Posts Tagged ‘Passion’

Let’s look into the future. Imagine what your life will be like five years from today.

How old will you be? Where do you envision yourself? What will you be doing in your life? What kind of people will be around you?

Today, give some thought to what would happen if you actively pursued your passion — daily, starting today — for the next five years. How would that impact you, your life, and the lives of those around you?

Now, give some thought to what will happen if you allow your passion to dim and fade away. What will your life, and the lives of those around you, be like in five years?

Which scenario do you prefer?

Now, what will you do about it?

As they say, the best time to plant a shade tree is 50 years ago; the second best time is today. If you are truly passionate about something, don’t wait to get starting…time is slipping past and each minute that goes by will never come again!

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As I believe I said earlier this week, Passion is contagious! As your passion grows, you will attract others who want to join in your passion. Have you given any thought to how others can add value to, and at the same time be enriched by participating in your passion?

I have! Fortunately for me, my passion and others go hand-in-hand. In fact, if it weren’t for others, my passion would be fairly dissatisfying. Of course, I will follow my passion to grow myself, but as I’m on a mission to change the world one encounter at a time, by helping others grow into their potential, as well, my passion requires others to participate.

What would happen if you invited one other person to join you in your passion today?

Here are some examples of how this could work:

If your passion is to encourage girls to reach their potential through sports, what if you and a friend coached a girls’ sports team?

If your passion is to write, what would you achieve by inviting a creative friend to join you in some creative brainstorming to develop some story ideas?

If you are passionate about fighting or curing a particular illness, enlist a friend to join you in supporting an existing or developing a new fundraiser for the cause.

If your passion is around creating an engaging, team-oriented, productive work environment, enlist a co-worker to imagine ways to bring some new creativity, energy, and fun to the team.

Right now, name something you are passionate about and finish this sentence:

Today, I will invite…to join me in …

Now, get out there and do it!

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As we are nearing the end of our month of exploring our passion, where do you want your passion to take you in your life?

Are you able to describe a a dream connected to your passion?

There’s a lot of power in getting it down on paper. Having recently gone through this process, with The Deeper Path Coaching Cohort I participated in, I can say it’s an eye-opning experience! If you allow yourself to really work through it, it can change the course of your future.

What role does your passion play in your personal and professional lives?

What effect do you want your passion to have on others?

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Passion is contagious.

Are you familiar with the story behind the Susan G. Komen Foundation? Yes, the one focused on finding a cure for breast cancer.

More than 25 years ago, Nancy Brinker promised her dying sister she would devote herself to fighting breast cancer, and she did. She named the foundation after her sister, and set forth the vision of raising awareness of the disease and supporting research towards a cure. As you know, the non-profit resonated with the population and quickly grew. Brinker’s passion and focus attracted survivors, supporters, researchers, and more.

Two years after she formed the foundation, Brinker was diagnosed with breast cancer herself; she refused to allow her condition to keep her from advancing the cause of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She continued to host fundraising events and secured corporate sponsorships, as she was winning her own battle with cancer.

Her passion was contagious…it lit the fires of so many others and the foundation grew by leaps and bounds. Passion is similar to lighting one candle with another; Brinker’s passion sparked the passion of those she touched on her journey. By 2008, the SGK Foundation had donated over $1.2 billion to research a cure for breast cancer and to promote education about the disease.

It’s fair to say, largely due to the Foundation’s efforts, the five-year survival rate of women with breast cancer has increased from 74 to 98 percent, and more women than ever are having regular mammograms.

Is your passion tied to a core belief or commitment in your life?

At what cost are you willing to pursue your passion?

What would be the impact if you pursued your passion?

What will be the impact if you allow your passion to dim and fade away?

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I am loving this month’s topic — Passion! I would say, of the topics we have covered so far, this is the one I feel most aligned with, as I have been giving myself permission to recognize, express, revel, and demonstrate my passion much more openly over the past 18 months. In fact, with the self-assessment we did earlier this week, I can honestly say I’m between 8-10 on most of the measures. It feels good.

What about you? We’re just about to start week four of our fifth month of this intentional leadership journey (how is that really possible?!!)…which topic has resonated with you the most, so far? Which one do you need to spend more time and energy on? Personally, I need to spend more time on focus. I know what I need to be doing, but I don’t always stick with my schedule and stay as focused as I would like; so I continue to work on that.

Now it’s time for our Friday ritual! It’s a holiday weekend, at least for those of us in the US. One might imagine it would change the way you’ve looked at this weekend, since many take the opportunity of a day off to extend their weekend and go on trips. We are staying home this Memorial Day weekend; last year, we spent it exploring Baltimore’s inner harbor — that was a really fun trip!

For the weekend, I will attend a birthday party with my son. I see this as a good opportunity to get to know some of the other parents better. I will get more sleep (have been running short for a couple of weeks now), maybe even make the time to watch a movie (that would be decadent!).

You see, as I am so focused these days on moving more deeply into my passion area, I typically spend most of my free time pursuing it in some fashion — reading, working on growth plans, going through John Maxwell curriculum, developing new materials for workshops, teaching opportunities, and mentoring…I don’t spend much time on what is typical “fun”…but what I do spend my time on is truly fun for me.

In fact, I will be working on lesson 2 of the Empowerment Mentoring program, all about being in one’s comfort zone…sounds cozy, but if you are interested in growth, it’s not a good place to hang out!

What about you? What’s on the agenda for your weekend and the coming week?

Who will you share your time and attention with? How will you spend your energy?

