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What is passion?

When we use the word “passion” it normally means a deep personal attraction to something - a strong affinity or enthusiasm that can lead to profound enjoyment and fulfilment.

Passion is a form of love, which is why people who are in their element will often say that they love what they do. There are many sorts of love. There is love of family, romantic love, love of friends, of places, of things and activities. We usually have in mind when we talk about loving cooking, athletics, entrepreneurship, teaching or whatever it is that fires our imaginations and stokes our energy.

The key word here is energy. All life is energy: without energy there is no life. Passion is the power of positive spiritual energy.

It is useful to distinguish two sorts of energy, even though they’re intimately related: physical energy and spiritual energy. Your physical energy is related to the health of your body and how well you look after it. Spiritual energy has to do with your motivation, with your moods and feelings, with your outlook on your life and with your sense of purpose. It has to do with your spirit, the sense in which you might be in high spirits or low spirits.

Passion is about what feeds your spiritual energy rather than consumes it.

During a typical day, your physical energy may rise and fall according to what you’re doing and as your moods and feelings change. If you’re doing something you love, by the end of the day you may be physically tired but spiritually energised. If you spend the day doing things you don’t care for, you may be physically fine but feel spiritually low and find yourself reaching for a bottle of wine.

Once you uncover your passion, you will be able to create a lifestyle that allows you to engage in your work every day. By being true to your passion, you being true to yourself, to your own spirit.


Ken Robinson, PhD, 2013, Finding your element, Penguin Books, USA, 256 pp.

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