An image of a neon sign saying, 'this is the sign you've been looking for'.

WHAT IS PASSION?

The most vibrant of feelings, that sense of the need to clutch onto something and learn everything it has to offer. The feeling of ultimate attachment. It’s as though the thing, or person, was missing from your soul and now it coexists with you it’s hard to imagine life without it. With passion, life becomes a little brighter. The evenings suddenly more dappled with the warm light of golden hour, the mornings more welcoming in their early hours- the tired light through the curtain no longer blinding, it now feels inviting. When we are truly passionate about something, it’s as though we are welcomed to each day with a sense of rebirth, the promise of something new on the horizon, something wonderful.

‘Passion’ as a term, has become overused. So much, in fact, that we are often advised to avoid using it. It’s become something of a buzzword to add into job applications, covering letters, school and college applications, into our everyday emails. We push it into places where it does not belong. In truth, we may be skilled in our job, we may have excellent experience, we may be captivated by the courses or facilities of an educational establishment- all of this, but we are likely not passionate about it. We may feel strongly about our need to progress in life, towards this job, or this school, or this next thing, but we shouldn’t get that feeling confused with passion.

To have passion for something is a far more complex experience than we can ever explain with the simple word itself. This becomes complicated when we consider that we are often told to follow our passions. Perhaps the first time some of us come to learn the word ‘passionate’ is within a school environment, and so we begin to apply it to subjects and professions, rather than pastimes and habits. Is it possible that our overuse of the term has resulted in an inability to know ourselves, to recognise our driving forces, and to recognise a key source of joy?

A big part of who we are revolves around what we are truly passionate about. When we drift through life converting our concept of our own passion, we lose a little bit of ourselves. We are inclined to change our passions based upon social order- we want to please our families, to please our teachers, to further our lives in a way which we feel is ‘acceptable’. What results is a life which may contain skill, expertise, economic value, and a comfortable place within society. But how much of our lives might we be able to change if we started to look at ‘following passion’ as a key part to our happiness?- If we made as many conscious efforts to follow passion as we did to fit into a workplace, for example, then we may be able to live a more enriched and joyful life.

How do you define passion, and how does passion factor into your life?

Featured image: Austin Chan via Unsplash.

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