Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Question of Passion

Passion seems to be the new buzzword in the career world. Either it is presented as the solution to problems (once you find your passion, your working experience will change) or it becomes an ideal that people strive for (you’re lucky or competent if you are passionate about your job). I’m not sure I buy the idea of passion for one’s job. I went for a job interview with a website company a while ago and was asked whether I am passionate about web. I had resolved to be as honest as possible during the interview, because I did not want to land a job where I was expected to be something that wasn’t me. With that in mind, I answered that I would not say that I’m passionate about web. If I could say I’m passionate about anything in business, it would be customer service. I did not get the job. One of the reasons provided in the feedback was my lack of passion for web.

To me true passion involves doing something for the sake of it. In a world where the concept of career more or less revolves around making money, I have trouble reconciling the idea of passion with the profit motive. From my perspective, the worlds of business and even education are imbalanced and fear-driven. Passion brings more of everything and dissolves boundaries. When people are motivated to work by their need for survival, I cannot see how passion should be the basis for that kind of exchange. When negotiating job offers of relatively low salary levels, I sometimes wish employers would be more realistic. True passion dissolves the need to have more than what is needed, which from my perspective would shatter the profit motive and change business as we know it.

Passion does not always involve strong feelings. It is unlocked when everything else falls away, the spark of life that keeps one going despite all the odds. Passion does not ask questions, it simply does. I envision it as a violet flame that keeps burning even when it appears invisible or feels out of reach when one has been knocked down by life and its disappointments. Passion does not revolve around what one does; rather, it is a way of doing things that transforms everything one comes into contact with. It does not need anything other than itself to keep going. Passion starts from the heart, burns upwards and flows downwards, connecting spiritual purpose to the shoes we walk in in this lifetime. It does not depend on any exterior form of acknowledgement, because it creates a way when one is not found. When true passion is unlocked, it ignites the same light in everything and everyone it encounters.

I don’t think anyone needs to be passionate about anything in order to be whole and happy, especially not career-wise. Passion cannot be sought or obtained. The flame of passion simply needs to be allowed to burn and applied to everything we do. In this way, I believe that every person can be guided towards the purpose they were born for. When we have fallen out of balance with what was originally natural for us, restoring the balance in how we approach things would inevitably lead us back to what we enjoy doing most.