You may have heard the quote by Gretchen Rubin, “The days are long, but life is short.” As we reflect back on our life, it is usually the times where we were passionate about something that we remember most fondly. Whether it is our babies, a particular subject matter, sports, art or something entirely different, passion makes the days feel fuller and even more fleeting. 

Passion is that which ignites in us the pull to know more, do more, or give more. It fills our thoughts, directs our feelings and provides a framework into which we can place experiences and information. Passions give us purpose. 

A lack of passion can make our days feel long and perhaps unmemorable. Many people, upon retiring, feel a little lost. Stay-at-home parents may feel a little lost when their last kid starts school. Young adults starting their careers, taking jobs they’re not really excited about may also feel this way. The happiest retired people, stay-at-home parents and, well, people in general are those who have found a purpose or passion. To be passionate about something is exciting and energizing! 

Finding a passion can, at times, be a challenge. Passion often happens organically. We stumble upon something that piques our curiosity. If we don’t stumble though, how do we find it? We have to start somewhere. If we don’t do anything different, we will always get the same results. This month we have been thinking and talking all about continuous learning and taking initiative. Taking the initiative to try new things (volunteering, joining a club or group, reading a book, watching a documentary, etc.) opens us up to maybe somethings we find we don’t enjoy. But it also opens the door to perhaps finding something that grabs our interest. And that’s where it begins.

Once we find something of interest or something we enjoy, the next step is to seek more information or opportunities in those areas. This helps grow our passion. Personally investing in something, whether emotionally, financially or with our time or talent, brings about a stronger connection to the area. For example, having an interest in cats might lead you to volunteer at a cat shelter, where you meet others who are also interested in cats. Giving our time and talent connects us in deeper ways. We tend to become passionate about areas of interest for which we feel this deeper connection and can then use this passion as a motivator for further learning and growth. 

All the more reason to #staycurious

-Bridget Markwood

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