Find A Way

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There are many people running around who have lost their passion for life, their hobbies, their jobs and even their families. 

About a year ago, when words such as “pandemic” and “social distancing” were not on our radar, business writer Linda Smith had an interesting quote about “passion.”

“And when your passion is something you become known for, your identity is inextricably entangled with it. Your passion becomes more than just something you do; it becomes something you are.” 

Does this mean that when your passion is gone, you are no longer you? It’s a good question. Then there’s the expected follow-up: when your passion is gone, does it mean that everything you’ve built is over and it’s time to start over?

I realize we live in a throw-away society. We throw away whatever doesn’t suit us. It’s not only the sad refrain: “I don’t love you anymore,” then the all too familiar, “I don’t love this anymore,” and most unfortunately, “I don’t love me anymore.”

We want to change everything, it seems, and almost on a constant basis, and when there is nothing else to change, we want to change us. When our passion wanes, our love for ourselves wanes. But is that fair?


Brainstorm With Yourself

Linda Smith, who is also a successful photographer, suggests that it is often not our passion that fades, but our approach that needs re-adjustment. I have never known a true author, speaker, painter, or musician who admitted that they no longer had a passion for their art. I have known many who started to dabble in new techniques, styles and approaches to their work. 

Not long ago, I met a chef/restaurant owner who could not make a “go” of it in Northern Italian Cuisine. He renovated his location and re-opened with American-style home cooking, and has been quite successful. His skills as a chef were the same, his passion for cooking was unabated, but he brainstormed that he needed a new approach.

So, this re-negotiation is a process that is born out of brainstorming with ourselves. Before I continue with the subject of passion, notice I used the word “true.”

I have known people who work in IT, finance, and insurance sales who admitted they never had a passion for what they did for a living. They felt that they settled into those professions by the advice of friends, relatives, spouses and themselves. Whether they were good at what they were doing was irrelevant; they disliked the fact that every day was a battle. They brainstormed themselves into re-igniting a passion that was within them and eventually changed careers.


Tough Times

These times are difficult enough, but without passion, everything is much more difficult. Passion is not just limited to what we do, and momentary disappointment is not the same as losing passion altogether.

You can be a teacher and find it acceptable, but after school, you could start coaching basketball. In doing so, your coaching passion helped to re-invigorate your teaching career. In fact, everyone now thinks of you as a coach and a teacher.

You can be an accountant who likes to crack jokes, who is learning the ropes as a stand-up comedian. In fact, you are downright hilarious and you’re being encouraged to make people laugh for money.

The ability to brainstorm with ourselves is always there. The capability to re-ignite or find our passion is always with us. However, this “passion stuff” comes with a few important caveats. 

Only you know ultimately what will re-ignite your passion. Only you must have the courage to brainstorm with yourself. Most importantly, only you will eventually see what you will be passionate about going down the road. 

On this journey of self-discovering a passion for what has always been there, avoid those who feel their greatest role in this life is to tell others “no.” For many great teachers have become incredible coaches; John Wooden comes to mind, and accountants have become comedians, for example, Bob Newhart.

When your passion is greater than your fears and excuses, you will find the courage to live it. What is meant to be will always find a way.


For more information about Hall of Fame speaker and bestselling author Steve Gilliland and the Gilliland Foundation, please contact steve@stevegilliland.com / 724-540-5019 / www.stevegilliland.com.