Awaken the giant within – find your PASSION…

July 7, 2016

That catchy little phrase  “Awaken the Giant Within” is also the title of one of Tony Robbins’ books.  Robbins is a well know motivational speaker and financial adviser. I use it here to allude to finding and awakening a passion for something within yourself.

Now a passion is not just something that you enjoy doing. A passion, once discovered, will be something that you find you MUST do; something that you cannot stop doing; Passionsomething that drives you to take actions. Finding something that you are passionate about is not an everyday thing. For many it is, in fact, a rare thing. It’s not that there are not things that they enjoy doing, we all have those things; it’s just that that are not driven to do them. I enjoy an occasional round of golf, but I am nor passionate about golf.  There are many things like that in my life and I’m sure in yours that we could say we enjoy but have no particular passion about. Passion might be thought of as enthusiasm taken to the next level.

Your passion might be about a cause or a group or a movement or maybe your religion. Perhaps your passion is service to others. Perhaps it is about something like finding a cure for a disease or finding a way to save the lives of young people through education and intervention in issues like drinking and driving or maybe doing drugs. You will know that lack of passionyou have a passion about something when you realize that it is the most important thing in your life, at least for the moment. It’s hard to sustain and intense level of passion for an extended period; however, a true passion will never subside enough to be forgotten.

From the point of view of others, the passionate person can sometimes be mistaken for being obsessed. Perhaps sometimes unbridled passion can turn into obsession; but it is more likely that the person with passion for a cause would be called dedicated, persistent or perhaps motivated, rather than obsessed.

In my little Village of Milford, Michigan, we have some people who have become save the station rallypassionate about saving our original old train station; the one that was built when the railroad finally came through Milford in the mid 1800’s. It was buried for years beneath layers of modern siding and added on sections of what was a lumber yard. It was due to be torn down as part of a redevelopment project; however, one man with passion for saving it started a movement that has gained momentum and now has a chance of pulling off a plan to uncover it and move it rather than tear it down. Many Village and area residents have joined him to raise money, take the case to the Village government and continue the effort to “save the station.”  All it took was passion.

So how do you find something to be passionate about? Most of the time those things find you. You stumble across a cause or a group that resonates with you, with your values and the things that are otherwise important to you. Maybe it’s a news story on the nightly news or in your local newspaper. It may be about a group that fighting for or against something; but, whatever it is, it stirs something in you that says, “I want to fight for or against that, too.” That’s the first tiny sign of a possible passion. If you go with that feeling you will find yourself becoming increasingly involved with the group or movement and soon it will be you marching in the nightly news coverage. Whatever it was awoke the giant of passion within you.

One reason that we may have so few passions in life is that we are taught at a very young lazyage that moderation is the better path. Moderation is less likely to evoke negative reactions from others. We are taught to stifle ourselves (remember that line from the Archie Bunker TV show when he told his wife Edith to “stifle yourself, Edith”?) We are encouraged to sit back quietly and let others make displays of passion in demonstrations or other actions. We are trained to be apathetic and apathy is the antithesis of Passion.

Perhaps it is time to awaken the giant within yourself and let passion rule your life, in at least one little aspect.  What do you have a passion for? Why not let that passion out? Why are you holding back? Maybe you are afraid that you’ll be alone in your passion.  That seldom happens; but if it did, I suspect that you’d still find a level of satisfaction at having tried something or championed something or fought against something that you do not get out of day to day life. Having passion feels good.

So this week, try to find your passion in some cause or movement or service to others andprotesters then find an outlet for that passion. It may not be in a big demonstration or a march; it may not be in being able to solve the problem all at once; maybe it’s in something small, like helping to clean up a park or roadside or maybe just writing a letter to an official to express your passion and opinion. Whatever you do; make it just the start and watch your passion grow as you take those first little steps. A true passion will flare up like a flame when you are taking actions and then settle down to a constantly glowing ember in your soul in your day to day life.

Awaken your giant within – find your passion.

Enduring love is better than momentary passion…

March 30, 2015

‘Passion is momentary; love is enduring.”  – John Wooden

I’ve posted comments here a few times about the difference between passion (in the sense of the physical attractions and interactions between people) and true love. John Wooden’s little quote certainly applies to that scenario. The momentary enjoyment of passion for someone may masquerade as love in the minds of the participants for some time, maybe even years; however, eventually it is not enough gloss over the things that are missing without a base of true happy ceoupl silouettelove. Saying “I love being with you” (in the sexual sense) is not the same as saying “I love you”. It is the realization of this mistake that eventually leads divorces. Eventually there just isn’t enough sex and pleasure from it to cover up the things that aren’t there in the relationship. Eventually the haze of lust lifts and the warts that were hidden by it show through or the scars that were caused by other aspects of the relationship are no longer hidden.

Love, on the other hand, grows out in the open, midst the warts and the pains, the ups and downs in the relationship. Love embraces and builds upon the concept of friendship. People truly in love will often self-identify their life mate as being also their best friend in life. Don’t misunderstand that I’m somehow saying that you should substitute being a friend with your life mate for a healthy sex life. This is not an “either or” thing, but it needs to be an AND thing. There are many other dimensions to a loving relationship that also need friends holdi handsto be cultivated and developed; such as trust, dependability, honesty, openness, vulnerability and understanding. Look into any failed marriage and you will see that some or all of those things never developed between the partners. Those things are also traits of someone whom we would call an adult; someone who has grown up. It is not uncommon for the behavior of one of the parties in a divorce to be characterized as childish and that is probably true, that man or woman just never grew up and never accepted the role and responsibilities of an adult. For them being married was a big game of “playing house” in between the good parts in bed.

