Are we Passionate Enough?

As it appeared in the Daily Nation on August 15th, 2017

As Kenyans, we are passionate about many things. We are passionate about Nyama Choma, others are passionate about football yet others are passionate about their businesses and their jobs. Looking back last week, our passion to participate in the electoral process was evident. Not only did we came out in large numbers to vote but also we closely followed through the entire process. As we lined up to vote, the energy in the voters was evident. Besides the electoral process, are we passionate enough as business owners or as employees?

Passion is considered as a strong feeling. Words such a zeal, energy, motivation, grit and enthusiasm are often used to describe passion. Besides our personality types, it is passion that drives us to act in certain ways. As a panelist at job interviews, some of my favourite questions are – What drives you? What are you passionate about? I like it when someone describes his or her passion in photography or passion in reading, farming or cooking besides work related passion. I believe it is important to be passionate about something. Besides being very passionate about my job as a management consultant and involvement in community work, I am particularly passionate about books and have also recently developed a passion for supporting sports. What are you passionate about? Are you passionate enough?

According Charles M. Schwab a renowned American steel magnate “a person can succeed at almost anything for which they have unlimited enthusiasm”. This is so true for business and for careers. Do we run our businesses with enough passion? Are we passionate enough about our jobs? I believe that if we are passionate enough at the workplace, our jobs become easier, they become a joy, they are not just a job but they become a true calling. It is passion for what we do that pushes us to strive for excellence. With passion and accompanying actions, we can get great things done.

To develop passion, we must love what we do and believe in it. Alternatively, to love what we do we must be passionate enough about it. Mia Hamm a retired professional soccer player and two-time Olympic gold medalist once said, “If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion”. Pursuing our passion is important. A friend of mine runs a firm named passion to profit, the business name reminds me that we can profit from our passions by turning them into business ideas. However, that is only possible if we are passionate enough.

Can passion be learnt? Like many other attitudes, behaviours and life stills, passion can be discovered and can be developed. David Jones, the author of “PassionWorks! Your Guide to Passion in the Modern Workplace” says that passion makes us feel better about ourselves; he adds that passion can be learnt by knowing our values and actively living out those values. When we are passionate enough about our jobs and about our businesses, we know it and it is evident to others. If we can steer our passions into the right direction, I believe we can help our businesses and our careers scale new heights. It all starts will self-awareness!

Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy