What's Your REAL passion?

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    Aug 03, 2007 2:12 AM GMT
    So I've been spending a lot of time reading up on motivational advice, personal success books, etc. and the one topic each article, column or book brings up is "passion".

    What I'd like to know is: What are everyone's passions??? I read posts from Obscenewish and know right away he's a Psych guy...it seems to be his passion to analyze and write from a psych-oriented angle...a few other people mention what they consider their passions in the chat room as well...but from the larger community, what do you consider your passion? Not the hypothetical "Miss America" passion, but the ones that you act on...the ones people are working towards. Who out there has taken it upon themselves to actually live out their passions, working everyday a job or doing something that they know they were put on this earth to do???

    Personally, my passion is viticulture and wine-making...I'm studying it in school, I have a vineyard I work on for far more time than people think is normal, haha, and I can't imagine not working in the wine industry for a career....to me, it's a complete life. It's land, it's natural, it's hard work, honest, family-based (we're Italian, we love our wine), everything I could imagine looking for and working towards...

    But what are yours?
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:30 AM GMT
    personally, i have alot of passions, cars, soccer, fitness, english litrature
    but career wise i can only choose one, so i went with cars!
    for me, you can only truly make your dreams come true and succed if you follow your "passion"
    good luck with your vineyard man!
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Aug 03, 2007 2:44 AM GMT
    Wine making's one of those things a lot of people have an interest in. NPR just had a story about how global warming is going to change where the good wine grapes come from and/or change their flavor to sweeter. Ok...just answered a question nobody asked ;)

    My passion is writing and reading, at least that's what I have an interest in.
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:44 AM GMT
    I'd have to say my passion, my ultimate passion, is probably performing, not for my amusement but for other's amusement.
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:48 AM GMT
    hhmmm, kinda tough question. there is afine line between interest and passion. i would say i have a passion for writing and dancing.
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:50 AM GMT
    Yeah Colbert_Nation I've read many articles on that subject, and it's depressing for sure....but also exciting to see how we'll cope and adapt. It's already being researched on a GRAND scale at institutions around the world...and I like the way Chic put it....what his ULTIMATE passion is...I mean we can all list five or six things we consider ourselves "passionate" about, but what's the "Ultimate" passion? The thing you'd do for the rest of your life if money were no object.
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    Aug 03, 2007 3:40 AM GMT
    I consider identifying your "passion," which I'm willing to call your "purpose" or "calling," the most important task of psychological inquiry.

    Many, if not most people, have no idea what they are called to do. They simply respond from a sense of necessity. Consumer culture and the typical education abet this reduction of life undertaking to an economic model of productivity without thought of what satisfies the psyche, the soul

    One thing I have observed repeatedly (and I do 10-week workshops in this very topic) is that most people are terrified of their calling -- usually because it will take a person to such an odd place. So, if you have a felt sense of what impassions you, you are ahead of many people, who suppress knowledge of it or convince themselves that their passion must be secondary to the life that necessity seems to require.

    In some analyses this is the actual subject of paintings of the Annunciation. The angel announces to Mary her peculiar fate and she is always depicted stepping back in horror. Our purpose is arguably not created. It may be given, but we can choose. It is nonetheless, usually daunting.

    I have my mother's artist's notebook from when she was 15 years old. It is amazing to see how her life was foretold in that book. Much of it deliberates whether to pursue life as an artist and be considered crazy or to follow the usual path of a Charleston debutante.

    She chose the latter and, over time, completely killed off her artistic life. She was miserable most of her life, despite having homes all over the planet. She was continually trying to outrun something -- her muse, in my mind. To her credit, she did give my nieces and nephews incredible educational opportunities all over the world, cultivating their artistic temperaments, and they are amazing, amazing kids.

    When she hit 64, she moved into her place in Vermont and enrolled in art school and began painting again. She told me on the phone that her life finally made sense to her. She had finally picked up the other thread in the notebook. That's another thing about finding your calling: What didn't make sense about your life suddenly makes perfect sense.

    Soon afterward, she told my father, when he came to visit, that she wanted a divorce. The same day, she had a stroke and spent the next 15 years unable to walk, talk, read or write -- and dependent upon the man whom she'd just told she no longer loved. In short, she never fully realized her own passion.

    Most people don't. I very much followed my mother's path in the first half of my life -- leaving Yale to get married, blowing off a prestigous book contract I was given in my 20s, always fearful of my calling. In my case, it was the call to "come out" that was my initial "annunciation" and initiation into the pleasure of being who I was meant to be, despite all the pain. It's been strongly tempting at times to try to do things the conventional way, but my mother's notebook is never far from view.

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    Aug 03, 2007 5:08 AM GMT
    I think about life a lot, but philosophy is not my passion.

    I think about politics a lot, but becoming a politician is not my passion.

    I love showing people the potential they have and showing them their inner beauty. This is why I am going into teaching. But teaching will only be the start.

    I believe I have a unique perspective on the world and hope someday to incorporate my experiences of teaching, my knowledge and philosophy of life, and the utilization of politics to make a few positive changes to a country (the United States) I believe is beginning to lose its way.

