Being Passionate And Single-minded – A Fashionable Trait

Being passionate and single-minded about something is extremely fashionable now days. Everywhere conversations are punctuated with the little question, “Well, what are you passionate about? What drives you? What is your passion?”

Declare your passion for whatever, and you enter the popular mainstream of life and credibility. You must at all costs have a cause and the desire that drives it. Without this you remain in the ghostly world of irrelevance and inaptness.

Allegory of Passion German 1520 Hans Holbein t...

Allegory of Passion German 1520 Hans Holbein the Younger (Photo credit: mharrsch)

Now I have no problem with passion and focus; I deeply admire these qualities in people, after all, throughout the ages they have enhanced our lives and our world in a myriad of ways. What I struggle with is the rugged kind of individualism and ego which so often accompanies all of this, and the pain and anguish it leaves in its wake while it nobly goes off and makes its “sacrifices” to the detrement of those who painfully and helplessly stand by and watch. This sad scenario plays itself out time and time again in so many ways. It has done so in my life, and I and others, especially those close to me, have felt its pain and heartache.

My passion now has become far more dispersed, and instead of being single-minded, it tends to be “more-minded.” If that makes me ineffectual and a candidate for that ghostly world of irrelevance, so be it. But you know what? I’m happier and feel so much more whole and at peace, as with others I know.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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18 Responses to Being Passionate And Single-minded – A Fashionable Trait

  1. arden says:

    This describes my experience. When I was a child my parents became missionaries and left me with my grandparents and went to South America. I grew up in my grandparents’ home. I still have anger towards my parents. I don’t know what kind of passion and singlemindedness made them do that.Still is painful to think about.

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  2. Greg says:

    Awesome is another word overcooked. Amazing fascinating inspiring unique are often more appropriate, but no, the experience was awesome. A rainbow nation of true love would be awesome. But what is love? Friendship, affection, eros, charity? All of those lived in truth would surely be awesome.

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  3. Don Scrooby says:

    I like that Greg. Thanks. Words, as you say, do become overcooked. When we live out their overcooked meaning our lives become overcooked.

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  4. Theo Coggin says:

    The problem, Don, is that people have bastardised the meaning of words. In itself, that is not a problem, but when they then turn them into a cliche there is a definite issue. I often speak about the importance of the “currency” of words – I shall in fact at some stage in fact explore this in my own Blog. This includes the fact that use of a word almost always has an emotional content, and a consequence – as some of the comments here already suggest. Thanks for the thoughts you have stimulated.

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  5. Terry Ann says:

    Once again Don, you have said it so well – I know that there are many people who can only survive if they have a goal, drive and a purpose. But I’ve never felt like I need those to live life everyday. I’ve always wanted to put into words those feelings and you’ve managed to do it in a few short paragraphs, in such a way that I can relate! Its true, life is all the more comfortable because of people who have that drive and passion, and I celebrate them too, but I also celebrate the quiet achievers – like a wave breaking or a bee collecting. There is a purpose there but not necessarily life changing in that moment.

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    • Don Scrooby says:

      Good to hear from you Terry. Hope you had a wonderful holiday. I think, as you say, some people are just very goal orientated and that’s fine. But when this way of living is imposed on everyone else as the only way we should live, it becomes problematic. Too often when people feel like you do, they are forced to feel that there’s something wrong with them. I often experience it as you do. Just being present to the moment without chasing goals can offer an immense amount of meaning. Nice comment – thanks Terry. I love your phrase – “celebrate the quiet achievers.”

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  6. Don Scrooby says:

    Thanks Theo, I like the the distinction you make between the bastardisation of words and the turning them in to clichés. “AWESOME” Lol.

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  7. Doreen Aucamp says:

    Hi Don, I can identify with passion! I’m passionate about life! It’s how we manage our passions that count. At the end of the day it takes self discipline to maintain a balance between what we feel driven by or makes us “tick” for that matter, and what our responsibilities are. Since my daughters were born I’ve always said to them: I love you more than life itself…. and you know how much I love life. And they do know!! I guess passion is really a personal thing. Some of us need it to stay focussed and others’ vision gets blurred by passion.

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    • Don Scrooby says:

      Hi Doreen. I’ve always admired that passion in you, that’s you and I think it’s marvellous. You hit the nail right on the head when you speak of balance between what you feel passionate about and your responsibilities. Your two last sentences make so much sense.

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  8. ladyfi says:

    We all need passion in some form or other – it’s perhaps another word for dreams. But to follow this at the cost of everyone else – only pain and anguish can follow. (I too have experienced this…)

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  9. Don Scrooby says:

    Thanks Fiona. Our perceptions of passion certainly do change when we’ve experienced something of that pain.

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  10. Katy says:

    On a light hearted note:- I,m “like” passionate about words and their usage so I was “blown away” by your post . I see that we “speak the same language” Don and we “are so on the same page”. i just want to “validate” you and ” think “you are so on top of your game”especially when you “tell it like it is”. So I,m going “to take it to the next level” and “really push the envelope” with my views. “Well hello, wake up and smell the roses”. Grrrrrrrrrr!!! i cringe at all these meaningless utterances. But I suppose I,ll just have to “get a life” and like learn to say “whateverrrr”.

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  11. Malou says:

    Very well written post, Don. It is good to have something that we can be passionate about but at the same time, it is also fine to be flexible about them. The last few years, it is passion that I learned to apply on a few things that interest me (photography, cooking, baking, traveling). The passion kept me focused to keep on trying and learning new things. 😉

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  12. Katy says:

    I,v e been thinking seriously about passion and single mindedness. I,ve come to the conclusion that if you call something by a different name and dress it up, you can fool a lot of people into thinking that passion is an admirable trait. And to be fair it quite often is., but maybe it might just turn out to be plain selfishness. As our eldest daughter used to say as a tot “I want to do what I want to do” If she,d had the vocabulary I,m sure she would say I,m passionate about getting my own way. Just a thought!!!!!

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    • Don Scrooby says:

      I really like what you say, Katy. Yes, it is an admirable quality when expressed in a healthy way, but it can become all that you have described. Love the words of your eldest daughter.

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