You don’t need passion to run a business and you don’t need it to do your job. For every person that has found their passion through their job, there are hundreds more in jobs they hate but doing just fine relatively. They go to work every day, do what they have to do, and go home. They live good lives, take care of their responsibilities, and don’t feel like they are missing out on anything just because they are not passionate about their work.
Along those lines, hundreds of businesses trudge along relatively successfully driven by hordes of seemingly lifeless “human resources” driving into work each day like the zombie apocalypse happened months ago and they are just going to pick through the leftovers. But the business keeps operating, keeps making money, and continues to survive for years.
Passion is not a necessity in the workplace.
My father used to be a union miner. They would travel miles into the darkness of the mountain, risking their lives, for a paycheck and pride. Were they passionate about what they did? Probably not. They did not jump out of bed with the idea that this is what they were put on the earth to do, that their purpose in life was monitoring a conveyor belt filled with rock and mud? I really doubt it.
And yet, they still jumped out of bed. They did so because the understood how lucky they were to have a good job, to be able to provide for their families, and to have stability in an unstable world. Most of them had seen what it meant to not have food on the table, how entire towns could be destroyed with the movement of a company or the slowdown of an industry. They weren’t passionate, they were simply grateful.
Passion in work, today, is about gratitude.
If you are reading this article on Linkedin, have a professional career, an advanced education, and know deep down you could find a new job within a couple months (albeit with a pay cut or moving) you operate from a perspective relatively few people in the history of the world have known. Gratitude, for us, starts with understanding how incredibly lucky we are to have so many options, but it is realized and acted upon by infusing passion in the jobs we do and the places we work.
We can fall into a mindless line of lifeless work, hate what we do but still show up, and contribute just enough to our soul sucking jobs to get by. But today, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that mentality is not truly being grateful for all the opportunities we have in front of us. Finding our passion and bringing it to work in a way that inspires others to do more, be more and demand more is. Creating passionate working environments that change organizations, industries, and entire communities is the definition of gratitude in business today.
If we are truly grateful for things, we work for them.
Realizing passion in our jobs takes hard work, a little risk taking, and the same commitment and pride that generations before applied in so many things they did. It doesn’t just fall in our laps. It takes some soul searching, a little bit of faith, and touch of stubbornness. And, if we are lucky enough to find it, never ever taking it for granted.
Because passion is not something we need, it’s something we simply have the opportunity to create. It is the potential to transform a business from a team of lifeless drone’s to a community of people changing the world. Passion is the appreciation of the amazing position we find ourselves in. A position that affords us the opportunity to create jobs we can be proud of, companies we can believe in, and a future as un-believable as today is to the generations before. But only if we choose to work for it as they did.
Passion, therefore, is our responsibility.