    If I don't go the route of politics then hopefully I can become a public figure like the Dalai Lama. We'll see...
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    Aug 03, 2007 6:13 AM GMT
    building stuff, designing buildings and working with my hands would be cool. But alas I've been seduced by money and I'll just have to be a developer and watch from a distance as others create my work. Plus, I hear architects always end up dumbing down their work for the client, so architecture as a career would break my heart.
  • sfnicolas

    Posts: 121

    Aug 03, 2007 6:19 AM GMT
    leading outdoors treks with my buds are my passion--if i could make money doing just that (without the 'running the business' part), i'd be a happy camper...

    so to speak, lol
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    Aug 03, 2007 6:31 AM GMT
    My main passion is creating and performing music. It has been with me since childhood and I don't think it will ever leave.

    Music is a passion that is never truly fulfilled, you never reach a point where you say "This is the best I will ever be" or "This is the ultimate song, I can never write a better one". Its a journey you never really end, you just change course continually.

    It is highly satisfying and highly frustrating at the same time. I love it.

    Oh, and fitness...
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    Aug 03, 2007 11:03 AM GMT
    Cooking and running a business.
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    Aug 03, 2007 11:10 AM GMT
    I guess my larger passion would be "service". Service to others provides a feeling deep inside in me. Its the main reason I joined the military.

    The other part of that would be teaching. I'm always happiest to be in front of a group, where everyone, including myself, is learning, expanding thier minds and engaged in valuable discussions. I would be a perpetual student if I could afford it, so instead I'll be a High School History teacher one day in the near future.

    Thirdly, History and the SCA are a passion of mine. The SCA allows you to learn from so many different people and encourages you to do your own research, but not just with book, but with hammers and steel, knives and leather, bread and meat, needle and thread, to work with your own hands to recreate what your ancestors had once. The SCA also practices and studies the original form of Chivilary, something more, something deeper than simpling opening the door for someone. Something that affects who you are as a person inside.
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    Aug 03, 2007 12:13 PM GMT
    This question is basically what I do all day. I've had to work on this myself, and the way that I say it is that my mission is:

    To help people do more than they think they can, and encourage others and myself to actually express what's inside them.

    That comes out in me by being a career counselor, musician, writer (although I need to do a lot more of that!), dancer, etc.
  • gymingit

    Posts: 156

    Aug 03, 2007 1:06 PM GMT
    You have to love OW with the "purpose" and "calling"....

    TEACHING!!! I've worked in the medical field for 22 years starting at 15 as an orderly in a nursing facility. From there, I have been a pharmacy technician, trained in the Army, a medical records coder and biller, hospital supply clerk, managers assistant for an orthopaedic physicians group and manager for an ophthalmology clinic.

    Slowly I have worked towards a degree..... My goal is to have my degree and be in the best shape of my life by the time I'm 40. You may check my profile to see where I've been and where I'm headed.

    I plan to TEACH with my degree and possibly get my masters so I can teach geography at college level. Even though I'm social sciences, I would love to teach geography from a scientific point of view. I love the way the earth works.

    My final thing is to become a personal trainer. I may be 42 and considered too old at the point, but I don't look my age and will be looking DAMN GOOD in a few years....LOL

    LANCE
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:01 PM GMT
    Wow, what an interesting topic. When I was young, I put together a "to do" list. I had come from an environment of extreme poverty (often not enough to eat. etc),isolation and despair, so things on my "list" really seemed impossible, everything from obtaining a University education, to having white and straight teeth,(those who have been poor will understand that one) to being a parent and to writing/publishing a book. By January 2006 I had achieved everything on my "to do list" and was faced with the inevitable question; now what? I realized then my "passion" was really about erasing my early life horrors and trauma's. Still, I'm faced with the question; now what? I'm sad to say I am without "passion" right now. I am not particularly moved, shaken or stirred by anything. I truly believe that I've done all that I was placed here to do, so my life script right now is comatose. I hope that changes soon, because knowing or at least believing you know your purpose, act on it and live your life passionately is a great feeling and it sustained me for the longest time. I miss that, but I'm still looking for something to rock my boat.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Aug 03, 2007 2:21 PM GMT
    I have a lot of passion, art, theatre,antique, painting , kickboxing, history and of course man. But my greatest (after the man) is solo travelling backpacking . It really nothing like going to a foreign countries with some money in my pocket and a lonely planet in my back packs. Strip from all home comform, familiar surrounding, you are like back to basic survival. I have visit 4 of the 7 wonder of the world Taj Mahal of India, Great Wall of China , Borobudur of Indonesia and Angkor Wat of Cambodia ( the last two by back packing). Its to bad I dont have much time to do more backpacking. God willing, somedays I take early retirement and just go backpacking around the world.
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:25 PM GMT
    Politics. Love it, I can't get enough of it. I can't think of many other things that gets my heart rate going as much as UK Politics!
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:27 PM GMT
    I am so completely unsuccessful at my true calling, which is writing. OW, you mentioned having a book contract at some point--I've never even come close. I'm now in my mid-forties and much too old to ever be successful at anything, and yet I'm halfway into the draft of another book.

