What is Passion and Do You Need One?

The word passion can be intimidating. It's a weighty word and we've all been told we're supposed to have one. That passion of ours is supposed to fuel our spirit, fill our bank accounts, or both. Oh, and your passion should be so strong that it's life-long. Talk about pressure. 

All this pressure to have a passion can leave people feeling a bit blank if they don't identify with one. They may think passion is for the classical cellist who plays and composes in his sleep or the artist who paints until 4am or the surgeon who spends a lifetime on his craft and specialty. True passion, the narrative may be, is for smart, creative, and well, passionate people.  

So, what is passion? Definitions abound. The dictionary tells us it's an "intense desire or enthusiasm for something." That basic definition scratches the surface and makes me think about coffee on a Sunday morning - desirable, delicious, but hardly a passion. A bit deeper, I think of passions as those things in your core you can't imagine not thinking about, learning about, or acting on. Things that excite you, you can't get enough of, and/or stir your soul. It may be playful, like a passion for comedy or design. It may be heavy and necessary, like a passion for justice. It may be creative, like a passion for art and music. Our passions make life rich and inspire action. Or at least they can.

What if you don't have a passion? Or haven't discovered one? Is having a defined passion necessary? I really don't think so. Follow your interests, joy, curiosity, fun and you may stumble on your passion. And maybe you won't. Maybe you'll find that your passion is in living fully, without definition or constraints or attachments. Maybe your passion is to experience fully, whatever it is on the path you're creating. That sounds pretty darn amazing.