The Oxford dictionary defines passion as a strong and barely controllable emotion. An intense desire or enthusiasm for something. In other words, passion is a feeling. It describes how we feel about something. So where does this feeling come from?

Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart rather than the brain, was responsible for feelings and emotion and was the source of human wisdom as well as the connection to soul and the creator of human existence. As the heart was considered to be the most important organ, it was not removed from the body during mummification.

Today we know that the heart begins to beat in the unborn fetus even before the brain is formed. The heart is the initiator of human life. We also know that the heart physically communicates with the brain and radiates a powerful electromagnetic energy which permeates every cell of the human body including those of the brain.

The electromagnetic signal from the heart is so powerful that it radiates as far as ten feet into the space around us. Nothing else in the body has such strong electromagnetic force.

So what exactly does this have to do with Passion?

The point is to understand the importance of acknowledging and honouring what you know and feel in your heart. Modern western society has been so focussed on the development of the mind that most people are abysmally out of touch with their feelings. At the end of the day, it is how we FEEL that matters to us most and cannot be ignored. How we feel determines the meaningfulness of our existence.

So if passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion…an intense desire or enthusiasm for something, then it stands to reason that if we ignore that which we feel strongly about and choose not to follow our intuition, that it will affect our ability to experience joy, fulfilment and happiness.

So what are some of the benefits to be gained from pursuing your passions?

Live in the present

For starters, participating in an activity you are passionate about enables you to live more in the present and enjoy each moment. Rather than looking at the time every five minutes and constantly yawning because you are so bored, you are engaged in what you are doing and the time just flies by.

Intrinsic Motivation

Your motivation comes from within. Instead of that familiar feeling of dread when the alarm goes off in the morning, you actually want to get up and can’t wait to get stuck into your day. Rather than being motivated by money or some other external reward, you are motivated because you love what you do and for the pure enjoyment of it.

Connect With Others

Engaging in something you are passionate about can connect you with others who are equally as passionate and enthusiastic about the same things you are, which in turn expands your social network and boosts your mood.

Master New Skills

Pursuing your passion requires the mastery of skill. You don’t just wake up one day and instantly become a world champion tennis player do you? Of course not. Your intense desire or passion to be a world champion tennis player is the intrinsic motivation that fuels the process of acquiring the skills to become competent at it.

Improved Confidence And Self Esteem

It is in the process of acquiring the skills that are required to achieve your dream that you will experience a great deal of satisfaction. Repeated practice improves your skill and increases the intensity of your interest in your passion. As your skills improve, so does your confidence and for Livejasmin some people this can also lead to improved self esteem.

Self Expression

Giving yourself permission to immerse yourself in your passion provides a conduit for self expression. As your skill and ability improves and your interest in your passion increases, your passion becomes the focal point of your life, energizing you and connecting you to your true self, enabling you to be the authentic version of you that you are meant to be.

Purpose, Direction and Meaning

When your passion connects you to your true self and becomes the focal point of your life, it gives you a purpose… a reason why you do what you do that provides you with a sense of direction and meaning. Purpose goes beyond the experience of joy and happiness in each moment. It brings deep fulfilment.

Gretchen Rubin, author of New York Times best seller ‘The Happiness Project’ firmly believes that one of the greatest supports to a person’s happiness is passion. In her words,

‘A passion gives you a reason to keep learning and to work toward mastery. It can often give you a reason to travel, and therefore to have the new experiences so key to happiness. It gives you something in common with other people, and so fosters social bonds. It gives you purpose. It often has a satisfying physical aspect-rock-climbing, fly-fishing, knitting. It gives meaningful structure to your time. It makes the world a richer place. When you’re in pain, it can be a refuge, a distraction, a solace.’

Pursuing your passions offers many benefits. The list above is by no means exhaustive. The important point to take away though is that the link between passion, happiness and fulfillment is clear. We all strive to achieve happiness and fulfilment in life. Engaging in activities we feel passionate about will absolutely lead us towards that promised land.

So, time now for some reflection. What about you? Are you making time to engage in activities you feel passionate about?

Tracey White is the founder of What’s Your Passion? What’s Your Passion? provides educational resources to help you discover or reconnect with your passions and find and do work you love, enabling you to live a more inspired, purposeful and fulfilling life. Tracey is blessed to live on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband and two children. She operates What’s Your Passion? from her home office.

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