This past Sunday we had guests from Pennsylvania at our church. It certainly doesn’t always happen, but this couple stood up at the time we introduced guests and revealed how impressed they were with our service. They were going to take ideas back to their home church. Following the service they told me one of the things they really appreciated about the service was my passion in leading the worship. Now you could probably criticize me for a great many things, but I hope that I could never be criticized for the way I lead worship and am passionate about it.
I would hope the same could be said of you and your work. I would hope that people see the passion when you fulfill the vocation to which you have been led. Lack of passion can kill momentum more quickly than you can even say the word. Lack of passion could be a deal breaker. Lack of passion can halt the forward motion of an organization, let alone your own career or pursuit.
So how do you show that you’re passionate about something? Here are some proven ideas:
- If you’re not passionate about it don’t do it. Really. Stop doing the things you don’t love. It may mean taking a leap, but it’s worth it. John Lee Dumas, the host of the “EOFire” podcast tried his hand at a few things before he became a podcaster. He went to law school but dropped out. He tried commercial real estate but found he just didn’t enjoy it. On his many commutes to work he started listening to podcasts and came up with an idea for a new one: interviewing a different entrepreneur seven days of every week. He had found his passion, and now he makes over six figures a month doing it. Listen to him for just a few minutes and you can tell that he’s extremely passionate about what he does. He stopped doing the things he wasn’t passionate about and found something in which he now is.
- If you’re passionate, prepare. People can tell when you’re not prepared. Passionate people plan ahead. They prepare for meetings, things they do in public, things that will be open to the outside world. Not too long ago I took the StrengthsFinder inventory. It revealed that one of my strengths is “Maximizer”: “Excellent, not average, is your measure…you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.” Since I want to maximize things, and make them better, I feel the need to prepare so that all will go well and go smoothly. It greatly bothers me when there are public mistakes or things happen because people aren’t prepared. Show that you are passionate by your preparation. Professionalism is a key to drawing people in with your passion.
- If you’re passionate, let your voice show it. A dull voice and dull speech patterns are the quickest way to show people you couldn’t care less about what you’re doing. When you’re passionate about something it flows from your brain to your toes and back up through your body to your heart and finally out of your mouth. One of my favorite things to do all year is to tell the story of Jesus’ passion and resurrection when that time of the church year rolls around. I’m passionate about it because I believe it with my whole heart. One of the things I’ve been able to do is read the story out loud from Walter Wangerin, Jr.’s account in his Book of God. If you can’t be passionate using those words to tell that story you’re going to need some help. Have excitement and expression in your vocal tones. People will catch your passion.
- If you’re passionate, let your body show it. Like a dull voice, stooped shoulders and a slouched posture will show your lack of passion. In college I had a professor to sat in his chair and lectured from notes every class the entire semester. How involved do you think we, his students, were? On the other hand, I had a professor who actually stood on top of the desk when he was lecturing one day, without a note in sight. It’s not too difficult to remember the things he passionately taught us.
- If you’re passionate, tell other people about it. Be an evangelist for the things that make you prepare, and shout, and smile, and sing. Don’t keep it to yourself. Your enthusiasm will rub off. The president of our congregation is passionate about our church. Every Friday in our weekly email he writes about the people doing things that make our church a better place, serve others, and are carrying out their own passions without even desiring recognition. His passion is spreading the passion around.
Seeing people passionate about the things they love makes the world a better place. What are the ways in which you will show your passion today? You may just change a life with your passions. And the life you change could be your own.
How do you show passion for the things you love?