“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly” Aldous Huxley
We are frequently reminded of the quest to find a passion. Turn your passion into a career and reap the dividends. As wonderful as this is, what if you have not found your passion yet? Conversely, what if you enjoy the ride and do not think of it as a challenge to find one true calling?
Historically associated with the fire element, being passionate does not come naturally to some. To others, this burning desire to accomplish something fuels them on their adventures. This will appear in many forms such as in a heated debate, or perhaps as determination to see a change in something we care about. However, it does not always manifest itself in a fiery disposition. Picture the tennis rivals Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. While McEnroe was clearly fire dominant, Borg was the opposite, demonstrating the analytical and cool qualities of metal. Both were completely spellbound by tennis and dedicated themselves completely to the art but displayed their passion in contrasting ways. As such, the challenge lies in finding the optimal way of expressing and enjoying ourselves.
As wonderful as this is, what if we enjoy too much of a good thing? Michael Schumacher believed, “Once something is a passion, the motivation is there”. In certain individuals it is possible that this could lead to addiction and also to disorders such as body dysmorphia and orthorexia. A simple example to use in an exercise setting is overtraining. What originates as enjoyment then takes a turn as we don’t appreciate the effect it is having on us. Personally, I have discovered that when I do care about something it tends to frustrate me. This stems from knowing what I would like the end product to look like, and frustration arises when this is not the case. However, I should stress this is relatively minor frustration!
One way of reducing the risk of this occurring could be to follow the Japanese way. They have a concept called Ikigai which means ‘reason for being’. This consists of the perfect balance between our passion, mission, profession and vocation. However, this apparently requires a lifetime of reflection to discover. Therefore, as an alternative, we could do worse than use Rumi for inspiration!
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” Rumi