What Does Passion Have to do With Engagement?

stylized sunOnce after a group discussion a participant came up to me and said, “I like your energy.”  I had no idea what he meant.  During the discussion I had answered a few questions posed by the leader but so had other participants, why had he selected me?  (Actually it is quite possible that he did say that to others but I did not hear that at the time.)

The comment did make me feel good and I had thanked him.  The discussion topic that day was an interesting one and I had some heartfelt ideas that I expressed to the group. I am usually pretty quiet when it comes to discussion groups but this discussion really engaged me.  In retrospect I think he felt that energy and knew that my energy was authentic.


Passion is a word you hear over and over especially in relation to one’s career and doing meaningful work.  Somehow that word has always seemed way over the top to me. Before I became a coach I wasn’t sure I ever felt passion about my work even though I have always enjoyed my job.

Early in my coaching career a client said to me that she found that word passion offensive.  She’d been brought up to think of the word in relation to boys and premarital sex, something that was a sin in her religion.


For those of us who hesitate to use the word passion for whatever reason I would suggest a good substitute might be to say you are so engaged in your work that you can’t imagine doing anything else.  That engagement comes from the heart not the head.  In other words you don’t have to think, “I am doing this because….”  You just know you want to continue and you feel energized by doing it.

When you are that engaged you do have an energy that is contagious to others.  You bring something to the table that is unique and others want a share of that energy.


The people in my discussion group had an interest in the topic.  Each of us expressed our point of view.  Some of us felt more connected to the topic and thus emanated an energy that others fed off of.  (Good leaders have this energy and make us want to follow them.)

If the word passion doesn’t work for you, then find a way to work that gives you energy rather than tires you out.  Choose a way to work that when you are doing it, someone has to remind you to stop rather than always looking at the clock for quitting time.

Questions to ponder:

  1. What kind of work energizes you to the point that you are not conscious of the time passing?
  2. How could you make your current job into one that energizes you to that point?
  3. If you are currently doing work that energizes you to this point, can you describe the feeling?

Many people have never stopped to consider where in their body they feel the energy.    Everyone feels that energy in a different place.  Where do you feel yours?  Knowing where you feel the energy helps you notice when it happens again.  We often ignore these feelings and thus never notice the energy we emit.

Not sure if you love what you do?  Take this assessment. http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/15-revealing-signs-you-genuinely-love-what-you-do.html?utm_source=Sailthru

Copyright © 2014 Parker Associates. All rights reserved.

Can I help you to be happy at work?

If you are finding it difficult to identify work that energizes and engages you, I can help.  I use many tools in my practice that will allow you to identify what you love to do.  Once you know what you love to do then we can work together to find a way to bring it to the work you currently do or to find a way to do it in a new job or hobby.


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