I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive.
I’m not quite sure when it happened. Maybe it was the realization that I was well into my 30's. Maybe it was the break up of someone I loved earlier this year. Or maybe it was just the sausage-making process of growing up.
Whatever it was — when it happened, I felt it. And things started to change quickly. Something got turned on, and there was no putting the genie back in the bottle…
I’ve struggled the last couple of months figuring out how to articulate this. But those closest to me, have probably suspected something is different. I’m focused. More focused than I’ve ever been.
But I’m also more present, than I’ve ever been. Present with those around me. Present of how I feel around people, and how I make them feel. And I’ve become damn-near allergic to shitty people.
So what was the “shift”?
It’s been said, the quality of your life increases with the quality of your questions.
I was sitting on the train one day, and started drifting off in thought. “What drives me?” I thought to myself.
My entire life, I’ve labeled myself as “passionate”. As someone w/ a type-A personality, passion has been my driving force. But was it the best word for where I was in my life? Was there a better word?
If words have power and influence over us, is this the best choice of my words?
“Fuck that” I thought.
Love vs. Passion: What’s the Difference?
Don’t get me wrong, passion is great. It creates momentum. It’s pure adrenaline. It’s like rocket fuel. It burns fast and hot.
But it has drawbacks. If you’re burning adrenaline as fuel 24/7, you will burn out, eventually.
What word would I choose? And then it hit me… “Love”. It didn’t make sense at first. “Love?” I thought, kind of perplexed. Not exactly what I first had in mind. But then I started to think about it, a little deeper.
Love is long-term. It’s sustainable. It’s the thing legacy’s are made of.
Love is effortless. Passion requires effort. A LOT of it. But Love is like a magnet — It pulls you in a direction, as opposed to you having to push so hard, all the time.
And like a magnet, it also repels opposite forces away from you.
Love allows you to easily say “no” to dumb and mundane things, that only seem to suck the life out of you.
Love creates excitement! It pushes you into seemingly crazy plans and ideas. To find your muse… and follow her. Around the world if need be.
Love conquers. It tears down walls that separate. It gives you the courage to wear your heart on your sleeve without reservation, and gives those around you permission to do the same.
It’s non-threatening. When in the presence of love, people feel at ease.
Love is the compass AND the map.
How do you find your true calling? Your soul companions? Your destiny? It’s not Passion. Passion will only get you on the journey. Love is the thing that sustains that journey.
My hesitation of the use of the word, was over labels I had with it. Namely, that love was weak. Fragile. In need of white gloves to handle.
But, it’s the opposite. Love is strong, durable, malleable and deep. It’s the bamboo tree in the forest.
Love is the “why” in my NorthStar.
Love In Your Work
“Screw it, let’s do it”
Love in work is not being attached to the outcome. It’s having a deep appreciation for the process. You’re only doing things that light you up anyways, so it doesn’t fucking matter. You’re turned on. All the time. And you smile more. At least, I do. ☺
When you don’t worry about outcomes anymore, and focus on the process — the quality of your output is tenfold (Yes I’ve tried measuring this. Thanks RescueTime!)
Love in work allows you to easily say “no” to projects, clients, bosses, and colleagues.
Not in a mean way. It’s not about your ego. It’s about building something that will stand the test of time. And love gives you the permission to challenge yourself, in new and interesting ways.
Hell — to try something new. Even if that means you fall flat on your face, or fail.
Your “work” takes up 1/3 of your day, and 1/2 of your waking hours. Why would you settle for anything less?
If you’re not in love with what you do, then do something different. When love is your driving force, the fear of changing and uncertainty melts away. It’s love or nothing.
Love In Your Relationships
A touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.
Love in relationships allows you to love and respect yourself, while also drawing very clear boundaries.
Over the past 6 months, I’ve become extremely cognizant of who I spend time with. How do they make me feel? How do I make them feel? Am I a net-better person because this person is in my life, and vice-versa? No one is excluded from this process… not even family.
Here’s the best part. People self-select. The work is done for you!
Love is how you find your tribe. Your people. Your crew. They build you, and you build them. Because you want to… not because there’s a scoreboard.
Love is how you get rid of toxic people in your life. Which has a side benefit — it creates room for awesome, amazing and supportive people!
I’ve personally noticed my tribe grow and become better in all areas of their lives. And we feed and nurture each other.
And when it comes to romantic relationships, it makes things waaaaaay easier. I’ve noticed this for myself. I’ve stopped “dating” people. If I couldn’t see myself pushing all my chips in w/ someone, I was out.
Mark Manson wrote a great article on this, entitled “FUCK YES! or No”. Check it out, below:
Fuck Yes or No
There's a grey area in dating many people get hung up on - a grey area where feelings are ambiguous or one person has…
Passion Has It’s Place. Use It Wisely
“Passion separates art from artifice; it’s the difference between sleight of hand and alchemy, between parlor tricks and magic. Passion is raw unchecked emotion; it’s animalistic, bestial and not meant to be controlled. Passion transforms technique into art, elevates a physical act into a transcendental one by seamlessly melding art and science. All great artists, be they great musicians, painters or great lovers all have this in common, and it’s not technical proficiency: it’s how they make you feel.”
I’ve had this quote above, written down and on my desk for 3 years now. But I’m exchanging the word “passion” for “love”.
Try it. Right now. Re-read the above quote, using the word “love” instead. Does it make you feel better? Yeah. Me too.
I don’t think I’ll ever escape being “passionate”. I’ve got unbridled energy, that just seems to bubble to the top. But raw passion, unchecked, can be dangerous.
It starts with being aware of the words we use. Especially when describing ourselves. For me — I’ve become selective of when and how I use that word.
I’ve opted for “Love” when describing the long-game. And “Passion” when describing the short-game.
I guess I’ll see how this all nets out.
Life is short. Nothing is guaranteed. But man, love… love is the thing that gets you up in the morning. It’s the thing that makes it all worth it. So what are you going to be? Passionate? Or in Love?
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