Got Passion?

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?

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{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Bob @ JuicyMaters.com December 8, 2010, 10:17 am

    My passion? Easy…to make damn sure Bob is Bob, not Ralph’s version of Bob when Bob is dealing with Ralph, Justin’s version of Bob when Bob is dealing with Justin…just Bob is ALWAYS Bob.

    Do I try to piss folks off when Bob is Bob? No…but if I do, too damn bad.

    Freedom from “making a good impression” is a great thing. It opens up the possibilities for being, using your description, outrageous.

    I know two people I have to please…God and me. The rest? It would be nice, but basically it’s a big fat, “Eh?”.

    Ralph, you have one more than me on that list. Remember, happy wife, happy life.

  • Bob Lowry December 8, 2010, 11:04 am

    My wife and I decided on what could be described as a passion early in our married life: no debt unless absolutely necessary. We were passionate about paying off all credit cards in full every month, buying cars for cash, and not using home equity like a piggy bank.

    That passion allowed us to retire early, weather the last few years of economic turmoil, and even buy our last house for cash so we’ve had no mortgage for a decade.

    It has taken sacrifice and some condescending looks from some people, but to us we had this goal firmly in mind.

    You are right, Ralph. Passion has a price.
    Bob Lowry’s last Blog Post ..Is This Missing From Your Retirement

    • Ralph@retirement lifestyle December 8, 2010, 2:53 pm

      Bob,
      I call you and your wife outrageous. I got the same information as you but didn’t act on it when it could have made the most difference. Still taking the advice late is better than not taking it all.
      Ralph@retirement lifestyle’s last Blog Post ..Questions about Retirement

    • Bob @ JuicyMaters.com December 8, 2010, 3:47 pm

      Bob, the biggest fruits of you and your wife’s passion are yet to come.

      12 months from now (or sooner) the Great Depression is going to look like a walk in the park, and low to no debt will make you rich.

      Bob

      PS…don’t buy glod. You can’t eat it. Chickens so you can trade eggs for what someone else produces would be a good start. Rabbits for meat don’t take much room.

      BTW…don’t thank Obama. Thank almost every president and congress since 1920.

  • Fernando December 8, 2010, 5:24 pm

    Wow, you really got me here. Ralph, I really like what you write on this blog.
    In my case, my passion was once football, I played since I was really really young, then I started having knee problems and I had to quit, but it was still fun to remember those times.
    I know think that I’m still looking for my passion.
    Thanks for this awesome post!
    Fernando’s last Blog Post ..Image on Sidebar Titles in Thesis Theme

  • Sire December 8, 2010, 7:44 pm

    I never really thought about it Ralph. All I’ve ever wanted was to provide for my family, even it that meant I had to suffer to do it. There was no passion in it, I just had to do what I had to do.

    Do I yearn for anything to such an extent that I am willing to forgo everything to achieve it? Not unless it was directly related to my family’s well being.
    Sire’s last Blog Post ..Be Creative- Be Innovative- Be Positive When Blogging

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