There is no passion to be found playing small
- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Passion. It's one of those really emotive words which is used a lot in coaching and personal development in any sphere.
I use it myself with clients. It is a spark I look for when they are feeling a bit battered, the spark which will reignite their vision. For myself, if I don't feel passionate about something, it is usually a sign that it isn't the right thing for me to do.
But some people have a real problem with the word. For them, passion conjures up images of people jumping up and down, being noisy and outgoing, vibrant and extrovert. It sounds like excess. It sounds, as one of my clients once put it, "very like you, not at all like me". Consequently, she felt she had no passion and that was why she wouldn't really achieve anything.
That's why I was so pleased when looking through quotes about passion (there are lots out there) to find a really good one which came from Nelson Mandela, a man currently in all our thoughts and prayers.
The only thing which might be considered loud about Nelson Mandela is his collection of truly magnificent shirts. Since his release in 1990, he has been a dignified statesman, often the calm, still centre of the hurricane of other people's exuberant emotions. Before he retired from the public stage, when he spoke at the United Nations, at his inaugural address and other occasions more numerous to list, he spoke with undoubted authority. But he did not shout. He did not jump about. Indeed, on a quick trawl through YouTube, the only clip of film I could find of him doing anything remotely resembling an obvious display of passion was punching the air in joy after presenting the Rugby World Cup to the South African team in 1995.
Would you say he is a man who lacks passion? I think not.
His is the quiet, contained passion of a man of integrity, who always knows that what he is doing is the right thing, something which is in the core of his being. He doesn't need to convince anyone else with grandstanding.
For some of us Tiggers, we can't help but express our passion through our exuberance and bouncy enthusiasm. For others, the passion comes out in a quiet, focussed determination.
The key is not how you express your passion, simply that you find it and live a life which is as big as you are capable of living.
Happy Birthday, Mr Mandela.
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you in finding your passion, check out how we could work together and get in touch.