Redefining Passion

"The Greeks never wrote obituaries. When a man died, they

asked only one question, "Did he have passion?"

-Dean, Serendipity (the movie)

The topic of “Passion” has had more of an impact on me this past month than ever before. Passion is an interesting thing, it is something that everybody loves, yet there is something about passion that takes great challenge, strength, and risk.

Passion is such a key ingredient to living life truly alive. Unfortunately however, only a few people in modern society really grasp and fully live the true meaning of this powerful word.

The root of the word "passion" is found in the Latin word "passio" which means "suffering.” On the surface, the word “passion” can stir emotions in us that inspire, motivate, and elevate us to live life at a higher, more exciting, fulfilling level. But just as the core of an apple cannot be separate from the apple itself, “suffering” is always at the core of passion. We cannot have one without the other.

George Hegel, a German philosopher and inventor said “nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” Through the years, people like Walt Disney, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and especially Jesus have been examples to us of a life lived with passion.

It is interesting that the last journey of Jesus life from the last supper to his resurrection was called “The Passion.” Hebrews 12:2 says “….for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before him, he endured the cross despising and ignoring the shame…”

Passion is all about suffering for something worthwhile and Jesus last week of life epitomized this. His heart was so “on fire,” so full of tomorrow, so full of a desire for what he needed to accomplish that it gave him the strength to endure and face the cross.

Many people in today’s society want passion without pain, prize without price. Though most understand that passion involves desire, thrill, and excitement, few really grasp the fact that passion involves suffering. Just because we want something does not mean that the attainment of it is going to be easy.

When I first made a decision to pursue my passion I was literally shocked by all the work and “suffering” involved in making it a reality. Like many others, I was under the impression that just because I had a dream, it would somehow fall on me. Unfortunately, that is not the case at all.

A burning, passionate, “on fire” heart is what will help us endure the crosses we need to face in our lives but it is important that we understand that there will be pain. The bible says that Jesus despised the cross, he despised the shame that went along with his suffering, but he was willing to go through it for the joy that was set before him.

Pursuing your passion IS going to involve rejection, discipline, having people not understand you, being talked about behind your back and so on. It is the price we need to pay. But, living with passion will always be so much more rewarding than living without it.

I have come to believe that there is no life without passion. Being passionless is boring, dull, full of compromise and always filled and controlled by fear. Though passion involves suffering, it does contain our true life. It is what enables us to live at our highest potential and fulfill our God-given dreams.

So, some day when our lives are called upon to answer that one all important question “Did he/she have passion?” I would hope that for all of us the answer will be a loud, resounding YES!

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© Barb Elyett. Barb Elyett is a Canadian singer/songwriter, recording artist, speaker, author and founder of Aleta Records. Her articles have been published extensively on and offline and have impacted people all over the world in a positive way. Barb's new album, The Simple Side., has received four Maja Award nominations and is currently receiving airplay and accolades from around the world. Sign up for Barb's FREE So Alive Inside newsletter at

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