THE PURSUIT OF PASSION
Follow your dream, pursue your passion, find out what you’re passionate about and all the rest will follow. I call b.s. This idea, about passion for motivation, is one of those cases where not only have times changed but the underlying attitudes have shifted. Here’s the current Google definition:
strong and barely controllable emotion.
“a man of impetuous passion”
the suffering and death of Jesus.
“meditations on the Passion of Christ”
synonyms: crucifixion, suffering, agony, martyrdom
“the Passion of Christ”
Interestingly enough when I was a kid, sixty plus years ago to be passionate about something meant you were in the grasp of such an intense emotion nothing would get in the way. Ah, I still remember my first love, except the truth, is I remember being in love and consumed by it and yet the name of the person is fading, and the memories are of the person, not the feeling.
So what’s my point already? That passion is an emotion from the outside, dependent on outside circumstances, and while strong is is outside of your control. Do you really want your daily activity to be outside of your control?
Instead, I suggest that you pursue and create joy. Here’s the obligatory I looked it up on google and the answer is:
a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
“tears of joy”
synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture;
“I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain”
Keep that in mind while I tell you about a video of a miniaturist that I saw today. https://youtu.be/7FVO5Xy4-Nw
This Frenchman, Dan Ohlmann, makes life scenes 1/24 their real size. The detail is incredible, but what is more amazing is at one point in the video he is talking about the process and mentions that “people think it’s something difficult, complicated, that you have to concentrate really hard, that you have to be patient. But for me, it’s always been an enormous joy.) (These are the subtitles. In French he uses the word passion, but it is not the English word passion.)
He does it because he likes it. He likes it so much he’s made 30 of them in the past 25 years, and each one takes approximately a year. What gives him joy is what drives his life. Hey, I get it that he has all the other physical attributes necessary and I’m not advocating that everything that gives you joy is an automatic switch for producing beautiful things.
Mr. Ohlmann sounds very much like the runner who talk about the runner’s high, the ability to get in the zone. So here’s an unusual ingredient to throw into the mix, in Judaism, there is talk of Simcha,
Simcha — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Simcha (Hebrew: שִׂמְחָה śimḥāʰ; Hebrew pronunciation: [simˈχa], Yiddish pronunciation: [ˈsɪmχə]) is a Hebrew word with several meanings. Literally, the word “simcha” means gladness, or joy. It comes from the root word “sameyach,” which means glad or happy.
And in Judaism they go so far as to define the different types of joy and that the fact that it is an obligation on certain occasions, such as a wedding, for the guests to exhibit joy. My point is that if you want to motivate someone you talk of joy, not passion. Passion is something that takes you over and drives you. Joy is something that is internal to you and helps you do the work you are doing.
Mr. Ohlmann finds joy in tasks that other people may find difficult and complicated, that require concentration and patience. He is telling us that if you want to do something don’t wait for passion instead look inside yourself at the tasks needed to fulfill your goal and find the joy in the tasks that are required to reach your goal.
How we talk about ourselves and to ourselves is important. Use different words to empower yourself. Remember the old saying that one person’s meat is another person’s poison. Find out what sustains you, what gives you joy.
Joy comes from inside and can be found in anything. You can see yourself as having a dead-end job that you do just because you have to survive, or you can see it as a ground floor opportunity that will lead you forward towards your goal. The implication here is that you have a clear and well-defined idea of your goal. A goal that you are always moving towards and that you continually refine.