The other night someone asked me how I would teach the younger generation about passion. Easy, right? Without role modelling. I was stumped. My initial reaction was through questioning. Specifically ‘Why is [insert your passion here] important to you?’
I have been described by others as being a passionate person. Passion is also one of my core values. But I had never sat down and thought what how I would define or describe passion.
I made sure before I started doing some research about passion that I thought about what it meant to me and how I would define it. To me, passion is:
- Giving it your all
- Loving what you do
- Doing what you love, even when you’re having a moment where you don’t love it
- Zest for life
- Going after what you believe in
The Actual Definition of Passion
I started doing some research on what passion meant, how it was defined, and how you could teach someone about it.
What I really saw was that passion was linked to love, but from what I could read passion was far more dynamic and love was the static (that’s just my opinion and it might be entirely wrong. And maybe why that’s why relationships fall apart, people are statically in love and lose their passion, but that’s an entirely different blog!).
Here are some of the definitions I found that I really liked:
- From Urban Dictionary: “Passion is when you put more energy into something and is required to do so. More than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as possible.”
- From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “strong liking or desire for or devotion to the same activity, object, or concept.”
- From Dictionary.com: “Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate; strong amorous feeling or desire; a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; ardent affection; deep interest; the object of such a fondness or desire; zeal, love…”
I wasn’t so far off on how I defined passion versus how the experts defined passion. I really like the Urban Dictionary definition, it might not be the most credible definition but there is something to be said about passion and ambition.
One of my TED talks is by Dan Pink, The Puzzle of Motivation. He talks about purpose, autonomy, and mastery. Basically blood, sweat, tears mean more than money. And if you think about it, you would probably be willing to do something for less money if you felt ‘passionately’ about it.
But how can you teach that to someone?
I think a lot of it still comes back to role modelling. As coaches, teachers, parents, friends we have to show the next generation how to really fall in love with an activity, a hobby, or a concept (and preferably not video games!). You may not be passionate about your day job but aspects of it must be inspiring.
Talk to kids about what inspires you, what makes you get up in the morning. Question kids. Ask them, ‘what’s your favourite thing to do? what about it do you love? what do you want to try?’ And make sure you question them, make sure you let them know that what they think is important is important to you.
Passion isn’t tangible, you cannot pick it up and show it to someone. But when someone is passionate about something, truly passionate, it almost feels as if there is something tangible there.