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by Tera Thorne

We all want to feel passion for what we do, but no one really tells us how to go about finding it.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple computers, once said

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do… Don’t settle.”

While that sounds great, he assumes that we all know what we are passionate about and that the only thing lacking is the courage to move towards it, which is not always the case.

On the flip side, Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Job says

“I do not ‘follow my passion.’  I bring it with me.  I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.”

His philosophy follows a bit of a fake it til you make it mentality. If you have passion for everything you do, you’ll do great work, regardless of what you’re doing.  These two opposing ideas are both good approaches to life, one asks you to go out into the world and find your passion while the other states that passion is an attitude that can be applied to everything that we do.

But where does the passion come from?

David A., an alumni of our new barbering program, was able to find a passion that he didn’t realize he even had. Growing up his mother was a hairdresser and hair was so much a part of his upbringing that he didn’t really appreciate the skill it required.  It wasn’t until he enrolled in the barber program that he realized that he had a love for the field.  It was through exposure, continual effort, and the advancement of his skills that helped him realize the potential within himself and the industry as a whole.

David A. Graduation
David A. with Miss Trish

Yvette G., a recent cosmetology student said that she believes passion is something you are born with.  “At one point I thought I could grow to become passionate about something but now, I don’t think that’s the case.”  She doesn’t think it’s possible for someone to be enthusiastic about a job when they don’t want to be there.  “Every day you can tell yourself that you’re going to do the best job you can but that doesn’t mean you’re passionate about it.”

What is passion exactly?

Ms. Kellie, one of our esthetics educators, had a theory about what passion meant and where it came from.

“I believe passion is a strong and intense feeling that comes from within.  Whether it be intense love, enthusiasm, joy, etc. the key word is intense.  I think everyone is born with the ability to find passion but some of us have to work at it more than others.  I think we owe it to ourselves to constantly seek and try new things while at the same time recognizing how what we do makes us feel. … It has taken years of practice to be able to recognize what that feeling is.”

There really is no one specific way to have passion.  Passion is a feeling that can be cultivated through our choices.  On one hand, passion grows through developing skills and pushing boundaries, which is an external action.  On the other hand, passion can be a deep burning desire to do an exceptional job no matter what it is, which is more of an internal process.  Maybe Mike Rowe and Steve Jobs were just talking about opposites ends of the same spectrum and it’s up to each one of us to figure out where our passion originates.

We will never have a definitive answer to where passion comes from but exploring the topic deeper does give one hope that we are capable of not only finding passion, but creating it too.  Passion is something that originates from within, it’s an attitude that is fueled through engagement, but can only be realized through effort.  Passion has to be cultivated over time because it’s nourished in the heart but is only realized through our actions.  Whether you were born knowing or discovered it along the way, passion will come and go but it’s the hard work that keeps the fire burning.