Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's All About Passion

I enjoy seeing a person that really loves what they do in life.
When I was a kid, I always dreamed about being a professional athlete. It would have been so great, I thought, to play a game every day and get paid for it.
Alas, I did not make it into professional sports mostly because professional sports are completely corrupt and discriminatory and, to a lesser degree, I wasn’t very good — except football, baseball, basketball and women’s field hockey.
But I do like to see a professional athlete who understands he gets paid to play a game. He appreciates all he has been given and can’t wait to wake up the next day to go out and get paid to play this game again.
Some people — actually, just me — might call that passion. 
I’ve been doing some reading on passion lately. It seems to be one of those intangibles that is really hard to put a finger on. What exactly is passion? How do we find passion in life? Do we need passion to survive? And is passion just a fun word to say?
Let’s take a look at these questions.
What exactly is passion?
According to the dictionary, passion is described as “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling.” It’s something that really gets your fire burning. Passion is what drives us to do what we do.
As a high school student, when my dream of becoming a professional athlete seemed to be slipping away, I only really remember having a couple of things I was passionate about: my girlfriend (who is now my wife), Sooner football and Twinkies (well, pretty much any type of snack cake treat).
Every day, and especially every weekend, would be filled with all of those things. I couldn’t wait to take my girlfriend on a date and show her a good time in Seminole, Okla. by taking in a movie and having dinner at Hardee’s.
And Sooner football meant the world to me. As long as I can remember, I’ve been a Sooner fan. I have a picture of me when I was just barely able to walk carrying a football and wearing a red helmet with the familiar interlocking O and U logo on the side. I was Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I’ll be Sooner dead.
If the Sooners won, my week was made. I was happy as a lark. Fortunately for me, the Sooners were really good in the early 1980s, so it made for plenty of happy memories.
If the Sooners lost, my day, my week, my year was ruined. I would cuss at the television. I would complain to my friends and anybody who would listen. I would sulk and be in an all-around state of depression until the next game. I took it hard because it was something I was passionate about.
I’ve grown older now, and as either the Apostle Paul or Snookie from Jersey Shore said, I’ve put  away childish things. Oh, I’m still passionate about my wife and Sooner football and Twinkies, but today I try to enjoy each moment.
I still enjoy taking my wife to the movies and to Hardee’s (is Hardee’s even around amy more?) but I also enjoy just the two of us on the couch.
And I still may cuss at the television when the Sooners aren’t doing well but if they happen to lose (and they probably won’t during this season), I can get over it pretty quickly. I doesn’t affect other areas of my life any more. It’s not that I’m not passionate any more, it’s just that my priorities have changed and my life is driven by other passions and pursuits.
I’ve even given up Twinkies and snack cakes for the most part — and that ain’t easy.
That brings me to the next question: How do we find passion in life?
Somebody once said, that we need to ask ourselves a couple of questions to discover our passions: If you knew today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it? And If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
Those questions are sometimes difficult to answer.
I’m not sure the specifics, but I know both answers would include having fun, surrounded by loved ones, dancing and singing and drinking adult beverages.
If money were no object, I would probably continue to do what I do: talk to interesting people, write about what I want, try to enjoy each and every day and occasionally change my underwear.
How important is finding passion in life?
How important is gas in your car? Your car can’t run without it. And our lives really can’t run without passion. It is our driving force. It gets us out of bed each morning. It sustains us through the rough patches. It propels us to do what we were put on this earth to do.
Passions change. They may come and go. But passions are what make us who we are and help us to accomplish what we need to accomplish.
I want to continue to define my passions so I can be the best me I can be.
And I hope the rest of you find your passion too.
If anybody out there is passionate about inventing a healthy Twinkie, can you please get on that. I’m needing one really bad.
Oh, and is passion just a fun word to say? Of course it is, silly.

To read more of Rodney Hays’ humor, check out his blog at him on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

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