What is Passion?
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.
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!