Finding or Renewing Your Passion
We often think of success in our work as being driven by functional skills-competencies and credentials. From leadership to analytical skills and beyond, we prize the quantifiable. But what is the driving force behind our selection of profession? It’s passion. This is the powerful and compelling feeling we have that says “ through our work in the social sector we can and will change the world”. It provides context and rationale for the application of our skills.
But what to do if we think our passion is waning in light of daily demands?
“Reflective Carve Outs”
While there are many processes and tools that can be used as means of finding or renewing your passion for the work that you do, consider creating a “reflective carve out”. This can be done in daily, weekly or monthly intervals.
In thinking of the past, identify themes, values and principles that have been present across the arc of time-whether in good times or bad. Analyze how these are being lived out (or not) in your present work.
Analyze how the principles and priorities that guide your life (family, relationships, spirituality, etc.) have parallels in the work place. Are these being lived out or merely spoken of?
Extending Your Passion Horizon
The urgency of now is ever present in our work and lives. With this as our framework we tend not to be able to project and extend our thinking about how our values, passion and principles can and should be applied over time. So find ways to take the long view. Okay, so some days your passion will not be strongly present. But never losing sight of what guides you is the key.
Envisioning The Future
If the passions that you have identified were fully actualized what would that look like? How would you approach your work on a daily basis? In what ways could this help liberate you from daily barriers or challenges? Write the answers to these questions down and begin to live them.
This process can take place on an individual basis as well as collectively in a group setting. Your individual reflective carve out will enable you to conduct a regular check-in on how your passion is being actualized in your work. Whereas, the group approach will help you to understand how others view these themes; providing greater context for how passion is a driving force at your agency/organization.
We must never lose sight of the transformative work that we do; it transforms lives, communities, systems and institutions. With this knowledge in hand it is hard not to be passionate. So when the day-to-day seems to create barriers and frustrations remember to find that reflective carve out that works for you! Onward!