Staying focused is virtually impossible without passion. So how do you identify and capitalize on your passion in the leadership setting?
Passion is a craving deep within us, that yearning for something we feel we just must have. It surfaces in a multitude of ways. For example, consider the story of Patrick (Pádraic) Henry Pearse.
Headmaster at St. Edna’s, a small private college south of Dublin, Pearse’s passion was Ireland’s heritage, something he feared was being destroyed by the domination of the English.
Pearse was by nature a gentle man who could never harm even the smallest creature. He had spent his life helping his students understand and pursue their own big dreams. Pearse certainly was not considered a militant or a revolutionary. Yet he was driven by his passion for Ireland.
No longer able to watch the nation’s language, culture, and history eroding, he felt it was time “to pursue his own great goals that, in his words, ‘were dreamed in the heart and that only the heart could hold.’ ”
He embraced the cause to reclaim Ireland and within a year was a leader of the Easter Rising, the Irish rebellion of 1916. After days of intense fighting, the British army defeated the revolutionaries, and on May 3, 1916, Pearse and others were executed in a jail in Dublin. The British leaders mistakenly thought this would put an end to the rebellion. But they did not understand the power of a person’s passion, as people across Ireland embraced Pearse’s ideas for saving Ireland and dreaming big dreams.
In 1921, Ireland declared freedom from England, and Pearse’s passion and dreams for the Irish culture came to fruition. Pádraic Henry Pearse’s passion ultimately forced a nation to find itself.
Finding our passion includes dreaming big. Ask yourself some questions:
- What is my burning passion?
- What work do I find absorbing, involving, engrossing?
- What mission in life absolutely absorbs me?
- What is my distinctive skill?
Answers to questions like these will point you to your passion.