Photo from my friend Libby Williams
I’ve been struggling a bit lately.
Having just come off a long stretch of helping craft and co-author a book called The Passion Conversation, I have that sort of post angst that comes from hitting a huge milestone and finishing a fun project. It was remarkable to be able to think so intently about something I care so deeply about.
Writing for this new book actually caused me to stop and really think about my own passions, my own calling. Am I really following my passions? Oh, I have plenty that I’m passionate about.
Seeking happiness and bringing it to myself and others. Simplifying life. Living peacefully.
Somehow over the years I have learned that those pursuits make me happiest.
But sometimes I still wonder. Am I really following my passions? Is there more?
My kids are college and shortly after college age. If you have kids that age (and therefore know a bunch of kids that age) you know they get told often to follow their passions. At graduation time that’s often the advice some very wise and wonderful people hand out freely and with certainty. I’ve most likely given that same advice myself a time or two.
But what if you don’t have a passion? Yet…
I heard this NPR interview on the way in to work last week and I sat in my car in the sunshine and listened to the entire thing.:
It’s worth a listen. But it honestly left me wondering what I would tell the young man in the story (Max) who felt he didn’t have a passion to follow. My lack of a real good answer bugged me all morning. Especially in light of the book we just wrote.
Cordell and I started talking about Max and his question.
Here’s the gist of what Cordell shared with me:
I’ve met many recent college graduates who have no idea what they want to do. We’ve screwed them up by telling them to follow their passion. Passion is like love. Love is not a feeling. Love comes from doing. We have to apologize to these bright young minds and encourage them to just do something. Passion is what you discover about yourself along the way. It’s not something you just magically have. It comes from experiences. People don’t share passions. They share experiences. Stories are about something that happened to you. The passion conversations do not come from your heart first. They come from a collision with life.
Maybe that yearning for more that puzzles me at times is what keeps me excited and embracing life and all it’s many changes. Maybe they’re even more passions I have yet to unearth. That knowledge is pretty damn wonderful and magical.
And for businesses that insight is magical too.
Passion conversations, not product conversations, come from your collision with life and the stories and experiences you share with those you serve.
What do you think?