Over the last half decade, I have seen more people lose hope for the life they dreamed of than I’d ever seen in all my life. The economy has not been great but at the root of the issue is not what has happened, it’s our perspective and attitude about what has happened. In a study conducted by Gallup over 142 countries, research has shown that only 13% of all employees are actively engaged at work. America has the highest rating at 29%, but this still means 71% are disengaged at work, and 24% are actively disengaged.
Go to many college classrooms and half the class will be asleep, texting, or not paying attention at all; Then follow those same kids to the bars that night and the place will be blowing up with excitement and fun. Go to many work places and you will see a bunch of people clock watching and just doing their time, but follow them home for the weekend and you will see the same lethargic person jumping up and down screaming or cheering their favorite Football team as if their life depended on it.
What makes the same person average at one thing, but amazing at the other? It is because they are fully engaged. Before we get into what that means, let’s start with what makes us fully engaged. PASSION. Passion is what drives us to marry the person of our dreams. Passion is gets us out of bed when we are young and train every day when we are playing sports. Passion is what makes us great, yet so few people have it when they get older.
What passions do we have that are due for purging and which ones need to be rekindled?
Negative passions are not necessarily bad things to do, they are just not productive and don’t really do much to further your life.
- We are passionate about our sports teams – There is nothing wrong with loving a football, baseball or basketball team. But when your entire week gets affected by the outcome of a game there is a problem. There is a commercial that came out recently with NFL player following fans around and yelling at them while they are shopping, at work and at home. I think it’s great because it puts in perspective how dumb it is to yell at your TV and get all distraught about a game that means absolutely nothing in your life. Whether they win or lose your life is still the same, so why freak out? Instead, spend a little time on Sunday reading or learning a new skill, I guarantee that will do more for your life then yelling at your favorite team.
- We are passionate about our TV shows – The fanaticism we have for our favorite shows is alarming. There is nothing wrong with liking a show but if the highlight of the week is your favorite show, your priorities are in serious need of re-order. I’m blown away by all these ladies nowadays that fantasize about being hunted down and eaten by a vampire, only to have him fall in love with them because they have special blood? Seriously? The premise of that fantasy is too stupid to even comprehend, and yet millions of girls are dreaming about it and directing their passion to the shows and books that push that fiction.
- We are passionate about ourselves – If I hear one more person say “I’m just learning how to love myself” I’m going to puke. What I’d like to say to them is “ You are great at loving you, just look at your FB page and check out all your selfies”. Americans have been raised to please themselves at all costs, whether its over eating, promiscuity, drinking problems or even selfie addictions. The thing I love about FB is that you can see exactly what kind of person they are in about 30 seconds of looking at their page. Unfortunately, American culture has turned most people into passionate self lovers, but instead of being passionate about your self love, be passionate about helping others. Focusing on family, friends and charities are just a few ways to get out of yourself and make a positive difference.
There are three basic passions that we know to be passionate about, but easily overlook in the busyness of our daily lives.
- Passion for your family – When you’re young, many teenagers dream of getting away from their dysfunctional family and unfortunately there is usually good reason. Marriage is a lot of work and when two different people never learn to love their family over themselves what you usually get is disaster. This is a common problem in today’s family and the only way to fix it is to have two parents make the choice to stay passionate about each other and their kids. Take note I said choice, unlike what Hollywood wants you to believe, you don’t always wake up with passion every day of your life as a spouse or parent. But we are not animals, we are human, so we have the ability to control how we feel and how passionate we are about anything we want. This passion is the key to true happiness, if you are passionate about being a good husband or wife, father or mother, you will find happiness daily.
- Passion for your faith - Many people choose to have no faith and without sounding condescending which I am sure I will anyway, I want to say I sincerely feel sad for them. To live a life without believing in something, someone greater than yourself is a life without meaning. Without meaning, your life will be like a ship in the sea that’s lost its engines, being tossed around and going with whatever tide comes your way. You can always tell a person that has weak or no beliefs because they end up getting passionate about whatever new philosophy or ideal comes along, then the next time you see them is something new and on and on it goes. What you believe in will be your compass. Where is your faith or lack of it taking you?
- Passion for your career - This one goes back to my football comment above. What has more impact on your life, your career or your favorite sports team? Again, I love sports but in the end my career is quite a bit more important so why wouldn’t I put more passion in it? When you go to work, whether you work for someone else or for yourself, you must make a daily decision to be passionate about what you’re doing. The bible says if you are great at what you do you will work in front of kings. I think the point of this scripture is if you want to be esteemed, be excellent at whatever you do, especially the little things.
Passion in the right places will lead you to happiness, fulfillment and prosperity while passion in the wrong places will only take away from what matters most. Rethink what you are passionate about and see how fast you can change your direction.
By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan