Thursday, April 18, 2013

What is passion?

One of my Student Launch Pad students recently commented that he’s not a very passionate person.

He made this remark as if some people are passionate and others just aren’t, putting himself in this second category.
For some students their passions are fundamental to their identity. Oftentimes these students have volunteered in the same organization for years or feel very connected to a cause. Others students, however, know their interests and hobbies but cannot articulate feeling passionate about anything.
In asking questions to this second group of students about how they define a passion, it seems that the main problem is an unclear understanding of what a “passion” really is.
Volunteering at a Malnutrition Center in Guatemala a couple summers ago

The word “passion” is thrown around in so many contexts that it becomes watered down. On one hand, students think that supporting the latest cause on social media with a thumbs up or re-tweet means that they are passionate about the issue. On the other side, students see charismatic spokespeople for a cause and think that they have to have this type of energy to be considered passionate.

The missing piece is engagement.

Students who are unaware of their passions often have not actively participated in and devoted themselves to an issue or interest.
Passions differ from hobbies in that passions generate powerful emotions and enthusiasm, bring purpose and joy to life, and cause you to devote yourself to a task, cause, or belief.
For instance, photography can be a hobby or a passion. If you enjoy taking pictures and maybe occasionally editing them and having them framed or put into a scrapbook, then photography is probably an interest or hobby for you. Or, do you see the world through a lens, not necessarily a physical camera lens, but does your joy of looking through a camera actually change the way you view the world? That is a passion.
See the difference? Passions actually shape how we engage with the world around us.
But what shapes our passions?
Please continue onto the Student Launch Pad blog to finish reading this blog post...


  1. I listened to a great Passion City Church podcast this morning on a very similar topic. Passion and purpose...seems to be a theme in my life right now!

    1. Oh cool, you might have to send me that podcast! Love the topic of passion and purpose :)