To get back to the basketball coach tie-in, I’ve often heard that this or that player has a true love of the game or the sport. They are not just passionate about it; most athletes have a passion for the sports that that participate in; however those who truly love the game embrace it at a different level and that dedication is something that coaches and other’s can see in them. It is an appreciation for the game’s history and traditions. They are recognized as students of the game. They study it. They appreciate its finer points and they understand where it came from, where it is and where it might go (in fact many of them go on to take the games to the next level). Many of these athletes end up as coaches of the game that they love. They had a passion for the game while they were actively playing it and they went on to turn that passion into a true love of the game.

In life, many of us never take that next step up from the passion that got us
loving coupletogether in the first place. We never explore more about our life partner than their body. We never care enough about what they want outside of the sex to understand why that isn’t enough. We never become friends, because we are too busy and too satisfied being lovers. How sad, if that is the case. The greatest opportunity that one will ever have in life to truly be happy may be with that person with whom you are already enjoying great sexual passion. If you cannot take that next leap of faith with them and truly open up and commit yourself to a loving relationship, then prepare yourself for the failure to come – the sex part is just not enough to carry you through. It’s interesting how many times I’ve talked to guys who were clueless that they were about to be divorced because they thought everything was going great (at least in bed) or who thought that having great sex would make up for everything else. It turned out there was nothing else and now they’re asking – “what happened?”

I can’t lay all of the blame on the guys here; because many women go into the relationships that fail for the same reason. The women, however, tend to be the ones who recognize that they want and need more from the relationship that just the passion. Some speak up about it (the clueless guys call that nagging), but some just suffer in silence until they reach the breaking point. I guess if I had some advice for them (and here I’m stepping way outside my comfort zone) it would be not to keep quiet; maybe nagging is the wrong way to do it, perhaps teaching is a better way to look at it. Remember that I’ve already said that most of the guys are clueless as to what you really want in a relationship, so it is up todog you to help them understand. Watch a few puppy training shows on TV and figure out how to use the “correct and reward” system that the trainers use. If that sounds too simple or silly, it isn’t. There is no more loyal companion, willing to give you unconditional love, than a well trained puppy/dog. (Don’t get upset guys, remember the reward part and it only gets better if you can learn and embrace how to play your part.)

Enough already about dog training. I may be wandering too close to the kinky sunday walkside by going there. The point is still that you need to develop the relationship beyond the passion in order to get to a truly loving relationship. That requires work. Those who do work at it are the ones who celebrate their 50th wedding anniversaries instead of ending up in divorce court. Live in the moment, enjoy the passion; but, make the effort to  build an enduring relationship with the one that you want to be there to celebrate that 50th anniversary.

The five “P’s” of success in life…

September 22, 2014

There are, is seems to me, five things that are important to achieving success in life. Two of them I saw recently as I visited one of the blogs of a follower of my blog –

“Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights your way.” – as seen on the KSFINBLOG

I would add to those two essential ingredients Persistence, Perseverance and Patience, which are what ultimately lead to success.

woman carrying torchPurpose is what turns life from just wandering through into a journey. Purpose defines the goal or destination that you want to achieve. Passion supplies the drive to get to that destination or goal. If you have that passion lighting the way, then Persistence means getting up every day and taking a few more steps towards the goal. Perseverance means being able to bounce back from set-backs or disappointments and refocusing upon the goal; and Patience means understand that most journeys take a while and are not accomplished all in a day.

We have become a society used to instant gratification; to getting things right now; and, quite honestly, many times used to not having to work too hard to achieve our goals. Purpose-driven lives tend to take a longer view; maybe because they focus upon bigger goals or maybe because they start further away from the final destination. Purpose-gymnastdriven athletes tend to have train for years before they even get to the level where they have a shot at achieving their goal. Some, like Olympians have four years of training between attempts. It takes a lot of passion, persistence, perseverance, and patience to train for four years in order to get one shot at the gold. Imagine setting your sights on a goal that is four years out. Maybe you have evenlonger term goals.

So, as you set your goals and define the journey that your passion is leading you upon, make sure that you are ready for the long run. Make sure that you have the persistence, perseverance and patience for the journey. Otherwise you will just experience many short trips into failure and frustration. We’ve all met someone like that who keep making half-hearted efforts into “the next big thing” in their life, whether it be a relationship or a new job or some new hobby or sport that they dabble in for a while. They mistake an interest for purpose and an attraction for passion; but they really have none of the other things that they need to make things work. Many of us do take false starts at things that we reaching goalinitially believe to be worthwhile goals, only to discover that we really don’t have the passion to persist and overcome obstacles or maybe the patience to stay the course.

What purposes (goals) do you have in your life? What passions? Are you persistent in pursuing them with patience and perseverance? Where are you on those journeys? Have you taken time to feel rewarded by the progress that you’ve made? Have you made your goals know to others? If not, why not? If so, are they cheering you on? Think about these things in the week ahead. Just thinking about what the important goals are in your life will help reinforce your passin for achieving them. Have a great and purposeful week.