Transform Your Life? The Fashion for Passion

Warren Kinston 17. May 2012 12:00

Transform your life via Passion Courtesy fdecomite

Wherever I turn in the self-help and «transform your life» blogosphere these days, I run into the advice to "find your passion" and then do it.  What are they talking about?

The blogger never explains.  Well, she (it can be a he but it's more often a she) makes it clear that writing a blog to tell you to find your passion is her passion.  It has transformed her life: so she's made it.  And if we know what's going on in her head or life, then we will surely understand.  But that demands loads of empathy and imagination.  Just too heavy: any über-successful blogger-advisor knows the golden rule: Don't Make Me Think!

So perhaps she is just demanding that the reader use common sense: "Everybody will know what I mean.  So why bother explaining?"  Perhaps it's like obscenity.  You can't define it, but when you see it then you know it.

But my passion is to represent common sense in THEE—so where and what is this passion that will transform your life and mine?

I recently posted a framework that has «passion» as an element: it can be found at the heart of the components of creativity framework.  But this is the passion talked about by bloggers seeking to encourage leaders of men.  In THEE, it is in the service of being creative: based on targeting specific change and demanding intensification of experiences and communications as well as continuous attention to your purpose and values.  Although I'm sure that everyone can and should be creative, I'm not sure that this fits the notion of "finding your passion".  Because this passion-as-creation is a consequence of the challenge you have decided to rise to, not the other way round.  It is not the passion leading you to choose something to transform your life, but the passion to succeed with what you have already chosen for better or worse, like it or not (even if that does transform your life).

So I was left wondering until today. (I needn't have been left wondering, because I could have done a search of THEE which is too big to keep in my mind anymore.  But it's fun to be surprised.)

The answer was revealed as I was struggling with a framework for producing goodness.  I was focusing on describing the energy that gives values the power that they carry or exert.  As you know, without any goal, you feel enervated.  Once you have a genuine purpose, you are energized and feel motivated.  Values are purposes and carry powerful energies.  I am referring to energies of the will, not thermodynamic or electromagnetic energies of physical reality—not that anyone but a scientist would get confused on this point.

This is something I worked out when writing my big fat book back in the 1980s.  The lowest form of value is an «internal priority».  «Internal» in the sense that it is a value within something: a project, an organization, even probably a life; and «priority» in the sense that it is essentially an emphasis, a brute assertion of preference amongst a range of things.  Factions form around priorities.  The energy associated with factions and priorities is … [drum roll] … passion.

So when the blogger advises "Find your Passion and Transform Your Life", she is saying:  Do what you most want to do!  

Great advice.  How right she is.  Everyone intuitively understands.

But why should such advice be needed?  People until very recently have been doing what they are told to do, what parents thought they should do, what social pressure demands that they do.  The idea of being yourself was, if not alien, confined to the fringes.  Authenticity was something that philosophers used to argue about.  Then it became the province of hippies and dropouts.  Now being your authentic self has gone mainstream.  Wonderful.

The 21st Century Enlightenment is about doing what you most want to do.  Is that easy? or tough?

Bring it on!



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Warren Kinston is the creator of the THEE-Online website as an open forum for the further discovery and development of THEE. He writes this blog as an escape valve for the excitement and frustrations of the work. More info here.

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