How to be Passionate About Work

“Without passion, man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.” -Henri-Frederic Amiel, Writer

• What makes you spark?

• What inspires you?

• What gives you so much satisfaction or/such a buzz that you would do it for free?

• What role does passion play in your working life?

 • How can you convert your deepest passion into a rewarding career?

These are questions many people seeking fulfilling work or changing careers never ask.

Discovering and pursuing your passion is a vital component of career satisfaction and success. It is the driving and motivating force that will ignite your special talents and gifts, and gives you both a vehicle and means by which to express your uniqueness.

You can not only find the career of your dreams, but can attain the competitive edge to achieve success.

When your passions are aligned with your work activities you will be more satisfied, productive, happy and well.

Passions pay cheque

By discovering your passion you will tap into a huge source of potential energy. Pursuing your passion can be profitable on many levels:

 • When you do what you love, your true talent will reveal itself; passion can’t be faked.

 • You’ll be more enthusiastic about your pursuits.

 • You’ll have more energy to overcome obstacles,

 • You will be more determined to make things happen.

• You will enjoy your work.

• Your work will become a vehicle for self-expression.

 • Passion will give you a competitive edge

Case study: Jane the Visual Merchandiser Jane wanted to change her profession from a background in retail sales and management to something more creative and hands on and which was less management and sales focused. She was struggling to identify her transferable skills and how her passion for fabric could be combined into a new career. After focusing on all the facets of her passion, including her natural gifts and talents, she successfully transitioned into her dream job. “I have just got the position at Radfords of Visual Merchandiser for their 5 stores. Yippee! I start on Monday, and can’t wait. This job is going to enable me to use all those key skills that I have and a huge bonus is that I also get to work with fabrics which is just perfect. I know I came across with confidence and the right attitude thanks to you reminding me that I need to “blow my own trumpet” and allow my passion to shine.”

What is passion?

 “Passion is a lot like ‘love’. It is difficult, probably impossible, to define in precise terms, but easy to see and feel when it is present” – Charles Kovess, Writer

• To be passionate is to be fully alive. Being passionate is a vital part of being human.

 • Passion is about emotion, feeling, zest and enthusiasm. Passion is about intensity, fervour, ardour and zeal. Passion is about fire. Passion is about eagerness and preoccupation.

• Passion is about excitement and animation. Passion is about determination and self-belief.

• Passion is about being willing to change. Passion is about following your heart’s desire.

 • Passion is about doing something you love. Passion is not an intellectual thought. It is a feeling, an emotion.

Western society tends to value thoughts, reason, logic, and clear thinking more highly than feelings, intuition and soul. Perhaps because of this, people have become de-sensitised to the clues and callings of their own passions.

 If it is our desire to be the best that we can be, then the integration of mind, body and spirit is essential. However passion can be difficult to find – and many adults fail to find it altogether. In the absence of any encouragement they give up searching for it, or at least rediscovering it.

 Case study: Mary, the journalist Martha was a disillushioned journalist. She felt trapped in her job because she couldn’t think of anything else she wanted to do. One day she walked into a bookstore and her forgotten passion for colour was reawakened. “Tucked away in the corner of the shop I saw this book on colour. had this most incredibly sensation inside, the same feeling you get when you fall in love. I felt really embarrassed because I couldn’t understand it. I mean it was just a book. For days I ignored it until I knew, really knew that I had to write a book about colour. I’d always loved colour but I was no good at drawing and painting. So I caste it aside. Now I’ve combined my skills as a journalist with my passion for colour.“

Action Questions

What does passion mean to you? If you were passionate about something what would others notice? What does passion look like?

 “Passionate people exude energy, power, excitement, drive and commitment. Their eyes sparkle, they are fully alive. They have an impact on others. They are the people who often become our leaders, or become the achievers on this planet. They achieve what they want, and most of us talk about them and often envy them. Yet less than 10% of people are visibly pursuing their passion.” -Charles Kovess, Author.

Every human being is capable of passion. But many people think they are not. This can be because they have narrow ideas of what passion is, or because they think that you have to be really extroverted or do something hugely fantastic to earn the right to say you are passionate. Passion is for everyone – some people just need help taking it out of the drawer.

