“Passion is not a plan, it’s a feeling, and feelings change” – Terri Trespicio
This quote out of one of Terri’s TED Talks has been simmering for weeks.
It reminded me of how I’ve always been a little bit jealous of people who have an absolute crystal-clear knowledge of where they want to be going.
I’ve never had that.
I’ve lived my life Project- by- Project. It’s true that while I’m busy with a project I get completely involved. I jump in boots and all and work my butt off to make it a success. I often get totally emersed to the exclusion of everything or everyone else.
This, of course, is remnants of my Performing Arts days. Whether I was on stage myself or Backstage Manager for a Production there is a process.
- You start with a script or a program
- You meet with the Director to understand his or her vision.
Then things start happening.
- Auditions. Production, Set designs and Costumes meetings all happening at the same time.
- Rehearsals start and things get a bit more real when you start seeing everything coming together.
- Very soon you are on Technical and Final Rehearsals and BAM Opening Night!
- Crazy days and nights, very little rest and pressure during shows all blur together and suddenly you are watching the Cast take their final bow to the Audience’s Applause or even more gratifying their requests for Encores and standing ovations!
And then it’s all over.
You know you’ve done a great job. The Crew, Cast and more importantly the Audience have clearly told you that the project was a success.
Awesome! Start, middle and very clear ending!
Then you hit the “real world”
Here you have working business hours (mostly) at a Guesthouse or Hotel. As before very few guests see how you operate behind the scenes. But here is no applause or ovation. It is a continuous day in and day out operation with people coming and going and no clear ending.
Also nobody to tell you, that you are doing a great job or that you suck for that matter. You have no way of measuring your success.
You might get a good review (or most likely the property you work for will) and sometimes people with say they’ve enjoyed their stay but when things go wrong you will just be dealing with negativity from people who complain and continue on much as the day before.
How on earth do you keep yourself motivated?
How do you measure your success?
I found this incredibly difficult. It’s easy to say you shouldn’t depend on affirmation from others, be they Guests or Bosses. But the reality is that you very seldom get that kind of feedback and I found it almost impossible. I needed the “quality control check” from others to show me I’m on the right track.
Over the years I came up with my own measuring tool to help me decide if I was still heading in the right direction. If I were at a job and on waking up in the morning the first thing, I think about is what time my shift ends, then I need to move. I felt that this was my subconscious telling me that I should pay attention. That I was not living my passion anymore.
When I moved out of the Hospitality side of Tourism, I did so thinking that my Passion was training and that is where I was going to go.
It has taken me 3 years and a Pandemic to see that, although I can also do training, in reality my passion is in the coaching and mentoring of people.
It is about creating a safe space for someone who has never had the opportunity to think about what they really, truly wanted. Of helping that person ask him or herself the questions that will guide them to knowing that they deserve to live their own passions.
I’m not there yet.
In fact, I’m now starting to understand that the journey is so much more important than wherever “THERE” is.
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find my affirmation in less spectacular, more real doses. Such as a light going on in a person’s eyes when they realise, they can and should have a dream.
When they start to take those first wobbly steps to making their own dreams come true. When they come back with smiles and hope because of the small wins along the route.
Going forward I’ll still be working on every project with passion.
I’ll just be making a point of checking in with myself to make sure I don’t lose my authentic self and that my passion is still driving me.
Because Passion is a feeling and feelings change.
And that is the REAL journey.