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On certain occasions, I have asked people what their passions are, and it usually comes to me as a shock when many people, including some very educated ones say they either don’t know or don’t have. I have come to a conclusion that a lot don’t know their passions because they don’t really know what it means. In some people’s imaginations, passion may be considered as one bogus and equivocal meaning, mystified in a remote part of man’s brain or heart, but I will quickly point out that that is an erroneous interpretation. Passion is simple to understand and easy to embrace because it comes from within – you don’t learn it, you don’t memorize it, because it is part and passel of you. Just like you don’t make efforts to breath under normal circumstances, you don’t also make efforts to have a passion for something.

In furtherance, I would like to point out that everyone has a passion – so, kill that thought in your heart that makes you believe that you don’t. The moment you realize what your passion is, it becomes easier to be guided towards your talent; it also becomes easier for you to manage your talent. Until you know your passion, you wouldn’t know where to dissipate your energy. Many people, especially young ones, pour their strengths into what adds no values to them because they don’t have a clue what their passions are.

So, what is passion?

The Love for Something: everyone has fallen in love before and if you say you’ve never, you aren’t a human being. Cast your mind back to when you first fell in love – imagine all the things you did, think of all the actions you took, remember all the places you went, and the risks you took, all because of love. In your normal ordinary sense, you wouldn’t do what you did; you did them because you were in love. Love made you run the miles, love made you spend your scarce resources, and same love made you put your life on the line. You were ready to lose all because you were in love. Everyone thought you were stupid because they didn’t see what you were seeing, and didn’t have the motivation you had at that time. Love made you do all you did. That love is called passion!

Passion is the love for something. If you don’t love it, you won’t embrace it and care for it. Alfred Tennyson said, “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.” This is what passion does for you. If you really love it, you will forever do it. If it is really in your heart, you won’t ever let it go.

The Burning Desire: passion is attraction, giving you a sense of urgency to do something. Something you long and crave for, with a strong determination to make it happen is passion. For a burning desire, you don’t need any external motivation; you simply want to do it without being reminded by anyone. I love to write; I love to inspire – I do not need anyone to remind me to do it because I have a burning desire to do it. Usain Bolt likes to run, and has a burning desire to – he doesn’t need anyone to remind him to do it. The great digital designers in the world like to design mobile communication devices – they need no external motivation to make them do it. The great farmers like to see crops grow with a burning desire; without encouragement from anyone, they cultivate their lands and plant their crops – they care for them until they yield their fruits. Even the housewife with a burning desire to cook good food doesn’t wait for her family to be hungry before stepping into the kitchen. Passion isn’t just a desire, it is a fiery one. It is the fieriness that makes you push the odds and boundaries to challenge whatever stands in your way. Without that high proportion of inflammation, you would sit comfortably to watch your talent die unfulfilled. A burning desire propels and projects you to begin from somewhere and reach the height where what you do becomes admirable. You can’t win without the desire to win. You can’t climb without the desire to climb. You can’t stand up and take on life’s crucial challenges without the desire to. You can’t become anything if you don’t have the desire to become something. If you’re given gold without a desire, you will someday or somehow lose it because you wouldn’t know or appreciate its value. It is a burning desire that makes you appreciate values.

The Deep Genuine Hunger: desire and hunger have a close relationship, but there’s just a little difference I would like to point out and expand. Sometimes, desires can be selfish and misleading, but genuine hunger for something defines sincerity. A deep genuine hunger means you really need it, and you want to become it. A man with a deep hunger for car engines would like to know how it works, and how to fix it when it is faulty. There are children with deep hunger to draw; they may not be able to write long stories, but have the ability to put those long stories into artistic formats. Parents who do not understand that everyone has their unique methods of communication will berate those kids for their inabilities to write great essays like some of their mates, and by doing that, they kill their deep genuine hunger to become great artists. Today, I wish I didn’t study Biochemistry – today, I wish I studied Literature, Media Communication, Journalism, or Sociology. As I was growing up, every parent wanted their children to be doctors, engineers or lawyers, and some parents went as far as forcing their kids to follow what they have no passion or hunger for. Many of us missed our directions because we were told to do what weren’t within our abilities, and we were told to abandon what we had abilities for. We underperformed because we had no craving for what we did or hunger for what we are still doing. Anything you do without a deep genuine hunger is a stray from your essence of existence.

The Positive Anger: I have seen a man in the street beat up another man for attacking his wife. He doesn’t know the man and wife, but the anger of seeing a man violently abuse a woman made him lose his temper. This man may not realise that the anger he exhibited is a passion to stop domestic violence. He may be a banker, but handling money isn’t his passion – his passion is to see that no one suffers from the hands of another man. In White Night, Jim Butcher said, “Passion has overthrown tyrants and freed prisoners and slaves. Passion has brought justice where there was savagery. Passion has created freedom where there was nothing but fear. Passion has helped souls rise from the ashes of their horrible lives and build something better, stronger, more beautiful.”

Some people get angry when they see a child fail Mathematics; they don’t care if he fails English – they are just after Mathematics. For some, they look at women’s faces to make sure that their make-up is fine. They may not know the women, but they still get pissed off when it isn’t supposed to be what it should be. Sometimes, you wonder how it is their business, but if you understand passion, you wouldn’t blame them because passion is anger for something; not a negative anger, but a positive one to make sure that things are right.

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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