Within the last five days, a friend of mine has gone through a remarkable transformation — and it all began with a simple coupon. But let me back up…
Before this weekend, my friend Mark was feeling bored with life. He was disillusioned with his job, even though he likes his work and his career is going strong. He was phoning in his responsibilities as a husband and father, even though he truly loves his wife and kids. To sum it up, he’d lost his zest for life. Logically, Mark truly wanted to be the best he can be, but inside he felt empty and depleted.
I suggested perhaps, like a battery, Mark needed an outside source of energy to charge him in his daily life. Of course he instantly thought of a vacation, but that’s always a temporary state. Instead, Mark needed to do something that could help him tap into the innate passion inside of all of us, and fuel him into being the man he already wants to be.
Mark sat quietly for a moment, then raised his head, looked at me straight in the eye and said, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly a plane. In fact, I have a coupon on my desk at work for a two hour flying lesson in Mountain View. I’m going to use it.”
Fast forward to today, and Mark is a completely different person! He’s excited, jovial, energetic and has felt a significant reduction in stress. What changed? Mark discovered he has a passion for flying that lay dormant until he tapped into it.
This new passion is fueling him like nothing I’ve ever seen. He gets up early to research how to earn his pilot’s license, and stays up late plotting a budget to own his own plane someday. But in between he’s more positive at work, and more attentive at home with his wife and kids. He may never quit is job and become a full time pilot, and that’s okay. Just the idea of potential is opening up new conduits in his life for possibility to flow and energize him.
The energy of his new passion has helped Mark shift the view of his future into one he actually wants to live. And even if his current passion loses its luster over the years, Mark can find another activity that will tap into that same source of fuel. This is the true meaning behind the phrase, “follow your passion.” It’s not about dropping everything to focus your life on that one thing (although it can be, if you feel strongly called). Instead, it’s about discovering your own fuel source, and tapping into it the best ways you know how.
What’s an activity that you’ve always wanted to try? When you think about signing up for this activity, be it learning French, golf, cake decorating or auto repair, what excuse does your mind give you to not pursue it? What is open step you can take to move toward that passion?
“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, harness your power to your passion.” — Oprah Winfrey