My feet hit the ground and turn slightly outward as I pick up speed to match the techno mash-up pounding in my ears. I lower my arms and pump them back and forth as I cross the street, dodge a biker or head uphill. I am hating that wind, but with a quick peek at my watch, I press on.
I can’t help it. I have a thing for running. Yet lately, I have felt this passion waning due to some scheduling difficulties and an ample lack of motivation. And I am beginning to worry this loss of devotion might carry over into other areas in my life.
I used to think passion was enough to make a difference. Passion about feeding the homeless, passion about photography, even passion about running – if I had passion, I figured I could do well in such activities. It seemed easy: Decide you like something, set your mind to becoming good at it and then work like crazy. But experience keeps proving burnout soon follows this mindset. When individual drive is the force behind your actions, it takes nothing more than personal failings to kill passionate pursuits on all levels.
What is the use of passion, then? Why work hard to do well at something if it is only going to leave you unfulfilled?
I recently heard someone say passion without purpose is dead. This is a truly genius statement, for in purpose, passion reaches its full potential. With purpose, you have a constant reminder of why you became passionate in the first place.
Purpose directs passion and drives passion to do more than just satisfy the self. It is a call for action larger than personal ambition. Not only does purpose point passion away from the individual; the right purpose points passion to something or someone greater.
I want a passion with purpose. I want to love doing something and doing it well for the right reasons – for more than myself. I’m not going to say I’m there yet, but I would like to think my passion is headed in the right direction.