The downside of passion

What could possibly be wrong with Passion?

Passion is what drives great exploits and achievements. Passion is what we long for in our work-life, hobbies and relationships - right?

Could there really be a downside to passion?

Passion & Balance are flip sides of the same coin.

We want to have zeal, passion and thrills in our life but we also know that a balanced lifestyle is key to our overall happiness and wellbeing in the same way that a balanced diet is the key to health.

I am passionate about a lot of things. It is one of my signature strengths.

I promote and support passion - both as a life coach, helping people to get more in touch with what matters most to them AND in schools and universities helping young people to channel their youthful energies into projects that make them come alive and change the world in the process!!

I am fiercely passionate about education and perpetually annoyed about how our mainstream, insipid institutions seem intent on sucking the life out of our young people! (Grrrr!)

Yet, it is because I am sooo familiar with passion - I recognise the unique challenges that creative, passionate people face everyday:

1 - Passion can consume you.

Passion is a beautiful thing but it is an intoxicating elixir!

It doesn't matter if it is a hobby, your business or even a partner or family member - if your passion drives you to skip meals, skip sleep or skip out on any other aspect of life you need to live a balanced lifestyle - your passion is out of balance. The 'honeymoon period' is often what we refer to as a time when we become consumed by a single passion and oblivious to all else. It is wonderful! - and unsustainable.

Life is meant to be a blend of wondrous and exciting - but also bland and peaceful!

Life is a mashed up smorgasbord of experiences and that is the healthiest and most satisfying way to partake of all it has to offer. The key word is variety.

You will be disappointed and unfulfilled if you sacrifice all else on the altar of your passion.

Your passion must serve you - not consume you.

2 - Passion comes at a cost.

We love the hero's story. One who gives all to achieve a dream. We love to worship this characteristic in our athletes and other successful people. They dedicate their lives to a cause, a pursuit or a goal - no matter the cost. You have to respect that.

But stand on the other side for a moment. How does it feel to be the child of a high flying businessman or woman?

[Rich! - says the heckler in the back row)

Don't kid yourself.

Wealth is only measured in commodities that are rare to us.

That child, as grateful as she may be for what her father/mother provides, will still long deeply for the part of her that is left empty.

How does it feel to be the wife of Pablo Picasso? Or Woody Allen?

Before you pursue a goal, you must get vividly clear on what are your fundamental values?

What matters most to you and those you care about?

When you know this you can make a conscious choice to make the sacrifice - or not.