In a recent post, I talked about the value of being passionately curious. Now I am advocating the value in staying passionate and nurturing passion regardless of age or stage of life. A few weeks ago, I attended the 2016 Sage-ing International Conference at Sunrise Ranch Conference and Retreat Center in Loveland, Colorado. There were about 300 people including some of the real movers and shakers—thought leaders in the field of positive/conscious aging.
There were so many good speakers and workshops during the conference that it was hard to make choices. One speaker I found inspiring was Gregg Levoy, author of Vital Signs: Discovering and Sustaining Your Passion for Life and Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life. He started by saying: “Being alive without feeling alive is like eating food without any taste.” Not very satisfying to say the least!
I had the opportunity to be at the same table with Levoy one night for dinner and he was as passionate in this encounter as he was as a presenter. He certainly reflected a sense of passion and shared with us his top list of critical elements to remember about vitality and passion:
- Passion comes and goes. Ride it out and don’t give up.
- Passion for your work needs to be the primary motivation. Pay and status are secondary payoffs. If the secondary payoffs dry up, would you still do it?
- There is a tug between passion and security. If we are not expressing our passion, then we are repressing it. We can’t put “Get Passion” on a to-do list. We have to ask ourselves tough vocational questions.
- Ask vocational questions: Who am I? What is my calling? And who we are changes over time.
- What should I do with my life? This question should be asked in every stage of life—about every decade if not more often.
- Passions take more energy than they used to take—We can’t just replace the batteries. Losing interest in life is optional.
- Passion can be cultivated. It happens in moments—not on a five-year plan. Enjoy the moments now.
- Passion is in the risk. Taking small risks helps to clarify passions.
- Passion is exuberance and patience. Be patient with yourself.
- Passion breeds passion. Disinterest breeds disinterest. Are you in a tribe (people with whom you associate) that is passionate? Energetic? Healthy?
Are you passionate about what you do and how you are living?
How are you nurturing your passion to stay passionate about work and life?
I think everyone should consider attending a conference on personal development regardless of career and professional development. It is important to keep learning about yourself. I concluded that life is not about aging, but about learning, growing, and continuing to evolve in positive ways.
I left the conference with many gifts—made a few new friends, connected with some old friends, learned of new video clips and exercises to use in workshops, took notes on which I will continue to share on my blog (JannFreed.com).