Passion is defined as "an intense desire or enthusiasm for something; a strong and barely controllable emotion." It is exciting to be passionate and exciting to be around passionate people.
And yet, the word seems intimidating and even annoying at times.
If you hear a drama student talking about how acting is her passion in the corner of whatever dive bar on a Friday night, it's quite normal to fight the urge to scoff and roll your eyes: 'Passion? Let's cool it with the "P" word, Anne Hathaway. It's 2 am at a pub, not the green room at the f*cking Oscars.'
Admittedly, the word "passion" can seem gross and self-inflated at times, but the truth remains that it is the key to a successful life. Everyone has the capacity to be passionate about something, but it can be tough to discern what that is. Still, you'll know passion when you see it.
As a Millennial, I can happily report that the importance of passion is being addressed more and more in schools and colleges. But, people still ignore it. They even recoil from it.
People react to the idea of passion the same way they might react to their grandmother telling them to eat their vegetables.
Somewhere down the line, it became sterile advice to say to someone, "Follow your dreams." Now, you must add a little bit at the end that says, "...no, seriously. Follow 'em. Not kidding."
Passion is empowering, beautiful and yields a sense of purpose. Why would anyone opt out?
Well, there's also these things called "jobs." People work jobs, earn paychecks and the world keeps-a-turnin'. Passion is fluid, organic and human; whereas, the world of business is machine-like, contrived and cold.
Business is reliable; passion is unpredictable. Passion is talked about in tandem and ad nauseam with the words "successful" and "career." This is reductive for a number of reasons.
First of all, passion is standalone. It is intrinsic. It doesn't exist to suffice your career goals or ideas of becoming rich and powerful. It's just something you need to do in order to survive, much like breathing or eating.
It's what you think about the second your feet hit the floor in the morning and when you close your eyes at night. It would kill you if you couldn't do it for a single day.
Will it help you achieve things? Certainly. However, if you're using your passion as a means to an end, it isn't a passion.
Have you ever seen a small child begging for a piece of candy or a toy in a store, only to be denied and cruelly wheeled out the door in shopping cart? That's the kind of strength this emotion has.
Passion is all-encompassing.
Furthermore, passion is often confused with the idea of being a "hard worker." It doesn't necessarily take passion to make someone work hard. I've bussed tables and worked as a cashier with the utmost dispassion and ambivalence, and that was hard work.
Finding your passion is a much more worthwhile quest than finding a job, especially because your passion will most likely nudge you toward a particular career path.
You can look at trends, statistics and career analytics to inform your job search, but doing so won't necessarily get you a dream job. With passion, the road will be bumpier, but the reward will be far greater.
It's an uphill battle to find your passion, which is why so many people will not have great careers.
The point I'm trying to make is that whether you're waiting tables or studying for the bar exam, your passion in life is much more important than your job title.
Even if it sounds cliché to do so, you must chase it if you want the good stuff; success and happiness have been proven to follow.
Passion decides what kind of person you will be. You can either be someone who speaks warmly of his or her endeavors beyond the narrow scope of well-worn career paths, or someone who scoffs and thinks, "Passion? Bah-humbug."