Archive for January 2011
We talk a lot here about finding your God-given passion and how, in finding that and living it, you find purpose for your life. The really exciting part is seeing how that begins to bless the journey of others.
I was reminded of this again this morning, as I learned of a project that John Albert Thomas is working on. Those who have visited my site at www.7chapters.com know that I have highlighted his work there. He is an amazingly talented piano composer who uses his gifts of deep caring and compassion to compose songs for people. He has a unique way of turning feelings into music – of playing the sounds of the heart.
His latest project, a CD called Now I Sleep, was written for grieving families. In his video interview of a couple, they mentioned the song he wrote for them called “Smile Again” and how that has played a part in their healing process.
So here is a person, John, whose passion for music extends well beyond the keyboard…to purpose…and beyond purpose to making a difference.
And so, I ask. What is your passion, and what are you doing with it? Are you just playing notes on a keyboard, or are you making music in someone’s life? Are you helping someone to “smile again”?
If you know someone who is grieving or want to help John help those who are, do what I’m about to do. Go here and make a difference.
And then…follow John’s example. Find your passion and make someone in your corner of the world smile again.
Surprised? I thought you might be. Let me explain.
There are two kinds of tears related to work. One is where you are told things like “you are what’s wrong with the world today”, “you are no help at all”, or “your work is sloppy”, and you run to the restroom so the boss won’t see how much it hurts you. These are tears of disappointment and frustration, tears that well up out of a feeling that you are trapped in a box that is suffocating you and sucking your life away one day at a time. They are tears that reflect a sense of purposelessness – that no matter what you do or how hard you try, well…it really doesn’t matter. You’re just a “chair on the deck” to a big corporation.
The other kind of tears related to work is much different. These are the tears of passion.
I see this often. People finally find passion in their work, and the tears come. They realize, maybe for the first time ever, that the time they spend on work can be meaningful and purposeful. They realize they don’t have to wait until retirement to enjoy life; that they don’t have to put off a ministry – that it could be integrated with their work now; that the hours they spend working (a big chunk of their lives) are not wasted hours.
A shining example of this is www.saddlebackleather.com. It is Dave Munson’s work, yes, but it is so much more than that. It is his passion. It is his passion because it enables him to minister to the people he loves.
I have been talking with some business owners lately who have been told their businesses should be strictly that – a business.
“Keep it superficial – it’s just a business. Don’t make it personal at all. Find out what society needs and make that your business – don’t worry if it fits you or not.” These are the the messages they’ve been given.
“Just go to work, and be glad you have a job.” Yes, we’ve all heard that, too.
The problem with both of those approaches is, there’s no passion. Without passion, the businesses and the jobs are just empty shells. Real success comes when people, whether in a job or a business or a ministry, tap into the deep well that is their passion. I have seen it played out over and over and over again. When a person FINALLY finds that passion and applies it to the work God has given him or her, amazing things happen.
A myriad of successful companies have been built in America, based on passion. Sometimes the passion of just one person is enough to launch an empire. As companies move away from the passion that made them, however, they tend to lose their effectiveness and their audience. Unless they are really big and can offer extremely low pricing, they have nothing left of value to offer a consumer. Really, when it comes down to it, in today’s society, businesses are selling just two things: passion and price. To survive, you must have at least one.
So…it’s inevitable. In your work, there will be tears – sooner or later, you’re going to cry. The question is…what kind of tears will they be – tears of purposelessness or tears of passion?
I love this true story of Ted.
Just one week ago, he was panhandling in Ohio.
He’s 53 years old.
Struggled with alcohol and drugs.
Lost his career.
And was homeless, living day to day, panhandling to get by.
But there is one thing Ted never stopped doing… that was, sharing his gift, his strength, his voice.
Even while panhandling, he didn’t just say “Gimme” – he was willing to share his talent…and he did.
One week ago, Ted was homeless, without a job or future.
Today, everything has changed.
Watch this video - and dust off that strength of yours and eagerly share it with the world!
Today, I’m celebrating with a dear friend the final run toward finishing a dream. I feel like I’m on the sidelines cheering like mad as, having overcome almost impossible obstacles, she nears the finish line.
This is the week “Debra Irene“ completes her first book. I am so proud of her, I can hardly contain myself! She reminds me of Seabiscuit, who, despite all the odds against him, did what he was born to do. He was a racehorse to the core, and NOTHING stopped him.
You are a true inspiration.