"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." — Oprah Winfrey
We all get excited about the things that make us truly come alive—things that we think about even when we should be thinking about other things. That’s the power of Passion.
Passion is what we have when we use our talents and skills to do something that truly matters to us. I’m reminded of Harry Chapin who by the mid 1970’s was one of the highest paid musicians in the world. While he was incredibly talented in music, what mattered to him most was helping the poor and the hungry. He saw hunger and poverty as an insult to America, and he became truly passionate about his work when he used his talents not to amass a fortune, but rather as a platform for social justice.
He donated a third of his income—which was roughly $2 million a year—to charitable causes, and proceeds from the merchandise sold at his concerts were used to support World Hunger Year, a non profit that he co-founded that provides access to nutritious food to the poor and education and resources to communities. Harry’s work even caught the attention of political activist and four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who once said of Harry:
“I’ve never seen an entertainer who dedicated so many hours to a civic cause.”
That’s the power that passion can wield for us when we use it for good. In this way the Magic Word Passion reminds us of our awesome potential when our talents match our interests.
What matters to you? How can you use your talents to help you work in this area? Are there any skills that you may need to cultivate along the way? What can you do today to start living a more passion-driven life?
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.