The Gallup Organization has reported that fewer than half of American workers believe they get to work each day in the area of their passion or strength. In short, most people endure their jobs and can hardly wait for the weekend. Many believe it’s silly to even think you CAN have a passion for your work.
At Growing Leaders, we divide the idea of “passion” into two categories:
1. Interest-based Passions
2. Issue-based Passions
Interest-based passions are like hobbies or activities we pursue for enjoyment. Issue-based passions are causes that give us a sense of fulfillment. Most people don’t need an assessment to know how much they like baseball or photography (interest-based passions). Issue-based passions will help fuel your purpose in life and define the legacy you leave behind. Some passions are commonly referred to as causes when they’re actually important means (methods or tools) used to produce some other end (result or goal). For example, leadership is not an end in itself but an important means to some other end. The same could be said of politics or mentoring. I always encourage people (whether students or adults) to give specific thought to the bottom line; the “end” you want to produce through the “means” (method) you have chosen.
I have a question for you: Are you passionate about your work? When you have a convergence of four ingredients, you’ll love your work and will be productive at it:
1. Your Strengths – You have a gift or ability in this area
2. Your Situation – You work in a context that naturally fits you
3. Your Style – You can pursue it in a way that fits your identity
4. Your Subject – You love the issue your organization addresses
Put another way—these four ingredients all revolve around and create your passion. These four create energy, creativity, joy, and magnetically attract other people. Now, evaluate yourself based on these four ingredients:
1. STRENGTH – Your inward abilities, made up of talents, knowledge, gifts, skills.
Question: Are you using your strengths at least 75% of the time at work?
2. SITUATION – The context and group chemistry in which gifts and style function.
Question: Are you working in an environment that brings out the best in you?
3. STYLE – The outward approach in which you relate to and lead teams.
Question: Are you free to pursue the organization’s mission in a natural way?
4. SUBJECT – The issue or cause for which you have a high level of fulfillment.
Question: Do you love the issue or cause for which you labor?
If this resonates with you, I have some good news. Growing Leaders has just created a four-part resource called Flourish to help staff and students discover the life they were meant to live. The resource includes a launch event, a DVD series, a workbook and an on-line assessment called: My Passion Profile. Check out the website at MyPassionProfile.com. It’s specifically focused on helping you reality test & rank your issue-based passions. Or, if you’re interested, give us a call to find out more. Call Chloe Lufkin at (678) 384-4484.
More on this tomorrow. For now, go pursue your passions.