Passion is usually a word reserved for our personal lives. When we think of passion we think of the love we share with our partner or how we feel about our dreams. It is not often you hear people describe passion when referring to work. Recently, I have found that passion can be harnessed to achieve professional success. This has changed the way I approach almost everything in my life. Today I want to share my story with you.
Not too long ago I was giving a presentation to a group of professional colleagues. I was presenting on an area that is extremely important to me; resiliency. I have known too many people who have let life's obstacles destroy their spirit. I have made it a personal mission to shout as far and loud as possible about not allowing career obstacles to get in the way of your personal or professional success. There will always be obstacles. My message is about overcoming them.
I am passionate when I speak. I believe in the message I am sending. I want other people to know I mean it. While I co-mingle research in my message, my format is storytelling. Personal experience leads my message; my experience, that of my friends and colleagues. The point is I try to be real, sincere, passionate when I speak.
So the other day I had my fitness tracker on. This little device of mine is one of the models that has a heart rate monitor built in. On the day of the presentation, after dinner, I was taking a look at my activity for the day and I found the funniest thing. My app showed me with 241 minutes of activity. Now this is unlike me... extremely unlike me. I strive for 30-60 minutes. If I get 90 minutes, I am thrilled. But 241 minutes is unheard of since my younger years. I was convinced my device had finally broken. That was until I looked at the activity chart.
The entire time I was giving the presentations that day, my heart rate was elevated. It was not nerves and it was not stress. It was excitement... passion. While I was completely unaware of it during the presentations that afternoon, my heart rate was elevated while I was speaking. The passion I have for this subject is not just in my mind, it is in my entire body. Every ounce of my being was invested into sending that message. My heart knew it; so did my heart rate monitor.
I was happy with my performance that day. I felt I did the message justice and I received good feedback. It caused me to look back. Have I ever presented on a topic I was not passionate about (answer:yes). Did I feel great about the presentation (answer: no). Would the heart rate monitor read the same during the non-passionate performance (answer: no- the device saves data- I went back and looked). So if I am analyzing this data correctly; the level of passion I exhibit is directly related to my success.
This is a game changer. Obviously we all have to do things in life we are not passionate about. It might be more challenging for us to find a high level of success in those areas. For me, this means when I look at areas where I want to go in the future professionally, I need to follow my passion. I need to identify what I care about most and invest developing my skills in those areas. Gone are the days when I allow practicality and logical thinking dictate the choices I make about my future. I am going to find my passion and follow it. If passion for subject matter can be used to achieve a greater level of success for me, it can be done for you too.