Sitting on the beachfront balcony of my Sri Lankan guesthouse in Unawatuna and enjoying a homemade mintless mango mojito with my travel partner, I start reflecting on two absolutely amazing yet very different experiences I’ve had in the past three days.
The first one was a one-day jungle safari onboard of a 35-year old Land Rover with our guide Dinesh in Yala National Park on the south east coast of the country. Dinesh has been driving the park’s dirt road with his dad since he was two years old and has been driving tourists around for 10 years. Despite years of doing the same job day in day out, he still has the passion and excitement of a first timer. He drove like a madman in the hunt for a leopard spotted by another guide, with the febrility of a teenager who’s about to meet his girlfriend for the first time. His heart rate followed mine as a big tusker elephant came so close he put his trunk in our 4WD. Dinesh has got the passion for his job in his veins and we can feel it, taste it, live it with him.
The second experience was a cooking class here in Unawatuna (south west coast of Sri Lanka) with an amazing cook and such a friendly woman. The food we prepared was exquisite and her knowledge of Sri Lankan cuisine happily shared. However, it felt like she would rather be down on the street with her family than with her students for the day. She didn’t seem fully present with us. The experience was still well worth it (and the food… the food… oh so divine!), but she didn’t manage to share a passion for cooking.
So me, who’s always loved the topic of ‘passion’ and who gets fired up so easily for things I”m passionate about, I get a million questions racing through my mind thinking about these two experiences…
Can someone be good at their job if there’s no passion for it?
How can passion live through routine? How can you keep the fire burning?
Is it possible to be passionate about a career 24/7 and forever?
What am I passionate about?
How do I feel and what are my body’s physical reactions when I talk about or do something I”m passionate about? How can I re-create more of that?
What makes people who dislike their job stay there? And how can you convince them otherwise?!
The need for security (emotional, financial, physical), being afraid of change and a lack of confidence can make people stay in positions they don’t particularly enjoy without looking for better options. But I’m a strong believer that the people that are the best at their job and happiest are the ones who can inject at least a bit of their passion in their work. And if it’s not possible at present time, they plan their way to a better career that will suit their passion.
For me, reminding myself of why I do what I do, adding new ‘ingredients’ into my life – like seeking new challenges or changing aspects of it – and listening to my internal calls (that gut feeling again or internal voice asking for something) have been ways to keep the fire burning.
What are your thoughts on all this? Come on, let’s get some passionate discussions happening here… 🙂