Chasing your passion

November 19, 2010 | By Neil Ducoff | 5 Comments

While speaking at a trade show, I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in quite some time. When I asked what she was up to, she told me that she was chasing her passion – that she wanted to build something great. During my flight home, I reflected on that conversation. My immediate recollections were the fire in her eyes, the determination in her words and the tone of her voice. This very successful entrepreneur was on a mission, and nothing was going to stand in her way.

I feel something uplifting when listening to someone who is chasing the work that he or she is passionate about. Simply put, their excitement is infectious. It’s as though they are going on the voyage of a lifetime to some extraordinary places. So much so, you feel that yearning to join them or just help them with your insights, contacts or encouragement. Yes, you may even feel a tinge of jealousy.

I am a true Aquarian. It’s just my nature to be on a mission or quest to change lives and make the world a better place. If I’m not carrying a flag that stands for something special, if I’m not chasing and feeding those things I am passionate about, I feel stuck – that I’m allowing my full potential to slip away. When I’m chasing my passions, I feel invigorated and strong. Good things begin to happen and opportunities come my way.

For most of my career I have been engaged in work that feeds my passion. I love delving into the inner workings of business and leadership. I love to teach and speak about leadership and what it takes to grow a company. I’m still trying to decide if I like writing about business and leadership. I’ve authored two books (my latest is an award winner), I write these Monday Morning Wake-Ups, and seem to find myself writing a good portion of the time. For me, my writing is a personal way to express myself. OK, I confess, writing is part of my passion for understanding and teaching about business.

Are you truly chasing what you’re passionate about? At this very moment, can you say that you are on your voyage of a lifetime to some extraordinary places? If you can’t say, “yes,” what’s standing in your way? Before you begin to offer up that laundry list of excuses that have you shackled to your current reality, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and allow your thoughts to drift around in that special place where your passion lives and waits for you. It’s great to dream, but it’s a whole lot more fun chasing your dreams. The map may be unclear at first, but as long as you know and move toward the destination, you’ll discover the right path. Roadblocks and detours are part of the voyage, so be ready for them.

All I’m suggesting is that you reconnect with your passion and get the fire back in your eyes and the bounce in your step. Excuses are nothing more than your own efforts to convince yourself that you’re not ready or capable. If you listen to that stuff long enough, you’ll never take those first amazing first steps to what’s waiting for you.

I’m still chasing my passions. I’ve gained a lot of ground over the years, but there’s still stuff that I need to achieve and do. Like my friend, I’m much happier when I have the fire in my eyes, continuing my voyage to extraordinary places.

Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up

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  1. Good Morning, just love your thoughts today.
    In May my husband became ill and I had to make several unsettling decisions – As the caretaker, business owner, main income, medical advisor, and health plan coordinator, I felt extremely overwhelmed.

    I chose to close my business after 6 years. I now work for a salon within the same demographics, but alas I stopped chasing my passion. Recently I traveled to ISPA for an interview, my interviewer commented on this attribute of passion for what I do. My response, “I love what I do in the spa industry! Helping people feel better about themselves and being able to expand their self-knowledge at the same time is a great gift. I accept the responsibility humbly and look for a vehicle to transmit all that I can bring to the table.”

    I still haven’t found the vehicle, but I continue to search. Meanwhile, I am an employee which is allowing me to learn not only more about myself, but more about people!

    My husband has made a miraculous recovery and has returned to work F/T in a reduced capacity, so much of the financial uncertainty has settled.

    I will continue to look for ways to fill my soul and spirit up because around every corner is a new adventure to embrace and grow from. In Light, Sue Bonito

  2. I am a professional hairstylist and healthcoach and my passion is to look and feel young as long as I`m alive. I have more energy than people half my age and don`t look my age. I do yoga every morning and excercize 3 times a week. I`m very passionate about looking after my skin and try to encourage my clients to do the same.I look forward to your articles every monday morning.You are an inspiration to us all.
    Thanks, Willy

  3. Love this MMWU…sometimes we get so stuck in all the “stuff” and lose focus on what we are passionate about and lose site of the road to get there. Today, I am going to work at rekindling and igniting the passion fire…and be thankful for all the blessings in life.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all! Thanks Neil!

  4. Neil, could not agree more. There are no bad days when you are doing what you were made to do. I feel it everyday, even when the curve balls are thrown, it is part of what I signed up for! BTW, your book “No Compromise Leadership” has given me a stronger path to step on and personal mantra to manage my business with. Larry

  5. I remember, as many of you may too, burning the midnight candle passionate about creating that perfect color or perfect line. We experimented, played, created, and showed off to the rest of the world. We gobbled up and devoured every new technique, tool and idea. We lived for tonight’s photo shoot, next week’s fashion show and next month’s style mag to see those photos published. In more descriptive terms, we slept with our shears.

    As I visit salons all over the Northwest I realized that this perspective, this attitude, this passion that was once a bright and prominent part of the collective industry has, well, faded. It is still there, albeit a bit duller and clouded with build up. It is hidden amongst the split ends and thinning ranks of those of us left and those bringing new energy into the fold. It is there. It can be found. More importantly, it can be recreated.

    This Monday Morning is a Wake Up. Passion yields passionate action and it all starts with me. Thank you Strategies for reminding me. Time to dust off a couple of the tools I’ve buried and start working on that cloudy build up…


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