Passionate People

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-by Matt Leedham

This world needs passionate people doing things they are passionate about.

There are people all around us that are doing what they are passionate about and living their “why”…and it’s making this world a better place.

Many of these people did not stumble upon this passion and uncover their purpose by accident. Typically it’s the result of much reflection, hard work, and planning. Many times, it starts with setting a simple goal.

I got to thinking about this the other day when my brother told me about his dentist. He told me how this guy was “the best” and he recommends him to everyone. Curiously, I asked him why? What has elicited this emotional reaction about this particular dentist? My brother told me when he first walked into the dental practice he signed in and took a seat. He looked around and saw all sorts of interesting paintings, diagrams, tools, and artifacts dating back years and sometimes centuries – all things related to the origins of dentistry. Although alarming at first (I mean, who likes to see primitive oral tools in a dentist’s office?), he quickly understood when he met the doctor. He lives and breathes dentistry. He’ll talk at length about the history of his profession and what amazing technological advances they’ve made. He really cares, is passionate, and it’s oozing out of him. And it all started with an idea, a spark of inspiration, an interest and desire to learn more, and finally a plan to explore it further and go for it.

This got me thinking about other people I encounter regularly. Other people that are clearly doing what they are meant to do. They do what they are passionate about every day and literally make other peoples’ lives better. I started jotting down the names of a barber, a doctor, a deli-sandwich maker, an ice cream server, and a bartender – all of whom I have encountered recently and have amazed me. And then over dinner last night, the most obvious example smacked me right in the forehead.

My wife is exploring a passion that has been welling up inside of her this past year. She told me that she wanted to go back to school to learn about child psychology. That would be quite the career change (from multi-cultural marketing), so I suggested that she spend some time volunteering with kids in her spare time. That quickly morphed into a more-than-part-time gig at an afterschool program working with immigrant youth. I knew that even though she is working two jobs (one of which she is the co-owner of the company), she is loving her work with these kids and that one day, she’ll be doing it full time. Over dinner last night, she said to me, “I think these kids are my therapy. I told them today that there is nothing I’d rather being doing right now than sitting here, talking with them, and doing this puzzle.”

I have to be honest, this amazes me. Since I do not have this capacity to work with kids in this way, it’s literally mind-blowing to me. I don’t think my wife understands what I mean when I say that I am as amazed by the technical skill and knowledge of astronauts, as I am by what she can do with kids.

That’s the difference. That’s what matters. Passionate people doing things they are passionate about.

I truly believe by virtue of being here…of living…you are a passionate person. Now that we agree on that, it’s time to figure what you’re passionate about so you can go make this world a better place.

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