Passion: What is it?

I’m sure it means something different to everyone. Here’s my take on it all…

Passion… It’s the drive to get up at 4am in the morning to tap away furiously at the keyboard for a couple of hours before work. It’s that ‘thing’ that forces your body out of bed when your mind is screaming you need more sleep.

It’s what gives you the buzz to keep on keeping on after a long day at your day job. To bypass dinner for a couple of hours, sit yourself down in a quiet room and let your words roam free.

It’s that ‘thing’ that makes you look forward to waking up early and returning home. Because for a couple of hours at either end of the day, it’s just you against the blank screen.

The blank screen that yearns to be filled with words. The blank screen that’ll write every word you say… The blank screen that won’t censor you because it doesn’t like what you’re typing.

The blank screen that’s not afraid to give you the freedom to allow truth to stare you in the face.

It’s what drives you to listen to that motivational video just one more time. To keep going when you’re feeling tired, when your mind is cloudy, in the face of rejection…

But when you’re ‘let loose’ with a blank screen facing you, that’s when you suddenly come alive. That’s when the adrenaline kicks in.

You’re that athlete who’s 10 metres from the finish line, 10 metres from finishing that race and in spite of their body writhing in pain, their body reassures them that the end is near.

Passion is a remarkable thing. For a writer, it’s priceless.

The problem is, you certainly can’t buy it and let’s face it: If you’re working full-time as a writer or in anything Communications-related, you’re going to have to do a lot of things that don’t really get that ‘spark’ firing for you.

Recently, I had what I think was a life-changing experience. It was just an ‘ordinary’ working day and I was sent to a Women in Leadership conference.

And there I sat, in a fancy room, surrounded by hundreds of other women, most impeccably dressed. As speaker after speaker graced the stage, I can safely say my life and mind-set changed in literally two hours.

Former Winter Olympic champion Alisa Camplin summed things up perfectly when she said: “You can’t be good at something you’re not passionate about.”

It’s a simple statement… I’m sure it’s been said thousands of times before but as I sat there, feeling rather small in a room full of confident women, it really hit home.

Why spend days, hours, months even, trying to force yourself into doing something or being someone who’s not really you?

And then Carolyn Creswell, Founder of Carmen’s Kitchen, took the to the stage – The event was running a little over time so people were getting restless. Within minutes of starting to speak though, no one moved.

Because at the heart of Carolyn’s speech was a ferocious passion that drove her to success. There we sat, in awe of someone who like most of us, had a dream.

The difference between her and us was that she had the guts to bite the bullet (or the muesli in this case) and follow hers.

Fact is, some of us aren’t cut-out to be a Gina Rinehart or a Julie Bishop. Some of us are quite content being invisible and letting their words speak for them.

And that’s just it, I’ve never believed I could carve a career by being invisible and allowing my words to do the work for me.

But at the end of the day, it’s the words that are my passion – Not the mingling and small-talk… Not donning a fancy power pant-suit or a flowing dress… Not wearing high heels that are supposed to make me feel bigger in my shoes.

That’s all a disguise in my books.

Reality is, my shoes are big enough.

The real question is: Am I game to believe in myself and let the words do my talking for me?

Am I game enough to stop lying to myself and accept who I am and what I really want to do. How about you?

At what point will you take that leap of faith and pursue something you’re passionate about?

As Jim Carrey famously said in his Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation:

You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.