The Grand Passion
Throughout a person's lifetime, enthusiasms have their seasons, but the grand passion is the one that defines the individual. My husband's is golf; mine of course is reading/writing (two sides of the same coin), but there are many, from breeding and showing purebred dogs to flying airplanes to making music to gardening to... I could go on forever.
What does it take to inspire a lifelong passion? I think the activity has to involve skill of some sort. Perfection should be unattainable but excellence in reach through a combination of talent, skill, and very hard work. The grand passion often frustrates, but every hard-won achievement confers great satisfaction. The pursuit is more the point than reaching the impossible ideal, and it is this journey -- far more than external success -- that gives life its savor.
I love meeting people with grand passions, whether they share mine or open my eyes to whatever lights up their souls. When these folks speak of their enthusiasms, they're animated, smiling, with eyes that glow with joy. If you watch their body language, they lean forward, motion with their hands, shake off outward signs of stress or illness. Even if I don't really "get" what they are into (i.e. golf, NASCAR, modern dance, llamas), I still gravitate toward this radiance, this shared language of love.
And I feel darned sorry when I meet those who haven't found their passion. What must it be like to go those life's motions without a flame to light the lantern of one's soul?
P.S.- Graphic is from http://www.notsalmon.com/ and is excerpted from Karen Salmansohn's Quickie Stickies: 100 Pick-Me-Ups for When You're Feeling Unglued. Check it out!