Some common signs include:

• A burning desire or hunger Mahatma Gandhi had a burning desire or hunger to help his fellow human beings. Gandhi was a passionate man, and his passion enabled him to produce extraordinary results

 • A feeling of inspiration

 • A feeling in the pit of the stomach If thinking about a particular task, or activity, gives you a “hit” in your stomach with nerves, tingling, pressure, or palpitations, you could be passionate • A sense of excitement

 • A feeling of limitless energy Passionate people do not get easily tired. Their passion feeds them, sustains their body, and overcomes the kind of mental activity that might make a less passionate person feel tired.

• The feeling ”I shouldn’t be paid for this I’m having too much fun.” Many people believe that work, by definition, should be a struggle, and endured – something that can only be enjoyed in exceptional or unusual times.

If you are not passionate about your work, then it is hard to see how it could be fun.

If you had $10 million in the bank, would you do the work you are doing now? If the answer is “yes”, you are clearly passionate

 • The belief that nothing is too much trouble. Do you have a passion for excellence? Do you have a passion for the outcome?

 • A clarity of vision. The quality of the picture in your mind’s eye will demonstrate to you the power of your passion. Passionate people have a spectacularly clear picture of what they want to create, of how the world will be when they have achieved their passion.

 • A sense of caring deeply Caring comes from a part of us that is more than body or mind: it is a soul connection, or a heart-to-heart connection. When you care, you have a greater energy, a greater ability to create a greater ability to produce.

Nothing great is the world has been accomplished without passion!

 When it becomes clear that no one else shares your level of passion, you are where you belong.”– Placido Domingo

What’s are you passionate about?

You could be passionate about anything! Judge not what you are passionate about. See only if it serves you, given who you are and who you want to be. It could be the simplest of things that excite you and lead you onto a fulfilling career.

We spend too much time at work to give up on passion, but some people think that you save the things you like for a hobby or for when you retire. The truth is you are unlikely to find real satisfaction or meaning in your work unless it engages you as a person and delivers some kind of buzz.

 Case studies: Chris Cairns is passionate about cricket, and has carved out a good living as a result. For many years he represented NZ and played cricket at international level.

 Graham Books was a researcher who was passionate about potatoes, especially the old Maori varieties. He is still regarded as a world expert in this area and won a significant export contract as a result.

Brian Clifford is passionate about helping people and bugs. He has combined his passion into a successful business as a pest controller. “All the rats, all the maggots, all the cockroaches all over the place. These are the things that I love doing.”

John Holley has turned his passion for bones into a business, Skulls Downunder, selling skeletons to museums all over the world.

Roger Simpson and Murray Langham have turned their love of chocolate and their counselling backgrounds into a philosophy and a successful business. They are chocolate makers, therapists and authors.

 What are your buzz factors?

Don’t worry if you are struggling to answer some of these questions. Many people have no idea what they are passionate about or how to transfer their deepest passions into a rewarding career. Research consistantly reveals that less than 10% of the population are living their passion.

 Cassandra Gaisford (me!)is passionate about passion! I have boxes and boxes of clippings and articles of people who are passionate about their work. I didn’t choose to be passionate about passion – it chose me! I’ve made it my life’s work to help people find their passion.

Over the last 15 years I’ve helped thousands of people and organisations find and rekindle thier passion.

I’ve developed tools like the “PassionPack” and unique career and life coaching programmes like the “PassionPoint” and “passion@work” programmes to help make this world a more passionate, happier, joy filled place to live and work.

Stay tuned to this blog if you would like help working with passion and still paying the bills. Visit us at or to find out about our range of passion tools, 1-1 coaching and other ways we can can help.

 “Never deny passion. For that is to deny who you are and who you want to be.” -Neale Walsch, author

2 thoughts on “How to be Passionate About Work

  1. Thanks for writing about finding your passion and making it work for you. Too many people give up and just plod along in their jobs, resigned to dull, mediocre lives. It’s so important for people to know it doesn’t have to be that way!

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