Merriam-Webster defines passion as an “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.” I don’t really like this definition. I can have intense feelings of happiness or sadness or anger or any other emotion. I feel like passion is more encompassing, but I’m not sure of what.
You always hear motivational and inspirational speakers tell you to “Find your passion.” Like, what does that even mean? 🤷🏻♀️ Why don’t they say “Find what you love?” or “Find what makes you happy?” What is it about passion that sets it apart?
I’ve had a lot of jobs in a lot of different industries. But it wasn’t until I started working in farming that I truly began to understand what “find your passion” meant. In the day-to-day, I truly enjoy helping produce a safe and healthy food supply for my family, my community, and beyond. I can be out walking a field and feel pure happiness, if even just for a moment. I can submit paperwork and feel pride. I can learn from an irrigator and feel connection. I can teach leadership and feel helpful.
But there are some days…
There are some days when I personally feel attacked, my role feels attacked, or when I feel my company or industry is being attacked – you wanna talk about intense feelings? 🤬 The anger and frustration can shoot straight through to my core. Claws come out, and I. am. ready to pull out all. the. guns. I can go from an extreme of positive emotions to an extreme of negative emotions in a matter of seconds. But the good days by far outweigh the bad days. And even on the bad days, there are few things I’d rather do more.
That. is. passion.
Kevin Hall defines passion as “A willingness to suffer for what you love” – a definition I really like.
But I don’t think passion is something you find. I think passion is like love. It. finds. you. When the time is right. Society puts so much pressure on us to have both within a timeframe it deems “normal.” As a collective, who is society to set these standards when we consider how many people are in unhappy marriages and unhappy in their careers?
A “calling” is accompanied by “conviction of divine influence.”
Conviction is referenced in the Merriam-Webster definitions of passion and calling. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Conviction and passion are rooted in belief. Belief is putting trust or confidence in someone or some thing. Put that belief in yourself and your God, and you will find your passion when your passion finds you. It’s ethos, pathos, and logos working together.
All those random jobs I had before farming gave me perspective. Ten years ago, I didn’t have the confidence or the backbone to do what I do today. There’s a reason I found my calling when I did. I don’t think this is my only calling either. I think this is where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. And as I feel myself undergoing transformational change, this phase of life is just a stretch of highway on the journey.
As we learn and we grow, we change. Ten years from now, I can be in a completely different place. We don’t know what life has in store for us. Perhaps we must go through the rough waters until we reach our passion, and at that point it becomes smooth sailing. ⛵️ But not without challenge – just challenge you’re better suited to navigate. 🤷🏻♀️ I dunno; I’m learning as I go too!
But what I do know, is that I think most people equate passion with happiness. If we find our passion, we become happier. But there is nothing about suffering that makes one happy. I think passion is a balance between positive and negative emotions; it is contentment.