Don't think about it
~ just answer the question ~
the first thing that comes to mind.
What are you passionate about?
Wow... it was one of those split seconds where you see every detail. There it is, passing by in slow motion - one of those moments where you realize just how much information your brain can process in a nanosecond. I was simultaneously taken aback, fascinated by the question, and forced to answer from that part of my brain that doesn't store the standard information.
How are you?
What do you do?
What brings you to this event?
For which we have a standard battery of answers:
I'm doing well, and you?
I work as a _______.
I'm here to learn about _____ and meet people also interested in _____.
My answer (I'm passionate about my children) sunk in this morning after a conversation about my dedication to my "big rocks" in the midst of my work to get The Wellness Movement up and running. I'm passionate about my children. There are no bigger rocks than my family.
As a person who feels blessed to have been a stay at home mom for the past 14 years, it shouldn't come as a surprise that my children are my passion. Yet, in a way it felt like I had revealed a something to myself as much as I had revealed it to the person who had asked me the question.
This isn't about me, or about the wonders of parenthood, or about the "Mommy Wars." It's about split second responses that reveal unexpected things. When you read that question (and hopefully came up with a FAST answer), did your answer surprise you?
When you are working at something that you are truly passionate about, it ceases to feel like work. That's what they say. I have found that to be true in my work involved in starting this business.
I think that when you apply that concept of passion to the paradigm of work that earns a paycheck, a philanthropic cause, or a skill, hobby or sport that produces something tangible (a sculpture, a song, a new PR at a race) -- it is easy to see that you are working and that your passion for it makes it seem more like play.
Somehow the hard work of parenting didn't seem like "work" to me. Maybe because there was no paycheck, maybe because sometimes at the end of the day there was little more to show than a pile of dishes and laundry that had only grown larger, or maybe because as they say - the days are long, but the years are short - it was sometimes easy to lose sight of the value of the work that I was doing, and to forget that it was really my passion for my work of being the best mommy I could be that made it seem like less than a job. I can see now that my children are older, and they are people I would choose to hang out with, that the work that I have done is tangible after all.
As I said - this isn't about me, or parenting, or my kids - this is about how easy it is to lose sight of the value of the things that we do just because we are passionate about them. It is also about realizing what you are passionate about and then considering whether or not you are pursuing those things. It is about asking yourself if you could take those passions, work your ass off pursuing them, turn them into something meaningful and still not feel like you're working.
I am going to steal that guy's line. I'm going to ask people what they're passionate about. I hope to catch some of them off guard - force them to answer from their lizard brain. I will do it with the hope that maybe just one of them will realize either the value of the work they have been doing, or the possibility that lies in pursuing a passion that was lying dormant within.