How to Find Your Passion in 2014

By Gail Whitaker, DM, Former University Dean, College of Business 

CTU Business Degree - Passion in LeadershipThe best leaders are also great visionaries. Being a visionary is not just about having great dreams. It’s about having the passion to transform those dreams into reality. That passion motivates others to follow leaders in accomplishing their vision. John Maxwell says, “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” What is the passion that will define your leadership in 2014?

Find What You Love

The death of Steve Jobs in October 2011 created a renewed interest in the 2005 commencement speech he delivered to Standard University graduates. In that speech, Jobs encouraged students to stop living someone else’s life and to follow their heart, saying, “You’ve got to find what you love.” It was a compelling impetus that stirred the dormant passion in many of us. In that vein, let’s make 2014 the year to discover and pursue our deepest passion.

Why is passion so important? It comes down to your wiring. You are naturally wired with certain strengths that determine your unique abilities and purpose. When you align your strengths with your passion, you experience a “Eureka!” moment. Some people spend a lifetime passively waiting for a fortuitous moment to spark their passion. That rarely happens. For others, it’s not until they’re faced with a traumatic life experience that they make an effort to search for their passion. Don’t wait. Now is the time to activate your passion.

Be Intentional in 2014

It was the poet Glade Byron Addams who said, “Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night.” Finding your passion takes that type of drive and intention, and it’s never too late to start the journey. Julia Child was in her mid-30s when she attended cooking school, subsequently turning what she loved into a job. Ray Kroc was in his 50s when he started McDonalds. In an age where the music artists who rise to popularity are typically driven by youthfulness, we applaud Susan Boyle for accomplishing her dream at age 48.

If you’re waiting for an invitation, realize it may never come and consider how much more fulfilling your life will be once you organize and throw your own “passion party.”

To get started, do some exercises that can inspire your passion to unfold. Then once you find it, share it with others. They’ll benefit from learning the steps you took and may also be motivated to discover their own hidden passion. Ultimately, finding and following your passion will make you a leader among the many who may never take the leap.

Image credit: Flickr/Camdiluv