A Coaching Power Tool created by Ilim Guner
(Transformational Life Coach, TURKEY)
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. Albert Einstein
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman
Think of your life as two columns, one column headed activities that I do with passion and the other one activities that I do as obligation. Which column would be a longer list? Are you living your life according to your own values and expectations or your family’s and social environment’s values and expectations? Passion is a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love , a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion towards a subject (Source: Wikipedia). Passion is a differentiator in today’s fast pace and fast changing world.
When we do activities we feel passion for, there is a natural energy flow associated with it. It is like water flowing naturally in a riverbed. The difference of feeling passion for what we do can be most easily observed in sports and arts. When we look at the success stories in sports and arts, the differentiator of performance is almost always the passion.
Once we put our heart into what we are doing, the rest comes naturally.
We lose track of time and just enjoy the moment when we feel passion for what we do. We do not feel the need to seek approval or security from anyone. As similar energies and vibrations pull each other, things flow naturally and opportunities that serve our intentions pop up in front of us. Even when there are some challenges and barriers we just move on with the necessary lesson.
On the other hand, performing an action because we have to, because we are told to or because we’re afraid not to drains our energy. Obligation is defined as a course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience by which one is bound or restricted. (Source: Freedictionary.com)
When we feel obliged to do what we do, we feel like something is missing and time seems to drag. Any issue that comes up seems like a big barrier, and we feel overwhelmed. When we do things out of obligation, we are not living from our hearts. If we are expected to do things that we are not comfortable doing, we feel strained and less peaceful with ourselves and our surroundings.
Sometimes we get so used to doing the activities in a certain way we do not even realize when they are no longer needed. This happens quite frequently at work. We come across a detailed monthly report that has been issued for years and nobody is no longer aware where and why this report is used and whether it serves anyone, it just gets published month over month. What a waste of time, paper, and human resources. However a small change such as simplifying the report to fit the current needs and adding a short commentary highlighting the critical messages of the report can change the whole perspective both for the person preparing the report and for the others who would start benefiting from it.
To be able to increase the activities we do with passion in life, we should be able to accept individual differences, be able to see and think beyond social norms when needed, and think out of the box. Consider the following situation:
Jane and Kate graduated from the same highschool. Both were very good students both academically and socially. Jane was very interested and talented in photography/cinema, however her family always wanted to see her as a lawyer as both her father and grandfather were lawyers and they had an established reputable Law Office. Jane knew deep in her heart that being a lawyer did not excite her as much as photography/cinema but she did not want to disappoint her family and she was very proud and flattered by her acceptance into Harvard Law School. She chose going to Law School.
Kate was also very happy to be accepted to Wharton Business School, but design and fashion were where her heart was and that is why she felt the urge to choose California College of Arts instead. After thinking about her choice for a week she was determined to follow her passion. Her family had their concerns on this decision, but in the end respected Kate’s choice as they were also aware of her talent and passion in this area.
Jane was quite happy in her first year at Harvard, she enjoyed the campus life and new friends and was happy to think that her family and friends were very proud of her. However her performance started to decline after the first year as she started to realize that she did not enjoy law at all. Her dislike and resulting unsuccess at school impacted all her life including her relations with friends and family. She did not feel courageous enough to leave Harvard Law School and at the end of 4 years graduated with quite a low GPA.