On passion.

On passion.
4 January 2016 Janine

“Find your passion” Chrissie said to us. “Look inside yourself and discover what makes your heart sing.”

Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington is such a motivational speaker. In fact, she inspired me to put the wheels on this blog. When I went to see her speak recently, she took us all back to her childhood, her adolescence and her journey to political work and then triathlon world domination. A crucial part of the process, she explained, was the small matter of finding her passion.

Curiouser and curiouser – Alice in Wonderland

What is my passion? I questioned to myself. Sure, I love triathlon, it exhilarates and scares me, makes me feel strong and proud. And I love cycling, my bikes each represent freedom and opportunity for adventure in their own slightly different characterful ways. But how do you get to the ‘This is my passion! For I have found it.’ moment. That sounds a bit scary.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of How to Live a Creative Life Without Fear, has something to say on this matter.
“Whenever you’re told to “follow your passion,” it can be very intimidating. Yet, curiosity is this faithful, steadfast, friendly and accessible energy that is never far out of reach. 
There’s never a day where you couldn’t dredge up some tiny little fragment of interest in something in the world, no matter how modest it may seem, no matter how humble, no matter how much it might seem to be unconnected to anything else that you’re doing, no matter how random.

Passion demands full commitment out of you. You’ve got to get divorced, and shave your head, and change your name, and move to Nepal and start an orphanage. And maybe you don’t need to do that this week. But curiosity doesn’t take anything from you. Curiosity just gives, and all it gives you are clues, just a beautiful thread, a tiny little clue from the scavenger hunt that you’re unique here in life.”

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your heart on fire.

Curiosity eh. Chrissie Wellington, on that same evening, signed a picture for me with the words: ‘Janine, Be Inspired!’. I framed it. And that framed image sits next to a book where I scribble down my ideas, and it does the job and inspires me every time I see it.
If your ‘passion’ feels a bit elusive, it’s because it’s a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle just by staring at the pieces. It’s possible, I suppose, but it’s daunting, difficult and not particularly fun.
The fun in the jigsaw is picking pieces up, this way and that. Lining them up, grouping them, trying to bodge them into spaces that don’t fit. Getting frustrated, getting curious, and then ‘ooh, maybe this one fits!’ –  being inspired. 
So start small with simple curiosity, which by nature is creative. It’ll lead to inspiration, and then that might just lead to finding your passion.

And if the jigsaw’s just not working, don’t forget, be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your heart on fire.

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