Over the past few months, I have come to know a fascinating and fabulous woman through my work as a coach. She’s massively into birds, particularly raptors. Before I met her, I knew very little about birds of prey, but her passion is infectious and her knowledge on the subject deeply ingrained through years of careful yet enthusiastic study. She has taught me a great deal as we walk and talk and has lit a latent spark in me I never knew I had.
There is something very appealing about observing a person who is totally driven by a passion which, actually, seems to have chosen her. Her interest in raptors dawned on her over time and she gradually allowed it to inhabit her life. She gives it full access to her waking thoughts and finds space to give it free rein. She acts upon it where she can and lets it drive her. She allows it to inform her yet has no great over-arching plans to dominate the world with it for any ulterior motive.
When you express and share a passion with different yet like-minded people, something special happens as you are each taken out of your innermost thoughts to focus on the common subject of interest. That little, unassuming piece of not-a-lot is scooped out of the ether and, as the group of ardent admirers focus their attention on the subject, it grows legs of its own and becomes a “thing”, a phenomenon, a piece of genius or an integral part of the puzzle you’d never known was missing - until you switched the light on!
It’s passion which makes something into a sexy no-brainer, gives people the over-riding desire to buy into something, gives purpose, adds the X factor. Take passion out of the proceedings (or be careless enough to leave it behind as other nonsense takes over) and you will be left with a desiccated husk or a poor imitation with no beating heart. Like the difference between a microwave ready-meal curry and spending the evening in the company of good friends in the best Indian restaurant you know. The former is perfunctory, convenient and cheap. The latter is an expression of joy, love and colour.
Passion, combined with an open heart and mind, is where the adventure starts.