Should You Follow Your Passion?

I was doing some research today about following your passion, and I stumbled across a blog post by a man I met last year at SOBCon 07.  Adam Kayce  writes Monk @ Work. And he did a post last fall about following your passion. In part, he says…

Passion puts you on the road to wholeness.

When it comes right down to it, you’re seeking wholeness (whether you know it or not). It’s the game of life that we’re all playing. When your passion gets inflamed, it’s a signal to you that you’re coming close to something that you need in order to recognize your innate wholeness. When you’re moving closer to that which makes you whole, your being can smell the potential, and it gets excited.

And that inner geiger counter, that bloodhound-of-your-soul that’s sniffing its way towards wholeness, is what drives passion.

But the naysayers aren’t always wrong; passion can be a diversion, a smokescreen. If you’re needing to stay focused (on a project, on your career, on your spouse….), and something comes along that makes you sit up and take notice, it doesn’t always mean you should chase after it. Sometimes, that radar can lead you astray.

But how can you tell the difference?

The difference is made by the timbre of the passion; the characteristic quality of the passion that’s driving you.

If it’s a passion that pulls you “up and out”, removing you from your sense of center, and causing you to forget your heart’s values (something your heart will signal to you at once, if you can hear it over the din of your excitement), then it’s a passion of diversion. The aspects of you that don’t want to stay in one place are latching on the “bright, shiny object” passing by in order to try to recapture that juicy feeling that passion can bring.

But, because your heart goes sour with this kind of passion, it’s not going to fulfill you in the way you’re hoping it will.

On the other hand, if the passion you feel is grounding, expanding, and strikes deep into the heart of who you are, then it’s a passion of deepening. A long lost aspect of you, something that needs to be rekindled, is calling out from the depths of your soul, saying, “Yes… remember me.”

The timbre of a passion of deepening has a quality to it that’s like (as cliche as it sounds) coming home. But better, and different.

It’s like that line in Sleepless in Seattle (love that movie; and thanks to Movie Quotes for helping me remember its source), when Tom Hanks was recalling the love he shared with his wife:

“It’s like coming home, only to no home I’ve ever known.”

There’s a familiarity to a passion of deepening, but also a newness, and a sense of discovery, and that takes it beyond just “trying to recapture the past.” It makes you excited and thinking of the future, sure… but it also makes you feel more “you” than before.

*Adam is currently transitioning from Monk At Work to a new site called Viverati. He says, “One thing is clear: common sucks. If you want to live the best life you can, you have to break away from the sheeple and do as the few do… the ones who have learned what it means to be exceptional. From lifestyle design to financial freedom to spiritual fulfillment, along with health, productivity, design, and how to make the best pancakes on the planet, Viverati brings you life at its best.”

Stop by his site and check it out!

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