Using the power of passion to advance
The word ‘passion’ has a strong meaning to our lives. The moment one thinks of this word it comes to mind of strong love or sexual desire. Does the word passion mean only sexual desire? This is what this essay is going to discuss about. Let us first see what a soccer fan tells on his passion to watch the game: ‘The passion I experienced watching the game and celebrations … is an inspiration to my continuing passion for soccer. It reminded me why the sport is the world’s most popular and showed me that, even though many things may change, the constant passion and support from the fans has remained consistent throughout the history of the sport, and that will never change’
. It is evident that passion is ‘any powerful or compelling emotion’ and it brings about changes in people’s lives.
The world has seen people who have changed the lives of others. Today people talk of Gandhi, Martin Luther, Mother Theresa, Lincoln and about many others who have influenced the lives of millions of people in this world. The named characters had something special in them to effect such a severe impact on lives of the others and that is none other than their passion to see everyone living in peace. These ‘passionate leaders’ wanted to see that everyone lives happily and no one is to possess the other. According to them all are equal and human. So it is this leadership that makes us today to talk about the passion for effective leadership. It is through love the great leaders solve issues and it is their wish to see that people negotiate compromise and resolve conflicts. Eugenio Villareal of the Ateneo School of Law tells that leadership is “being able to define a vision, embody it, and boldly lead people to follow that vision — notwithstanding the odds.” Sedfrey Candelaria agrees with this concept and tells that leadership is “the capacity of a person to inspire or motivate other persons to perform their tasks or pursue their mission with passion.” So Gandhi, Luther, Theresa, Mandela and others engaged in their missions with a vision and a passion. This is vital for today’s people who go behind advertisements and publicity hoardings in order to understand the vitality of the human being.
The man’s task today is not to have a passion to get subjected to diverse vices which are visible in the world but to shift that passion to change the ‘inner man’. It becomes his or her ‘commitment’. It is a spirit not only changes one’s self but that stirs others, that touches the soul of the other, which inspires others into action. It carries a mental magnetism that captures the attention and enlists the energies of all who watch. One’s passion can make another drive into positive action and that amounts to be the real commitment of a leader. As Victor Shepherd says "The more consuming your commitment, the more you draw your people toward you and toward the task to be done. Your intensity – your focus, drive, and dedication – carries maximum influence over the level of commitment you can expect from others. Like it or not, you set the climate. People always take a reading on the person in charge. So when it comes to building commitment, you must lead by example, just as commanders must show courage if they want soldiers showing bravery on the battlefield. If you provide lukewarm leadership, you will see the passion cool among your people; commitment can not survive when the leader does not seem to care. So be obvious. Turn up the burner inside yourself. Let the heat of your commitment be strong enough to glow in the dark. "
It is the enlightenment of life that should be the ultimate goal and one has to be an impassioned person to reach this level. Enlightenment comes with love and primarily it is the love one should have for one’s self and then towards others. All other passions are subordinate to the passion of love. God Almighty is the first person to love us unconditionally and he proved it through the passion of Jesus. This is why we call Jesus as our Living God. He loves everyone and He is in everyone. Especially, the religious people should understand this reality. Presently, the religious live in comfortable zones and do not want to work in uncertain and risky conditions; however, God’s love is with those who are in troubled, uncertain and risky environments where actually the religious people should engage in the mission of Jesus. There are ample communities in Sri Lanka who are subjected to various types of repressions. The religious need to have the passion of Christ in order to move with the marginalized always. Passion of Christ does not merely mean suffering but it is a ‘suffering love’ that could provide relief to the weak. It is to be with the people at risk, love them and forgive those who have put the people into risky situations and enhance the lives of everyone with the love of God. To be in this kind of a mission one should abandon all self-protection, throw away all the subtle defenses we have and risk uttermost rejection. This is what Jesus’ life means. He was self-giving which left him in a defenseless position. And there was public humiliation as God’s people had humiliated Him for centuries through their infidelity and waywardness. So divine love that accepts and endures public humiliation is the passion of Christ.
What would happen if we are devoid of passion? Passion is the air that keeps us moving, changing, progressing and surviving. A drowning person always tries to grasp for air. Without air that person would die. In the same manner our passion or the creative energy within us keeps us living. If we lose that creativity to move and to make others move then we should consider ourselves dead. It is what we have determined to ourselves that makes us passionate people. Our determination turns into a commitment through which we design action plans for ourselves to reach our goals. People become great scientists, writers, and philanthropists since they struggle to achieve their vision through failures and successes. This is the ‘conscious’ passion one has and it is this significant passion which creates a difference in the world. People need to be different to make the world better.
Finally, K. Ferlic in his essay ‘Five requirements to manifest an intention or desire’ says, ‘passion is about having the energy to do what needs to be done. We must have a single mindedness and a passion to pay whatever price is required no matter what it is for what we wish to create. A passion to pay the price is the willingness and courage to do whatever is necessary but where you are not blinded by what you do or how you do it. That is you are not blinded by the passion itself. You are aware of, and have the courage to consciously face the fears, dislikes and/or our discomforts about what is required to be done. You have the courage, awareness and willingness to let go of all that needs to be released. Awareness of what needs to be faced will arise in understanding …..the right perspective.’ So passion is the engagement of an inner energy in achieving the set targets by consciously facing challenges of fear, dislikes and discomforts for the well-being of everyone.