Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Pivotal Moment and Passion

Sometimes things said in jest can strike a chord. Today in a chat with music teacher Walt Ribeiro I said, "Where is that magic practice pill that you can take to get better faster." And he took a long time answering that. He said you have to be passionate about something, and the passion is the equivalent to a 'practice pill'. I'm paraphrasing. But say the piano and the guitar are equally hard to play, you are going to master the one you have the passion for.

So I started thinking about passion all day and I realize that while I had a passion for many things in my life over the years, I have lost a lot of that passion. What kills passion? Many things like not succeeding at a chosen career, gaining weight, non-supportive spouses, never getting your big break, poverty, apathy, shyness and so on. So if right now I immediately stopped doing anything and everything I don't have a burning passion for, I'm pretty sure there would be nothing left. And that is the saddest statement in the world. And I wouldn't worry too much if this was just a phase I was going through, but I've pretty much felt this way for the last five or more years. What if I feel this way the rest of my life? I think what feeds a passion is seeing success at what you are doing. Like if I'd actually mastered juggling five balls, or my paintings sold or if I'd ever had a cohesive belly dancing troupe, or if one of my books got published, then that would feed my passion. I feel like I've never mastered anything.

And I have the feeling there are a whole lot of people in that same boat, and it's sinking. Being passionate is like being in love. You can't force yourself to go there.

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