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; something 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 you 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 passionate 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 age 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 and 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.