By Neil Phillips.

Passion is an overworked word these days. You are told to follow your passion or to find your passion or to justify quitting a job so you can discover what makes you passionate. While these are all nice thoughts, you can do better. Here is what’s wrong with all of those options.

You have more than one simple passion. You are a complex person. Every day you think 50,000 thoughts. You think about a million and a half thoughts every month! To reduce your passion to one simple thought says really ugly things about your thought processes.  You are not shallow!

Passion is not a simple word. After 45 years of marriage, I’m still passionate about my wife. Every day it crops up in lots of different ways. As a word, passion describes a whole collection of things and not a simple, singular synaptic flash.

Passions change. Think back about 10 years in your life. Your passions were different. About 15 years ago you were learning to live in a post 9-11 world. Then think about all of the other facts of your life that have changed. As the world changes around you, your passions will change as well.

Age changes your passions. There is an old cliché that you are a passionate democrat in your youth and a passionate republican in your old age. You change. Your understanding of the world gets tempered by your wisdom and your passions change.

There are more reasons to not follow your passions.  You can come up with even more if you want.  So if you can’t follow your passion, what should you do? How about turning the direction for your life over?  Instead of following your passion, take it with you to everything.  Work with a coach, journal, meditate, or ponder the question on Facebook.  Discover the passion that you have right here and now and then take it everywhere.  When you discover it changes, then take your new passions to new places.  Don’t use passion as an excuse to not get along with people or not work hard.  Dig deeper in your motivations.  Be passionate about understanding yourself.

Want to Hear What Other Leaders Say About Their Passion?

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