Did you know in 2013 ‘passion’ was the third most overused word? I guess it still is. It is so trendy and common that it is now associated with everything. People have passion for different things. Last week, I had asked my friends and colleagues to describe their passion. People are zealous for reading, Gym, life, money, football, food, singing, dancing, etc. Some are passionate about changing the world and contributing a little for betterment of society. This little word has to carry all the burden of bringing happiness. The promises of fulfilling the ‘dreams’.
Does passion mean this? According to Oxford dictionary, passion means strong and barely controllable emotion.
Ignoring this fact we all have ‘passionately’ made our own versions of passion.
The word itself comes from the Latin root word, patior, which means to suffer. Earlier, passion was described as an external force that made you do something or in some way to suffer. Now, passion is either an internal burning desire or for some it is still the external force as it was before. In simple words, to do what you love is passion.
To clear the mindset of understanding the exact meaning of ‘follow your passion’, psychologists have postulated existence of two types of passions. The good passion is called as Harmonious passion and the bad passion as Obsessive passion.
Consider a person who likes to do an activity (or is passionate about) ‘X’. Every time the person gets engaged in X, it makes him feel good about himself. This person has accepted the activity as important for him. He is not expecting any possible outcomes from it. He is willingly engaged in the activity. He creates a personal endorsement about pursuing it. This type of passion is Harmonious Passion. Individuals are not compelled to do the activity but rather they freely choose to do so. People are in control of the activity without interfering in other personal activities.
If this person gets involved in X with expectation of some fruitful reward, it leads to obsessive passion. This is all about proving someone with your deeds. It is all about achievement and not pleasure in the moment. People with these passions mostly become the miserable workaholic. Although individuals like the activity, they feel compelled to engage in it because of these internal burning desire that come to control them. They cannot help but to engage in the passionate activity. The passion starts controlling the person; it takes disproportionate space and causes conflict with other activities in the person’s life.
Passion is an emotion. It is completely alright if you don’t know your passion yet. You might not see it. It is something that is felt. It might be an effect of your daily routine. And what about following your passion? Unless and until it is not bothering you in your other work, the passion for that activity is good to follow. Basically, it is about the time and energy you are willing to spend on the task you love. As Kevin Hall says passion is
“Willingness to Suffer for What You Love”!
Are you willing to suffer?