Tony Robbins made the word passion really popular in Western culture in the 1980s. He would encourage his listeners to be passionate and continually say, “Live with passion.” As a success coach, so many people ask me about passion, say they don’t have it, or wonder how to get it.
Well the truth is, most people don’t even know what passion is. How can you know when you’ve found something if you don’t know what you are looking for?
As a Neuro-Linguist, I typically start with the meaning of words. Words are the greatest power of humans as well as our greatest pain. The misunderstanding of words is the cause of many human sufferings.
What does the word “passion” mean to you? More specifically, what do you see, hear, and feel when you think of the word “passion”? That’s what it means to you. Most people actually make pictures of “enthusiasm”. They see, hear, and feel the idea of lovers, or a person “loving” what they do.
The problem is, “passion” doesn’t mean that! The English word “passion” actually comes from the 12th century when someone coined it from the Greek work in the Bible describing the “suffering” of Christ. The word actually means “suffering” or “enduring”. Oops! Don’t believe me? Look it up!
So, can you see why so many people have trouble with passion? Most people today are obsessed with comfort. They drink it, eat it, wear it, buy it. They expect it in their relationships and in their work life. If you seek comfort you can’t have passion, by definition. If you aren’t willing to suffer for a worthy ideal, you probably will never get it.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Remember, this doesn’t mean you MUST suffer. It means you must be WILLING to suffer. That your ideal for others is so joyful that some personal suffering is trivial in comparison. There’s a huge difference. Clearing up the language of your mind can have massive transformational effect on your life. I know, I do this work with people almost every day.