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What is Passion?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


What are you passionate about? That’s one question which is often not so easy to answer. If you are thinking for the first time on a question like this, believe me, the answer might be a few days or even weeks away. People come up with myriad answers on this, like ‘driving’, ‘photography’, ‘travelling’, etc. What most of them are actually answering is the question, ‘What do you like to do in your leisure?’

Getting to know your passion is a process that will need you to drill down yourself and you might come up with a new answer every time. Getting to know your passion is like peeling off layers of an onion, where you explore something at the end or another analogy, if you want, would be with solving a jigsaw puzzle. Passion is something very basic found among humans from years unknown. Passion is imbibed, it has to be revived. ‘Money’ was also one of the answers that one could come across. Yes, it may be so. In the short term, materialistic aspirations can help you lead your life, but in the long run, it is only your passion that will help you survive, inspire you to live your life. If you are in a business or work that involves your passion, you can go a long way. Remember, passion is very different from a hobby. A passion is something that would most likely be a one word answer, something that could also be liked by a person living in this world, 2000 or maybe 5000 years ago.

Image Credit: 'Cactus Kate - The Politics of Passion'

This was a question posed to us in class by one of our professors, we had to submit presentations on the same and only then could I realize the depth of this question a few days down the line.

In my case, the process was long enough as expected. To start with, the first thing that came to mind was ‘roaming’. Drilling down deep, I though it is something like ‘exploration’ or ‘adventure’. But, that definitely was not the case. Then, I thought it is ‘travelling’. But I knew very well that it was no way travelling at all! ‘trains’, ‘ships’, ‘trucks’, ‘highways’ were things that clicked me but instantly, the  thought that came to mind was ‘this is revolving around something’. I can stare at maps for long durations, explore on Google Earth, trying to know every smallest street in city and the short cuts. Imagining a top view as we explore a new place, guessing out where are east, west, and south or north is something that I love.  ‘Geography’ ticked, but I was no way curious to know about plants or animals and many of the natural features. ‘Nature’, no way! When I bought my cell, the first thing I looked for was ‘GPS’. Knowing about the culture, economies, demographics, religions of various places and/or countries was another thing that I liked.

Joining all the dots, I could come to that simple one word answer, ‘places’!!

Yes, I am passionate about places!! It was such a simple answer. Had I been born 500 or 5000 years ago, I would have still liked that. After discussing this with a few other friends, one could come across this wonderful complexity of likes, hobbies and passions. One friend, who thought, knowing about gadgets, gizmos, etc. was his passion, started rethinking it. All this did not exist 500 years ago. After some thought, the nearest answer he got was ‘innovation’. Had he born in industrial revolution, the new machines would have been his area of curiosity.

Other friends, who talked of photography as their passion, drilled down and thought on what they photograph mostly. People, places, nature, making moments memorable, it could be just about anything. The answers lied there. One friend found that he occasionally searched Google for many plants, animals, phenomena of nature and photography was just a way to reach that! The underlying passion was ‘nature’, something that humans 5000 years ago could also be passionate about.

If you observe your curiosities for a topic, observe your Google searches, and find an intersection, well that is the first step towards reaching your passion. If you try venturing out to do a business in your area of passion, you never know what the output may be!

Take our Captain Gopinath, who was always passionate about ‘flying’! An Enfield dealership gave him that nearest experience close to flying. Then leasing helicopters gave him the thrill of flying. And then came Deccan Airways! To put it in his own words, he wanted every Indian to fly! If you read about the life of Richard Branson, ‘adventure’ is what he is passionate about but he hasn’t really explored that. He presents himself as flamboyant but that is just the outer layer. The acts show something else.

So, why not spend a few weeks from now thinking on this question? You might love this process of self-exploration and observing!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, October 16, 2011 2:21 pm

    Nice one after a long time. Reminded me of Lance Armstrong soon after I read the title. While reading his book “Its not about the bike”, I came across a page which describes to the detail how after being denied by his docs to ride a bike, he immersed himself into a wild recuperating routine to get on his feet and then bought a stationary bicycle which had all sorts of measuring appliances which told him when to stop. Point being – he fought cancer not to come out alive and retire a champ but to ride a bike!! And ride he did – won 7 consecutive tour de france titles right after his stint with cancer. Now thats passion.

  2. Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6:00 pm

    Yeah, that’s quite an inspiring life story. But, I see his passion lied somewhere in ‘challenge’ and bicycle racing was one of the ways to reach that. He wasn’t content with mere participation in the race, he took on the challenge to win it for maximum number of times!

  3. Wednesday, October 19, 2011 7:15 am

    Great mind stirring quest initiated. Really deep thinking evoked. My take would be, ” it changes from time to time. I see myself now most passionate on children career set up. But looking back at the age of 22, I see myself most passionate towards leading an unmarried nomad life.

  4. Wednesday, October 19, 2011 7:25 am

    Hi Pramod, welcome to the blog!
    Yup, I would agree on that, passion changes from time to time. Lance Armstrong might not be passionate about ‘challenge’ before he went through the unfortunate problems. It is surprising to read about leading an unmarried nomad life as your URL shows a link to marriage site!
    And thanks for the review on IndiBlogger…

  5. Thursday, December 27, 2012 1:50 pm

    Keep writing Man .

  6. Steve permalink
    Monday, January 7, 2013 11:03 pm

    look at the things you enjoy in life and if you started taking them away i think the things last on the list to take away may point you in the direction of your passion… just a thought ;-)

  7. Pavan permalink
    Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12:01 pm

    Amazing. loved it.

  8. Pavan permalink
    Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12:02 pm

    Can u suggest any book to find out my passion

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