I would like to give you a practical example that illustrates why I make a distinction between passion, enthusiasm, and zeal. I hope that it will simply help you discover things for and about yourself. On August 31, 2012, about a year after I left classroom teaching, I discovered the passion that would drive my life: I am a writer, a writer who desires to continue the passion that I had for education to help others be discoverers, discoverers of self, discoverers of their own passions, discoverers of life in all its joy, fullness, peace, love, and significance.
When writing became my passion, I really focused on it and wrote in enthusiastic spurts. Since then, I completed a volume of poetry, started a second one, wrote a novel, started a second one, and have written things like this. I know, though, that enthusiastic spurts do not make a writer. So, while I had a passion that I knew would majorly impact my life, and while when I did write I was enthusiastic, I still did not have that untiring pursuit of zeal that results in a daily devotion to live my passion.
I had to make some extra money, though, because writing wasn’t going to do that for me in the near future. Once I had my epiphany, I still had to make a living, but I did not exercise that zeal which would subjugate and channel all other efforts into my passion and enable me to work enthusiastically at writing—day by day.
Sometimes analogies help. Passion occurs when a person decides she or he is a sculptor. That person lays eyes on a massive piece of marble or limestone. “Yes, that is it!” Then, enthusiasm sees what that stone will become, and the sculptor is excited about it, works on it, and begins transforming passion into vision. Ultimately, though, to reach that vision, zeal is needed as each tiny chip, tiny cut is made, because it takes a while and mistakes can be made and people can criticize, but zeal gives that untiring pursuit to endure to make that vision, borne from passion and conceived in enthusiasm, into reality. I hope that you will have such a vision for yourself that allows you to experience the joys implicit in the process of living passion, enthusiasm, and zeal.
Passion + Enthusiasm + Zeal = Visions Accomplished
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!