Reading opens my mind
and lets in fresh ideas. This week I have been reading a book called Aspire: Discovering your purpose through the power of words. Today’s word was passion. Passion, like many words has been devalued in our times. Today, passion is the name of a perfume or the way we describe a raunchy scene in a chic flick. This is far from the original meaning which was suffering. Specifically it meant the suffering of Jesus Christ whose only purpose in life was to suffer and die. I don’t think you need to be a Christian to appreciate passion or to be passionate about a purpose in life. I do think it is important to understand the difference between being passionate and merely wanting something to happen.
Take it easy
We live in a time when it is easy to have things without earning them. No down payment and easy terms make it possible to appear successful at least in the short term without putting in the work. Instead of passion for a fulfilling life we choose to settle for the objects that we think will make us look successful and we don’t even own them. We just rent. We confuse wants for needs and never even get close to passion. I skipped the hard choices. I went for appearance over substance. I took the easy path. I believed that I could have what I wanted without sacrifice. What I didn’t realize is that you pay the price for everything. You can’t avoid it. The choice that you have is when you pay. You can pay now and earn your reward in the future or take your reward now and pay later. I didn’t know the difference.
I was confused
Looking back, I didn’t actually want the signs of success. I wanted success itself but was blind to the difference. In my confusion I missed the opportunity for passion in my life. I never recognized that until I paid a price and made a sacrifice I remained an ordinary member of the pack. I never learned about the heart and soul of success. What I learned was a mechanical process. Do the right things and the rewards will follow. I thought the crowd I was following knew something. I was wrong. I was unwilling to pay the price of suffering to reach a goal. I never let passion into my being.
Is Passion Outrageous?
As I struggle with clarifying what I mean by outrageous retirement, I know that passion is a large component. Passion is what is makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. I haven’t had time for passion up to now. I have been too busy making a good impression. I certainly haven’t been willing to suffer in order to reach a goal. I haven’t been willing to delay my gratification or take that road less traveled. Now, in the home stretch of life, what goal is so important that I would suffer to achieve. Whatever it might be, it will definitely earn the name outrageous.
Where is your passion?
Do you have a passion in your life? What have you suffered for that passion? What goal makes you suffer willingly?