And are you thinking about the coming weeks? I’m headed to Guatemala in a few weeks, to teach Transformational Leadership with John Maxwell and our amazing team…so I have some homework to do — learning about the culture and the people, etc…

As always, no shortage of opportunities or demands on your time and attention, I’m sure. I hope this journey is helping you to invest your time and attention more intentionally. After all, this is the only life we get!

Have a great weekend, and I’ll “see” you Monday!

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I’m curious to hear what you did yesterday — to encourage someone else’s passion?


Thursday is our day for reflection.

What activities consistently help you recharge and refresh?

Write down three activities you find rejuvenating by tapping into your passion.

Why do these particular activities have such and effect on you?

What could you do to invest more time in these practices?

Now, build those activities into your weekly schedule.

I can’t wait to hear what results you get…

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Having spent some time yesterday measuring your level of passion and your pursuit of your passion, today let’s shift focus to someone else.

Think of a co-worker, friend, or family member who has expressed a passion, but is not living their passion today.

Food for thought:

1. Go online and purchase a book in the area of their passion. Give them the book with a hand-written note encouraging them to pursue their passion.

2. Think of someone in your network who  has a similar passion. Connect this person with the person in your network to give them a new connection, support in pursuing their passion,  and potential opportunity.

3. As them about their passion. Take an interest in them and really listen. Share with them they are not alone in their journey and that you are committed to their success.

How can you help stoke the fires of their passion?

What can you do to help them move forward into it?

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Time to rate yourself! As we move into this third week of our fifth month on your leadership journey and are currently focused on Passion, let’s see how we do on some key foundational elements of nurturing and following our Passion.

Assess yourself on each of these elements:

I constantly immerse myself in studying, reading about, discussing with and interviewing others about my passion. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I have surrounded myself with others who have the same passion I do. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I have outlets I can pour my passion into and positively impact others. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I have opportunities at work that fuel my passion. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I continue to grow in learning new skills that leverage my passion. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I have friends who know what my passion is and encourage me to develop it. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I have opportunities outside of work that fuel my passion. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I take risks or constructive criticism to improve my ability to live out my passion. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

I regularly guard my time to develop my passion and make sure this time is part of my growth plan. 

WEAK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  STRONG

After rating yourself, spend a little time to summarize your thoughts on this exercise. Overall, how are you doing in stoking your passion?

Where are you strong and where are you weak?

What immediate actions could you take to help build your passion?

This area of leadership is like all the others in that to do well here, one must have a certain level of self-awareness and operate in an intentional manner. As with the exercises that came before now, it’s important that you are really honest with yourself. If you are spending a high percentage of your time working in an area that isn’t your passion, it will be readily apparent — it will be evident in all you do, the results you achieve, and in how you lead your people.

“See” you on Wednesday!

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How are you doing this month, with clarifying your passion?

I want to tell you a story. One you may already be familiar with, perhaps…but maybe not some of the details.

I daresay we are all familiar with Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook. He had a passion for connecting people, and his passion carried him down an unknown road, many years ago. He was studying at Harvard, but decided to end his college education to pursue his dream…a budding on-line social network. He moved to California, lived in dingy apartments with his friends/co-founders, and worked at engineering Facebook, essentially penniless!

As you know, the web site took off at full throttle and grew by leaps and bounds. Zuckerberg and his friends worked hard to keep up with its growth.

As Facebook blossomed, it began to attract attention; a lot of attention! In fact, Yahoo! offered Zuckerberg $1 Billion (yes, that’s a “B” not an “M”!) to buy his site, he said, “No.” To many of us, that response might seem inexplicable. What could he possibly be thinking? A billion dollars is an enormous amount of money; more than most people ever even dream of, let alone possess. So, why would he turn down the offer?

Simple…Passion. Mark Zuckerberg is passionate about connecting people; he believes when people connect something powerful happens and he wanted to continue to help facilitate those connections.

While one may argue over how Facebook is designed and operated, some in favor and some against, it’s hard to argue that the company hasn’t been successful. And it’s beyond reason, at least to me, that something could be that successful without some passionate person (or persons) driving it forward.

Passion is the driving force behind life’s fulfillment. Thus, passion must be exercised and nurtured. During the course of your leadership journey, will be tempted along the way — and probably more than once — to sell out for comfort or security (or a number of other reasons). I urge you to not settle for less than the full extent of your dreams.

Take a few minutes today to reflect on a time when you were tempted to give up on your dreams. What happened? What did you do to keep your dreams alive?

You see, I believe you did not succumb to the temptation; if you had, you wouldn’t be here, today, reading my blog or other blogs exploring similar topics.

Who supports you and cheers you on as you chase after the desires of your heart?

What else do you need to keep your passion alive?

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What are you discovering this month, with our focus on Passion? Are you true to yours?

Will you incorporate your passion into your weekend plans?

I’m looking forward to some adventure, exploration, fun, and preparation for the Empowerment Mentoring. Starting my first cohort on Tuesday and am really excited to go on this journey with the determined souls who have enrolled.

As you prepare for your weekend, consider these questions:

Who really need your attention this weekend? You? Family? Friends? People you’ve not yet met?

For me, aside from my immediate family, it’s friends. A close friend experienced a mild stroke several weeks ago, and this will be our first opportunity to visit and see how she’s doing and what we can do to brighten their day.

What really needs your attention this weekend? Is it projects, rest, relaxation…?

A little of all of the above for me.

What is on your calendar in the coming weeks, and on your mind, that you need to prepare for, set aside time for, think about?

Set yourself up for success and plan for those things…otherwise, all those distractions (aka real life!) will take you off on some detours.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll “see” you Monday!

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