A conceptual image representing a focus on passionAs last year came to a close, I found myself reflecting on the evolution of my passions. As a kid, my passion was art and science. I love drawing, painting and crafting as much as I loved researching, learning, and experimenting. My mom can attest to that with the various items taken apart and burnt. Then I discovered computers. Oh they were so wonderful! Programming them involved the same mental exercise as the logic problems my mom introduced to us. They also did what you said, didn’t talk back, and weren’t annoying. But that’s for another story. From the 7th grade on, my life was not the same.

Computers continued to be my passion until college, when I discovered the joy of teaching. Watching the bulb go off in people’s head as their eyes light up at that Eureka! moment was high that I enjoy maybe too much. But I still loved computers and I was almost done with my web design degree. It was while struggling with this fork in my road that I discovered instructional technology. What? There’s a degree in teaching computers? Holy sh*t! And rather than taking the left or right path, I cut a new one right in between.

I wasn’t able to pursue my instructional technology degree right away, but in the meantime, I found jobs that enabled me to teach computers. Each successive job not only built my teaching and technology skills, but also grew my passion for sharing my love of technology. Until…

One of my dreams is to open a community technology center, a community center with a technology and life skills focus. So in the last few years, I’ve been building my business skills so I can make this dream a reality. As I’ve learned more about what is needed to start and build a business, I have encountered quite a few people looking to the same. I’ve also noticed that I’ve become a resource for them on business knowledge. Huh? How did that happen? Reflecting on this had led me to the thought that my passion isn’t teaching, technology, art, or science. It is helping others to be the best they can be. Everything that I’ve done, every time I’ve explained what I do, has always had the essence of “I want to impact people’s lives. I want them to be in a better place. I want to help.” Wow, that’s deep! And as I read stories of those who are ecstatic and passionate about their lives, they are doing what they love in the service of others. And everything that they have done that has made them happy, was something done in the service of others.

And so, what I hope for each of you is that you realize that your passion is not really your passion, unless it is in the service of others, unless it is helping them to be in a better place. If you love photography, do it so others can share in your art. If you love science, do it so you can help others live healthier. If you love fighting, fight for others.