If I have noticed anything since I began scouring the internet for work, it’s that everybody claims to be passionate. There are businesses and agencies and internet personalities, all of whom claim to be passionate about what they do. It’s one of those words you are ‘supposed’ to put on your CV, one of those words littering job applications across the globe and one of those words that you are supposed to demonstrate at interview.
For me, being passionate about something is more than wanting to do it really well. It’s far more than proving you are worth it to an employer. CEOs seem to be using the word ‘passionate’ to describe their adoration for the customer. I can’t help but wonder, how many of these companies are actually passionate about what they do?
I don’t deny that there are thousands of businesses who care about what they do. I don’t deny that there are thousands of people who preach the benefits of their service. I recognise that of the thousands of businesses that claim to be passionate, there are, of course, many who are. However, we seem to have lost sight of what it means to be passionate; it seems to have become synonymous with simply doing your job.
Passion is creative. The thing you are passionate about needn’t be, but the desire and drive that comes with true passion is. There are people who are passionate about art, about music, about scientific discovery, about the way numbers interact with one another, about other people, about bricklaying. Not every passion in life needs to be creative, but the response to these things, when it comes down to it, is.
Passion is that sparkle in your eye when you propose the solution to the marketing problem your company was having. Passion is that secret smile that creeps into the very corners of your lips, when your vision finally comes to fruition and people can revel in the blood, sweat and tears. Passion is the late night learning and the Saturday morning meetings, around your day-in-day-out schedule. Passion is the butterflies in your stomach. Passion is the promise that you will never give up trying. Passion is the high you get from simply being happy in a moment, without the thirst for recognition.
I am passionate about storytelling; that innate human response to the path trodden by others. I am passionate about creating a voice, through which, stem grand ideas, overwhelming courage and engaging struggles. I am passionate about sharing stories, about utilising the power of the written word, to evoke memory, feeling, adventure. I am, fundamentally, an empath. I feel peoples raw emotions and funnel those feelings into the stories I write, whether businesslike or fictional. I think this helps me to be passionate about what I do, despite occasionally meaning that I cry at things like Edward and Bella’s wedding in Twilight. I’ve met so many people who truly are passionate. Likewise, I’ve met others who claim to be passionate, yet never have the bravery to fully commit to their goal, their pursuit, their dream.
I am passionate about educating young people; academically, morally, socially. I am not passionate about cramming the impossible into unmanageable timeframes, about glossing over achievement to focus on improvement, about filling in endless amounts of paperwork. Because I was not passionate about it, I left. I cannot preach the importance of following your dreams, seeing through your endeavours, if I am not willing to do the same. I am certain that, in time, I will return to the passion I have for education, whether through a traditional classroom route, through writing, through engaging young people with the power of their dreams. Whatever route I take, I know that it will never be until I can do it with the true passion and vigour that our future deserves.
I feel sad that passion has begun to lose its meaning. Being passionate about something should not equal doing something to the ‘standard’ that it needs to be done, but following your heart, laying yourself out with a professional vulnerability and being honest. No, you do not need to conduct yourself with a sort of hysterical decorum to be a passionate person. You do, however, need the strength and gumption to believe in the beauty and creativity of that feeling, and the tenacity to channel it to wherever it needs to go.
Perhaps if ‘passion’ begins to lose its meaning entirely, we will need to invent another word – any ideas?