Passionately passionate passion.

Appetite entry 002 “Passion.”

Romeo and Juliet — the spokes-children for passion.
Passion: A strong and barely controllable emotion.

Love is one of the hardest things to describe, but countless have devoted their lives to trying to figure it out. Poems, songs, plays, art, etc. With a human-race sized filing cabinet stuffed with alternative ways to say you love something, I have difficulties understanding how we somehow collectively decided passion is the end all be all of showing dedication to your work. But here we unarguably are.

The closest I’ve come (aside from Tony Robbins’ Live with Passion! being published) is thanks to Rhymer Rigby. In his article about why “It’s time we all stopped pretending to be passionate about our jobs,” he posits that with the rise of Fordism at the turn of the 20th century, employees that resembled efficient machines were held in a higher regard than those that were just a little too, you know, human. Eventually, people began to look for new forms of differentiation and job satisfaction — resulting in new ways to prove their worth and searches for a greater purpose.

Romeo and Juliet were passionate.

In its truest form, passion is flighty. It can burn bright but dim just as quickly and those famously star-crossed lovers are one of the better examples of this. They jumped in and jumped out faster than they could truly understand what was happening. Young love and all that.

I will not argue that there is something romantic about blind faith and obsession. But when it comes to your art and/or your livelihood, don’t you think something more consistent could do the trick? Consistently caring about what you do can be just as sexy.

But don’t worry, we’re not the only ones with a passion overload. Almost every industry or professional on LinkedIn is in one way or another passionate about something. But if we all assume our hearts beat with that barely controllable emotion for what we do, how can we differentiate ourselves?

This guy gets it?

It’s okay to be passionate, but what comes next is just as important.

Passion without action is just as bad, if not worse, than not caring at all. So the next time you want to use the word, try something like this:

I’m passionate about ___ because I ____ so I ____.

You’ve just told someone what that particular passion means to you and how it translates to something tangible. Now, remove everything before “I.” Does it still get the point across? Chances are it does because you dug deeper beyond the first right answer and into a truth about yourself — deep. If the first half of this sentence isn’t bettering making your clearer, kill it.

“If the desire to write is not followed by writing, then the desire was never to write at all.” — Hugh Prather

Lilac and purple.

This image was just too good not to use.

So you’ve racked your heart, mind, and thesaurus and you suspect passion is still the only way to describe how you feel. Fair enough, friend. I would never advocate for talking for the sake of talking, but sometimes describing the sunset with “hints of lilac” instead of “streaks of purple” takes people to a different place. So for those of us just looking for a way to spice it up, here are some alternatives to passion I thought could help.

Affinity or affection for
Devoted to
A fervor for
Enthusiasm about
Keenness for
Eager to
Strong interest in
Fascination about
Appetite for
Crazy about
Single mindedly 
Moved to