Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

I posted What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird? where there’s a link to a short video with Elizabeth Gilbert talking about jackhammers and hummingbirds. Now I have found that entire presentation and it’s really worth watching.

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion, she talks about what changed her from a promoter of a single passion to a broader view. Watch the video at Elizabeth Gilbert: Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life.

I have posts about finding your passion on my sites. Those posts and a single burning passion make sense to many but never really worked for me personally. I’m the hummingbird style and that’s perfectly OK.

What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird?

This is short video with Elizabeth Gilbert has an important message. You can be a jackhammer or a hummingbird. Neither is better than the other, be yourself. Elizabeth Gilbert: If You Can’t Find Your Passion, Try This

There’s more text at You Might Not Be Built To ‘Follow Your Passion’ — Here’s Why, it’s the same video.

“Jackhammers are people like me,” Gilbert says. “You put a passion in our hands and… we don’t look up, we don’t veer, and we’re just focused on that until the end of time. It’s efficient; you get a lot done. But we tend to be obsessive and fundamentalist and sometimes a little difficult.”

“Hummingbirds spend their lives doing it very differently. They move from tree to tree, from flower to flower, from field to field, trying this, trying that,” Gilbert says. “Two things happen: They create incredibly rich, complex lives for themselves, and they also end up cross-pollinating the world.”

While jackhammers may be built for following one passion in life, hummingbirds provide the world with a very different service.
“Hummingbird person: You bring an idea from here to over here, where you learn something else and you weave it in, then you take it here to the next thing you do,” Gilbert says. “Your perspective ends up keeping the entire culture aerated and mixed up and open to the new.”

I love Elizabeth’s view of curiosity vs passion.

“If you’re willing to just release yourself from the pressure and the anxieties surrounded by passion, and you just humbly and faithfully continue to follow the trail of the hummingbird path… one of these days, you just might look up and realize, ‘Oh, my word, I am exactly where I’m meant to be,'” Gilbert says. “In other words, if you can let go of ‘passion’ and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.”

Me? I am a hummingbird. What about you?

See also Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

How to find your passion in life

Coaching is about change. It can be finding a new career, creating better balance in life or adding a new activity in order to “spice up” life. In these contexts we often talk about trying to find ones passion and to follow ones passion. But finding ones passion is sometimes easier said than done, we either make it too complicated or think (hope) that it will be obvious and just pop up.

It is said that “Find Your Passion; the Money Will Follow” or “Do what you love and money will follow“. Money is not guaranteed but finding and following your passion will for sure make life better. Your passion might be in a tiny market which means you can not make a living from that alone.

If you don’t know what your passion is, you are not alone. At INeedMotivation it says that According to a recent survey, about 75% of the population do not know what their true passion is.

Where to start?

Finding your passion is not just about work, it’s about your whole life. If we have activities off work that we are passionate about our life will improve. It’s also a way of testing if our passions can be transferred into a job or a business. Skellie writes that Your hidden talents are the things you could do that would make you happy. My view is that among your hidden talents is your passion.

Your hidden talents will always fit your personality or interests in some way. Instead of being hidden and random – things to be discovered by accident – the things you love doing actually make a lot of sense.

Life Script says it well, A passion in life isn’t something you’re born with. It’s cultivated by your interests, what stimulates you and what you are genuinely excited about.

At Lifehack it says If there’s already something you love doing, you’re ahead of the game. Now you just need to research the possibilities of making money from it. They offer some questions that will help you in the search for your passion.

Mike over at ZenDonut writes in 3 Steps To Develop Your Passion … Not Just “Find” It that:

My concept is that a passion is not just floating around waiting to bump you in the head (i.e. “to be found”), but rather, by taking an active approach, you can develop your passionate interests proactively.

I share that view, we have work to do in order to figure out what our (more or less) hidden talents are. Then we have to find out if we can make money from it and how.

How did I find my current passion?

I had been working with IT and computers for a long time. That was and still is a fast changing area which made my work my passion, learning and doing new things at a pace that kept me on my toes. Off work I have always been doing other things, being active in organizations and learning new things – more or less related to what I worked with. Personal development, my own and others, has been a running thread in my life.

As often happens, eventually my passion for IT and computers started to fade. I wanted to do something else but could not figure out what. Like Mike says above, I could not describe my passion yet I knew it was hidden somewhere within reach. That was rather frustrating but I started putting the pieces together. I described my own personal profile, in terms of knowledge – experience – interests etc, using mind mapping and other techniques to connect the dots. One thing I focused on was analyzing situations that made me really feel alive, what was the key and was there any common factors.

After spending time at connecting the dots I realized that many of my different interests overlapped to some extent. That made me curious and I focused on that common ground, the core area that united things. I started to describe that core area in more detail and then realized that I had found my passion: I want to help people be the best they can be.

I had been coaching friends and workmates for years but I decided to take a coaching course that made me a professional coach. I love working as a coach and I learn something from each client session.

Are we resisting it?

Jonathan Mead asks if we know what makes us feel alive, why do we resist it? Why do we avoid doing what we love to do? and lists four reasons. One of them is that we have turned our passion into work. “Anytime you feel that you must do something, you lose inspiration.” Once we have made a passion our work we do need to keep the fire burning, to re-ignite our passion.

Read more elsewhere

7 Questions To Finding Your True Passion
The One Question
The 5 Percent Trick: Finding Passion and Purpose in Life
How Do You Find Your Passion In Life?
Find Your Career Passion
How to Find a Passion In Life (eHow)
If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you!

Update September 10, 2011
A great post: 5 Ways to Quit the Confusion & Find Your Passion

Note: This was published in the weekly newsletter Coaches Mojo on May 26, 2009.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

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