A renaissance soul

I am always asked what my passion in life is; and to date have successfully avoided providing an answer.

Recently, I had attended AWiBs December program that featured the WOE celebrities who spoke about their insightful stories. They all spoke of passion so fondly.

So what is passion? Passion is that powerful feeling we all have inside of us. It’s a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm and anticipation that fills our life with meaning, happiness and purpose.

AWiBs WOE celebrities had passion. Some were passionate about health, some about education, and some about women’s rights. Whatever the case may be these women had something to be passionate about.

These women discovered their passion because they acted on something.  At some point in their lives, they decided to take a stand, to act and do something about a situation around them. They did not sit and think and analyze which passion to pursue. They simply acted, and in their journey discovered their passion and meaning in life.

So why is passion so important? With passion comes action. The feeling of excitement and enthusiasm enables us to endure and face the many challenges that will surely rise in the process of acting on something. Passion builds confidence and allows us to continuously improve ourselves and get better at the work we do. With passion we can get more creative and can inspire those around us.

Figuring out our passion and our inner driving force is important because it carves our journey. We can begin to figure out what roads lie ahead and which roads are worth pursuing.

I still cannot comfortably answer what my one passion in life is. In fact many people struggle with this issue. Everything interests me, whether it be teaching, painting, writing or running. In fact I also like doing absolutely nothing –a passion of mine is to simply exist and not think of anything for several moments at a time. Having too many possible passions is just as frustrating as not knowing what your passion is- because I always wonder if I should be doing something else.

There are two books that capture this incident best. The first book titled The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp; Tharp argues that you need to identify one passion and practice your craft daily. She says that you need to pick one thing and constantly practice in order to be one of the best, and she uses Mozart as an example. Mozart knew what he wanted to do as a child and he was one of the best at what he did.

Contrary to this viewpoint is The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine. Lobenstine argues that there are lots of successful people who do multiple things. One of her examples is Ben Franklin who was a printer, inventor, scientist, author, and diplomat.

So after much thought, I see myself as a renaissance soul; one who has many passions with the possibility of being great without making one passion my life’s work.  So to answer the question, what is my passion in life, I would answer life itself. We don\’t need to look for passion, or search for it outside ourselves. Passion is a feeling we can have for everything and anything and that for me is life itself.