When's the last time that you told someone that you are passionate about your work? If you're like most people, you probably don't even associate the word passion with your job. In a recent Red Ladder survey, only 34% of respondents said that they do not wake up easily or feel excited about the day ahead. Only 44% of respondents felt that they were doing their best work and living up to their full potential. Further, 56% of respondents indicated that they would like to pursue new interests but often procrastinate or feel paralyzed, and thus, do nothing. Doesn't that make you feel sad?
So, what is passion? According to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, passion can be defined as an object of desire or deep interest, or an intense emotion compelling action. You know when you see someone that has passion for what they are doing. They typically exhibit high energy and the ability to put 100% focus on moving something forward no matter what the obstacles are. You know who these people are. Their energy is contagious and most of us are attracted to them like moths to a spotlight because we’d like even a small part of the energy that they exude in the world.
For me, passion is about doing work that resonates with my core values and is aligned with my heart’s true desire. I want to help other women (and men) successfully navigate corporate challenges and be successful in their careers. This passion plays out in numerous ways in my work as a management consultant, project manager and coach to organizations of all sizes and, as a seminar leader and keynote speaker.
I recently met a woman at an author event. The topic was on earning what you’re worth, an area that I not only feel passionate about but am knowledgeable about as well. One of the keys to earning what you’re worth is doing something that you have passion for.
This young woman seemed very discouraged and de-energized with her work at a large medical company. It was clear she had no passion for what she was doing. When I asked her about what she had passion for, she was able to articulate it immediately and with much energy. However, she then proceeded to tell me that she didn’t see anyway to tie that passion to a job. With the limited information that she shared, I rattled off several ideas and contacts for her to explore.
Before parting ways, we exchanged business cards. When I went home that night, I wrote a quick inspirational note and mailed it off to her the next day. Below is an excerpt from an email she sent me in response.
“It was such a delight to get your letter in the mail! It really made my day and kept the momentum going, that I really do need to pursue my dreams instead of just being willing to accept any position in the company. I had written about you in my journal the night we met - your energy and confidence really made an impression on me and I wrote about how I wanted to really feel and exhibit those qualities. Then I got your note - what a joy to have another touch point. ”
The magic about working with passion is that it usually only takes a small belief in yourself to start making things happen. Here are a few questions to get you started:
1. What is your passion inviting you to do?
2. What would your life be like if you were able to incorporate some aspect of your passion into your work life every day?
3. How would working with your passion benefit you? Your company?
4. What obstacles are standing in your way?
5. What is one small step you could take to move you forward and begin working with your passion today?
In the words of author H. Jackson Browne, “Find a job you like and you add five days to every week. " The only way I know how to do that is to work with passion. So, what are you waiting for?
Regina Barr is a business consultant with a passion for helping companies develop their full potential by focusing on their most valuable asset: their people. For more information on her programs and services, check out her website, http://www.RedLadder.com and sign up for her free email newsletter, Developing People. . . Inspiring Success.