale Chihuly’s famed glass blowing techniques. Within a week he had found his way into a glass blowing glass that led to many more classes and creations.

Passions Multiply Too – Sometimes one passion will spin off into another. Some writers evolve into sketchers as they supply the illustrations for their words.

Still thinking about your passions? Or maybe you know exactly where your heart lies. If so, count yourself lucky, and enjoy.


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