I was reading about the new Patti Smith autobiography, Just Kids, and was amazed at all the things this woman did in her life, not just the quantity of things, but even more so the variety of things. For those of you who weren’t around when Patti Smith was popular in the media, she is most famous, certainly to me anyway, as a musician. Her album Horses is on many of the “100 top rock albums” lists. But, in addition, she was a painter, performance artist, an actress, and writer, even co-writing a play, Cowboy Mouth, with playwright Sam Shepard.
When I read about someone like this, I wonder about my quiet little life. Do you ever have similar feelings, sort of amazement at what some people accomplish in their lives, and more than a twinge of jealousy? If so, you are not alone.
It usually makes me wonder why I am not like that. My first wife was certainly like that. At 21, after earning her bachelors degree, she started a drug rehab program with a group of nuns. After she got her MPH (Masters of Public Health), she started a home day care program for out-of-work women (welfare moms). I was always amazed, watching her, experiencing her passion and creativity, and, once again, feeling more than a little jealous.
I was recently reading an article about persons who do extreme sports, BASE jumping (parachuting off bridges and skyscrapers), hang gliding, rock climbing. Such people, according to the study, frequently have deficiencies of dopamine. This deficiency means they need more excitement than a “normal” person just to feel alive. The author labels such people as Type T personalities.
But just because you don’t have a top rock album, or don’t BASE jump off of bridges, doesn’t mean you don’t have urgings, urgings to create something big, to do something special, to give your life more meaning.
You don’t need to have been born rebellious, like Patti Smith, and you don’t need to have an inadequate amount of endorphins like extreme athletes, to have a more meaningful, fuller life.
Living with passion doesn’t mean you have to do many different things. One is enough for most of us.
You just need to discover your passion. Most of us just need to dig a little bit deeper to discover our passion. We have to work at it. Investigate. We need to force ourselves to try new things, to have new experiences. There is no need for us mere mortals to settle for “just getting by.”
Because once we discover our passion, something we love, our life gains so much more meaning. We are filled with energy.
But until we know what that purpose is, there is no way for us to fulfill it.
If you don’t know what it is, what passion you are here to pursue, why not make it your mission to find your passion. Try something you have always secretly (maybe even secretly to yourself) wanted to explore.
Some of your investigations will not pan out, like my adventure with sailing. Two hours into the class the instructor returned to the harbor to give my nausea a chance to subside.
But maybe one will result in you finding a life time passion like I did when I took a sculpting workshop. You can read all about it on my blog www.bobprentisssculpting.com.
Life is too short to not have passion in it. Why not get started today?