"This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." George Bernard Shaw
When we're passionate about what we do, it doesn't even feel like work. Last week I wrote a post asking, "is it normal to write a novel?" Author A.m. Welles left a comment saying that when someone asks why she writes, she replies, "I have to." I think all writers feel this way. We write because we want to, and we're compelled to do it since we're passionate about it! And anyone who loves what they do for a living feels the same.
Ms. Welles comment reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, The Red Shoes. When Boris Lermontov, the ruthless impresario of The Ballet Lermontov, is invited to a party by one of his most generous patrons, he is disgusted to find out that this invitation includes a ballet performance by the patron's niece.
Lermontov informs the patron that when invited to a party, he wishes to attend a party, not an audition. Needless to say, the performance is cancelled. But the niece, beautiful Vicky Page, approaches the refreshments at the same time as Lermontov. They are alone, and the impresario can't help but notice the stunning redhead near him. Making small talk, he expresses relief that he has been spared the horror of watching a dance performance.
When Vicky says, "Mr. Lermontov, I am that horror," Lermontov, baffled and surprised by "the horror's" grace, beauty and charm, almost chokes. After introductions, and after Lermontov gathers his wits, he asks, "Why do you dance?" To which Vicky replies, "Why do you live?" Lermontov, again slightly baffled says, "Because I must." "That's my answer, too," says Vicky, "I must."
When we're passionate about something, we must do it. Rick Warren says in The Purpose Driven Life, "Purpose always produces passion. Nothing energizes like a clear purpose. On the other hand, passion dissipates when you lack purpose...meaningless work wears us down, saps our strength and robs our joy."
What's your passion?
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