    I write songs, books, musicals. The other day, I played the finale from one of my musicals for a friend, and he said hearing it was a "holy moment" for him. I wish more of the actual directors I contacted would have holy moments like that.

    I get no evidence from the outside world that I have this vocation--all I have is an inner drive. If I'm not working on something, I feel empty. I'm planning to be like Kafka--just keep it all in a trunk for my friends to deal with after I'm gone. Oh, wait--I better start making some friends.

    OW, you mention your mother wanting to be an artist. My mom was a jazz singer (my Dad, with whom I have no relationship, was a trombone player--their love story is very Ob-la-Di, Ob-la-Da. Except with a messy divorce where my dad tries to get her committed). So, I grew up with a very good high school teacher who regretted giving up her dream of being a singer in order to raise kids. No wonder I'm gay. If I had been born with the genes of Brett Favre, I would still have ended up gay.

    So, your passion is what you do when the world has ceased to care and you are too old to ever be a success.
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:38 PM GMT
    Ash: You need a good agent to land a contract these days. Also, the whole book proposal routine is much more complicated than it used to be, at least for nonfiction.

    Also, as I'm sure you know, self-publishing is big now. There are a lot of success stories with people going this way, although that too has mainly been with nonfiction
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    Aug 03, 2007 2:58 PM GMT
    I can't self-publish--I have two friends/acquaintances who have been published, and I want to show them up by being published by a bigger publisher and selling more copies. I was devastated when this one guy I know got published and even won an award since I used to have to say things like "Oh, that's very nice" when I read his stuff. (Or I'd say, "Now that reminds me what real writing is all about!" and not add, "Which is something other than what you've written here.")

    (His name is Dan O'Brien. You can find him on Amazon. Most of his books are "Ships in 4-6 weeks" and "Used copies available." Heh-heh.)

    My big problem is that I never send anything out. I hate rejection in any form. I suspect that will have to change so I'm going to work harder when this next project is finished. And now that I've relaxed my religious values a little bit, I'll sleep with anyone who can help my career.
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    Aug 03, 2007 3:11 PM GMT
    I do a lot of career development with artists, and one of the problems that a lot of artist have is that they want to have the big success, and figure that that comes from just producing and someone will see your genious sometime. Problem is, there's so much stuff out there, that it's difficult for people to find your stuff. I recommend for artists to try to get success at a smaller level first, and then build up enough successes to get noticed at the higher level. For example, for writers, if you're only cranking out novels, but you've never gotten a short story or article or something published in a magazine/journal/whatever, you've got nothing to show for what you've done.

    If I'm got a stack of manuscripts about 4 feet high in my office, I have to decide who to read. I'm not going to read it all. I'm more likely to read someone who already been vetted by others (i.e. has been edited and published) as reading someone who I know nothing about.

    The world of the artist is getting out there and finding the person who understands your artistic gift. That, of course, means getting rejected by many others who don't understand it. You're less likely to get rejected by doing the work first to find out who is more likely to understand you.
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    Aug 03, 2007 3:43 PM GMT
    Dolly Parton ;) Happy Friday guys!

    NICK
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    Aug 03, 2007 4:31 PM GMT
    Writing, very interesting. Publishers for the most part are looking for the next Harry Potter fluff or some such thing. The truly gifted writers that do get published are usually with smaller houses and it is impossible to make a living. Society has been dumbed down to such a degree that any critical prose fiction or otherwise is not likly to see the light of day and if it is then only in small publications. In my case newspapers, small magazines and such. I was lucky I won awards here and there and so forth, but if your "voice" is one that actually requires thought or more importantly veers from the safe and familiar then you're screwed.

    However I think it is important to just keep writing and keep putting yourself out to the universe. I find the more I wrote the more I was able to communicate with a larger audience, albeit by having to remove substantial elements. I've never been so concerend about confusing people (readers) as I had been over the past 10 years. It's best to stick with linear, lateral, simple lines. No Burroughs, thank you very much and forget about rythmic composition, it's not linear enough.

    If Ash, as you say your true calling is writing, then frankly you wouldn't have a choice and how you define success may be preventing you from living your true calling. It never occurred to me to compare myself to "friends" who have been published, how truly bizarre. That is a foreign concept to me and I can't see how that could possibly be helpful either in the quality of work you present or the integrity of the voice you wish to share? But if that is your goal, knock yourself out and I suspect some day you'll up your friend.

    Most artists I know simply have no choice but to do what they do, it's like breathing. Personally I'm all written out. I've got nothing else to say. I've said all I was supposed to say in my writing, published where I could and now I've got nothing left. Kaput, done, finito. I'm searching for another voice within and a mechanism to bring forth it's truth. So far no luck.
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    Aug 03, 2007 6:28 PM GMT
    Creating artwork, writing, and making music are my big passions. Wandering in the forest or alongside the mountains or the ocean would be another set. Then, of course, there's exercise which (most days) I absolutely love.