Q. I work with the most amazing woman. She has devoted her career to taking care of developmentally disabled children, many with very challenging needs. She is very passionate about her work and I believe passion is her driving force. How do I find this passion?

A. “Passion plays a central and organizing function in our lives,” says Carl Goldberg, Ph.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC. Passion — whether it’s romantic and sexual or an idealistic drive to improve our lives or the world–invigorates us, inspires us and defines our goals. When people have nothing to long for, Goldberg claims, their days become fragmented and aimless.
It seems that passion today may be in short supply. How often do we talk to someone who is passionate about their work, their relationship or their hobbies? When we do it can be infectious and motivating and maybe cause us to pause and look at our own life.
Is it enough to just go through the motions and then call it a day? It must be very inspiring to work with your passionate friend. Her children are certainly blessed as are their parents.
To find passion you must dig deep into your interests and inventory the possibility of making something happen that would make you feel energized. I recently talked to Erika who was working as an attorney. She signed up for a very rigorous three month yoga training to be an instructor, something she had wanted to do for a long time. When the group leader asked Erika to talk about herself she said, “I am an attorney and I hate it.” After the training she analyzed her finances, quit her job and bought a yoga studio. No more depositions for her.
If there is something you have always wanted to do, start planning now. Time has a way of getting away from us and five years passes and we realize we are still doing the same things and not really any better off.
So is there passion in your life that is being stuffed away, underneath something that you are doing that you don’t enjoy? See if you can let it out and make some very healthy life changes.
We really do need passion in our lives!!

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

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