A supermodel was once quoted as saying; “I don’t even get out of bed for less than $10,000. What is it that motivates or drives us through our lives? Statistically, almost 80% of the workforce does their job just for the paycheck – not because they love or have a sense of purpose for what they do. Some people, however, have broken through this syndrome and are motivated by their passion.
If the only thing that gets you out of bed in the morning is the alarm clock, you need passion in your life. Passion is the heartbeat of our existence. Just as the heart pumps blood to the body and vital organs – without conscious thought to start or stop – keeping us alive, so our passion is the life source for the purpose of our existence.
As a former pastor and now leader of a multinational ministry, I have come to understand the power of passion in my own life. It has kept me going when others have quit (and encouraged me to quit). It has literally sustained me over two million miles of travel, different time zones, climatic conditions, foods, threats of diseases, financial pressures and many other contrary circumstances in my life. It has helped me make choices and protected me from straying from my appointed purpose.
Passion feeds our sense of purpose and determination. It is because of this that people who have altered the course of history have generally been passionate people. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Winston Churchill are just a few names that come to mind. Of course, there have been those who were driven by a negative, or evil, passion. The point is that even these people stood out because of their passion. We must endeavor to be a passionate people who will affect the world in a positive manner.
I have used the word ‘passion’ as an acronym to help us identify and define the characteristics of a passionate person.
Pursuit of excellence. The desire to excel is common in passionate people. They set higher standards than those around and do not let circumstances or other people’s opinions compromise these standards. They are willing to pay the price and are not worried about how it looks because excellence always looks good.
The Bible tells us about a young man named Daniel who distinguished himself against some of the top people in the nation because of his excellence. Because of this he was promoted to a very high position in the nation and became a trusted advisor to the king.
Attitude. Attitude is a choice. Your passion will determine your attitude or approach to a situation and how you respond. A good attitude brings a good response. Too many people react instead of respond. Jesus Christ responded with forgiveness to those who crucified Him instead of reacting in anger. This is because He came with a passion for the people of the earth. It was this passion that fed the attitude of forgiveness and reconciliation to God.
Sense of Purpose. A strong sense of purpose and passion feed each other. This is why passionate people seldom – if ever – waver from their intended goal.
As a minister, I am often asked what our purpose for being on this earth is. Everyone was created for a purpose. The fact of creation clearly demonstrates the reality of a Creator. When we find and get to know Him, we find our purpose in this life. This needs to be a priority for us. People’s lives become misguided – and often shipwrecked – when they are not living out their purpose.
Sacrifice. Passionate people understand that achieving their purpose will involve sacrifice. This may mean putting off immediate, short-term gains for long term success.
A pastor friend of mine noted two enemies of sacrifice in a message:
(1) Convenience (contentment) we only sacrifice to the level of our convenience – many are willing to count the cost but not many pay the price.
(2) Duty we only do what is our duty and nothing more
Integrity – in every area of our lives. Integrity is the difference between reputation (what others think of you) and character (who you really are). It is doing the right thing even when there is no chance you will be found out doing the wrong thing. It is more that just good ethics – it is placing the highest value on righteous morals and making that choice no matter what the cost.
Originality. It has been said that most people are born originals but die copies! Passionate people find and stay with the original purpose they were born for. Their passion steers them away from becoming one of the crowd. They are willing to go against the flow when necessary so they can be a voice, not an echo.
Network of relationships that benefit ALL – not just a few. Some people confuse the concepts of purpose and selfish ambition. Their concept of networking is to only seek out relationships that benefit them. We all need relationships on a variety of levels. There is a need for relationships with mentors, peers and those who we can mentor. Passionate people realize this and understand that this is one of the ways that their passion can be fed by and passed on to others.
Passion is the starting blocks of success. In a world full of averages, it is the quality that sets a person above the status quo. I encourage you to find what the passion of your life is and pursue that with all you have.