Much Ado About Passion


Passion. A powerful little word used to describe all sorts of emotions: love, hate, desire, lust, sexual urges, joy, ardent affection, wild enthusiasm, enthrallment. What differentiates passion into a category unto itself is the focused intensity associated with it. In addition, as passion develops and emerges, energy builds in such a way as to inspire action. Without action, there is no passion. (As defined, the opposite of passion is apathy.)

Passion = Focused Intense Emotion + Action.

The paradox of passion is that it can be both a productive, motivating force that generates amazing results and a destructive, stormy force that lashes out and “takes no prisoners.” And passion is always focused on a specific object(ive) – a person, a subject, a cause, a career path, a message, an ideology, a book, a color, a way of life…

The important factor to consider as relates to your passion is balance. The presence of balance in the overall equation is the measure of whether a passion is a constructive or a destructive force in your life. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

The Good…

One of my favorite movie lines is one that comes from Serendipity (2001) where Dean tells Jonathan, “You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries; they only asked one question after a man died: ‘Did he have passion?’” The Greeks knew that passion was that aspect of a man that compelled him to care, to stand up for an idea, to lead the way, to save a life, to love another deeply and intensely, to do the work, to speak his truth even if many would think him foolish. They respected the intensity of a man who lived life fully, refusing to stand on the sidelines like a bystander in his own life. They knew that passionate people made things happen, did not let fear stand in their way.

So where does balance come into play? Passion combined with good intentions can create amazing results. Intentions are the conscious or unconscious choices to create or destroy something.

Passion, when channeled constructively, is the kind of consciously focused energy that creates amazing outcomes. It is the element that keeps scientists in the lab looking for medicine to treat debilitating diseases. It is evidenced in the dedication of a teacher igniting the fire to learn within her students. We see it in the books that heal us through words and music that makes our hearts break open with love. That passion is there as we make love with the hopes of bringing a child into the world. And passion abounds among the many fighting for freedom and equality of all people around the world.

Passion combined with good intentions is the energy which can change the world, heal the world, drive the world toward strategic solutions that solve the problems we face as a planet, moving us towards harmony for humanity (aka Peace on Earth).

The Bad…

We’ve all heard the term “crimes of passion” to describe situations where a perpetrator commits a crime (such as assault, murder or rape) against someone because of a sudden intense impulse which sends them into a rage or heartbreak. We also hear of people who have developed passionate addictions to alcohol, drugs, pornography, video games, thinness, sexual exploitation of themselves and others, exercise, or gambling, among others

Passion combined with unhealthy or destructive intentions can create devastating results. Remember, intentions are the conscious or unconscious choices to create or destroy something. As so beautifully noted in The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood, “Your results will always match your true intentions.”

Passion gone bad is always evident in the results generated. Something or someone (sometimes more than one someone) is destroyed, lost, harmed. Passion is so often blamed for our desires and choices to lose control, throw caution to the wind, surrender to our most basic urges regardless of consequence. How many times have we seen a passion begin to drive someone (instead of the person driving their passion) and thought, “No good will come of this”?


When harnessed for creating good outcomes for yourself and/or the world, your passion becomes a powerful tool to make amazing things happen. It compels you forward in a focused manner that leaves obstacles by the wayside. It is the driving intensity behind innovation, invention, artistry, creativity, possibility and aliveness.

So, embrace your healthy passions. Stay balanced by being aware of your true intentions. You can always gauge if these are good intentions by your results, which will always match those true intentions. And finally, be the driver of your passions, instead of letting your passions drive you. Unconscious surrender leaves you a victim, whereas conscious surrender holds you accountable. And that is where the fruit is – in knowing that you made it happen. And that’s sexy.

Go in passion, SexyPeeps!™

Originally published at MasterHeart Magazine May 2012


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