What Are You Actually Passionate About?
J. Westenberg

Hi Jon,

As someone that spends a lot of time thinking and talking about passion myself, I just have to ask you: what are YOU really passionate about?

I’d argue that passion for your work or for your girlfriend or even for making a lot of money is all, as you call it, shortform — these are things that we are able to apply our passion TO but they are not what we are actually passionate ABOUT. I’d go so far as to say while talking about what passion is NOT, you haven’t yet gotten to what passion IS, apart from what burns inside us and drives us. Yes, but what IS that?

Here’s my proposal: Passion is that part of our humanity that feels triggered to jump out of us, fearlessly, out into the open, making us vulnerable and willing to face what may come, just so long as it can be known to be alive. It’s that bit of us that doesn’t want to die without being known by the living world. It’s what makes us willing to be vulnerable.

So perhaps the question is not what are you passionate ABOUT. Perhaps the question should be, what MAKES you passionate?

Personally, inspiring ideas—written, painted, sung, danced, demonstrated—make me passionate. As does really good dark chocolate. I have no qualms being vulnerable in the face of either of these.

What about you?

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