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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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Pursuing Your Passion

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We all have talents and gifts. Some people's are apparent, such as Beethoven, Michael Jordan, or Winston Churchill. Others live out their personal and professional lives in less conspicuous ways but no less valuable ways.

Only you can define your passion. The fact that your mother wants you to be a doctor, your father wants you to conquer Wall Street, your spouse wants you to be an architect, or the coach wants you to play first base really doesn't matter.

Your passion is, quite simply, nothing more or less than your passion. It is, very simply, that thing in this world about which you are passionate. It does not have to be justified nor quantified to anyone's satisfaction other than yours.

Consider the following:

1. What activities cause you to be excited and energized?
2. What activities tend to make you tired and worn out?
3. What passions in your life are you proud to share with others?
4. What do you want to be known for?
5. If you had to pursue one course to make a difference in the world, what would it be?

Once you have identified your passion, it is important to find the best way to turn your passion into your profession. The late, great George Burns once told me that "If you love your job, you never work a day in your life." George Burns was passionate about his career as an entertainer, and he pursued that passion joyously for almost a century.

Recently, I've had the true privilege of getting to know 97- year-old Coach John Wooden who has, by far, more NCAA National Basketball Championships than anyone ever.

Coach Wooden considers himself a teacher. Had he not been a basketball coach, he feels he would have taught English. He sees very little difference between training seven-foot super athletes and instructing college freshmen in the basic rudiments of the English language.

Coach Wooden understands the key principle. His passion is the act of teaching, but it can be implemented in many ways.

I have a good friend who was a struggling night club comedian. Comedy was his passion, but he had reached a point where he could no longer survive financially. Then he made what some people would consider a drastic career move and became a humorist, speaking at corporate events.

Now he makes an amazing living and still pursues his passion. My friend understands that his passion is the comedy, whether it's in a smoky nightclub or a corporate convention setting.

As you go through your day today, look for more and unique ways to pursue your passion.

Today's the day!

[Source: jimstovall.com, by Jim Stovall]


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