Passion and Commitment: An Observation



I’ve thought quite a bit over the past week about passion.  It has become such a buzz word over recent years.  So many messages, esp. in the online space, about finding your passion, living your passion, being passionate, creating a life full of passion, having passion for your passion so you can be a passionate person and inspire passion in others, etc.

My take is this: passion is the same thing as commitment.  Say for example you are passionate about your sports team (as a fairly new convert to enjoying professional football, this is still intriguing to me).  So you buy season tickets, re-arrange your work schedule to make sure you attend every game, pay for the jerseys and other teamwear, harass fans of other teams, and make statements such as “my team needs me” even though you are not employed by the team.

Or say you’re passionate about running.  So you get up at 5am to run in 20 degree weather (God bless you), have a strict diet, pay the big bucks for running shoes (then again, you could go barefoot), pay for racing fees, road trips to races, and make statements like, “I only ran 10 miles today, I feel like I’m slacking”, while people kinda just stare at you.

There is nothing wrong with any of that, but I think it all boils down to commitment.  It is commitment that spurs you on when it’s 5am and you really don’t feel like getting out of your warm bed to run outside in the freezing cold by yourself.  It takes commitment (I’m learning) to stick with your team when they lose game after game.

It takes commitment to stand up for what you believe in, when it’s not popular or understood.

The word passion is thrown around like a disc during ultimate frisbee.  But commitment?  Telling people you are committed to something?  Esp. saying you are committed to a person (Speaking of which, I am so committed to my wife, what’s up Boo, I spankin’ love you with everything! Happy day after your birthday!).

The passion talk seems to dry up when people start throwing commitment around.

My father-in-law is a professional golfer.  I see him flying to tournaments, driving to qualifiers, practicing when it’s easier not to, etc. Plus, he just recently played at a charity tournament when he could have done anything else.  His commitment inspires me tremendously.

I think the next time I see the word passion or hear someone speak about being passionate, I’m going to substitute the words commitment and committed.  Yet commitment sounds…heavy.

Why does passion seem like fun, yet commitment seems like work/effort?  Thoughts?


[photo by hectorir]
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