Passion and Character

So during the duration of this blog, I have been searching to understand myself. I’ve taken tests, seen psychologists and meditated deeply. Today I’ve been researching some different theories on developing your character strengths to support and use your passion.

But like most people, I have no idea what my “passion” is. That magical puzzle piece that seems to make other people’s lives whole. So how does one discover their passion? One website said to list childhood activities that I enjoyed, so here’s the list:

  • inventing
  • writing stories/poetry
  • performing
  • singing
  • barbies
  • crafts
  • video games
  • reading
  • exploring
  • building forts
  • learning about, taking apart and fixing computers
  • redesigning my room (like every year)
  • organizing and reorganizing

So which of these is my passion? None, probably. However, these activities can be reduced to the bare bones and help to illustrate what I might find to be my passion. A number of those activities include creating: inventing, crafting, writing, building forts, redesigning my room…. I enjoy seeing something and imagining it into something better or more meaningful.

A number of the activities listed are also technologically driven: learning about, taking apart and fixing computers, and video games. I have been gaming since the Tandy 1000 computers with the square foot floppy disks, and I know that’s a passion that’s not going anywhere. But how can I tell a passion from a hobby? Are they different?

“Passion ensures that we concentrate our efforts on things that reward us most.”

Yes, they are different. A hobby is just a hobby until you develop it. Some claim that in order to consider something your passion, you must first enjoy it, practice it, fail a few times, then finally success begins to fuel your passion and that’s when things fall into place. The three main ways to engage with your passion are to create something new, lead a new trend or fuse together multiple strengths into a single passion.

I love to create, but I am not competitive. I can’t see myself leading a trend or pushing other people out of the way to get what I want; so my passion is most likely a few strengths parlayed into a passion. That being said, what are my character strengths?

  • sense of humor
  • empathy
  • social intelligence
  • optimism
  • enthusiasm
  • curiosity
  • perspective
  • forgiveness
  • honesty
  • love of learning
  • humility
  • gratitude

Obviously I don’t showcase all of these amazing traits 100% of the time, none of us is perfect. However, when pursuing your passion, it should bring our your best characteristics, and I think these are mine. If I had to imagine a passion out of those characteristics, I believe that the most logical interpretation would be a psychologist or someone that works with people and helps them to feel better. I have always known that I strive to find jobs that reward me with this type of intrinsic value; I feel most fulfilled when I’m helping others.

“Who have you been, when you’ve been at your best?”

This question is difficult to answer, but I think when I was at my best was during college. My classes crafted a constant structural awareness that seemed to keep everything else in order as well. By having my time outlined, I was free to focus on things besides organizing my time (which is what I spend my time doing now it seems). I had a strict schedule that I followed and I was the sober, dreamy-eyed, God-fearing 20 something that my parents had always imagined I’d be. I had dreams of a yellow two-storied home on a hill, a perfect husband who wore business suits to work everyday, and beautiful children calling me Mommy. It was easy to dream when I felt I had everything else figured out- major, finances, boyfriend, relationship with God etc….

Now my priorities and beliefs have changed, along with my schedule which leaves much to interpretation. Even when I’m scheduled to be at work, I have too much down time that my mind can’t settle. I’m feeling antsy now and unclear. This is reason that I took the first step in starting to find myself again. And yet, the question remains:

Will I ever find myself? Is there ever going to be a point at which I can stand still long enough in my own development to be able to witness and capture understanding? Probably not. Time slows for no one, and though I may never officially find myself, I can at least attempt to understand who I was, who I am and who I want to be.

9 thoughts on “Passion and Character

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. Reading “will I ever find myself”, was like reading what I had written in a journal MANY years ago! At almost 48, I’d say I’m not there yet…… But I’m closer! The older I get, the more aware I am, of what I dont “know” and will probably NEVER know. Because I’m only human. But the ONE thing that remains always; is my belief in a loving God and that we are ALL CONNECTED!!!! Bonus; there are no accidental meetings between people we just rarely recognize them for what they are. So on that note, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

    • No, thank YOU RJ!!! That was such a sweet response, and thanks for reading my blog! I agree that as I age I am finally understanding more about myself, but that’s only when I look at my life in a macro-sense. In a micro-sense, I am posing new questions and uncovering new perspectives everyday. This blog has definitely been a huge part of helping me to organize my thoughts, but I always appreciate other reader’s viewpoints! Meeting you today was so much fun, and I can’t wait to see what else fate has in store!!

  2. I love the idea of passion and I have many passions in life and many character strengths. I loved reading this, there were so many similarities in what we both see in ourselves. Discovering yourself is such a beautiful thing, I am so glad you are putting in the effort. I’m glad I am following you on this journey!

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