I blurted it out, the words giving shape to a thought my mind hadn’t even consciously registered.
Gavin and Rene nodded in enthusiastic agreement. They might have even stopped eating and vocalized assent. The three of us were in the midst of a sumptuous lunch at the Knockomie Hotel just outside Forres in Moray, Scotland, and we’d been discussing success in tourism and business. Gavin owned the hotel and Rene was my rockstar guide through Moray on behalf of MoraySpeyside Tourism.
Oh I know, I’m so clever. The endorphins shriveled as I realized I hadn’t said anything particularly ground breaking, but a warm glow remained. I’d perfectly summed up the force behind my career-breaking and career-building Traveling Savage venture. Or rather, the lack of it.
It’s a slippery feeling when you sit down and try to draw a box around it. It’s related to happiness, but is it the mother or just a too-close cousin? We can’t even talk about it cogently or consistently – discussions on the topic seem to dissolve into sharp gestures, verbal ticks, and mumblings about “being happy.” There’s usually a frustrated sigh in there somewhere too.
This post may not be particularly cogent, either; I am, after all, writing this in an airport hotel restaurant the night before I fly back to the States from Scotland. But the five weeks I’ve spent in Scotland on this trip have made one thing abundantly clear: when you pursue your heart’s desire and pour your soul’s flame into that pursuit, there is every likelihood that you will be successful.
Passion pulls. I am irresistibly drawn to people doing passionate work. These folks are vibrant, radiant, dynamic. Their works are infused with love, the details picked out and the edges gilded, the crocheted afghans of grandmas. Assigned work, another’s passion, rarely glows.
Passion pulls because we want to be all of these things. We want to produce works lovingly crafted. It’s as if some mystic osmosis might occur if we surround ourselves with the passionate produce of others.
It can. It does.
Passion is contagious, and if you’re already following your passion then like-minded others handily serve to reaffirm your course. The sheer number of people I’ve met in Scotland on this trip doing just this – taking risks, shooting at stars, revealing their hearts to the world – was far beyond coincidence. They were B&B owners, fellow travelers and bloggers, people made “redundant.”
I was pulled and inspired. They will be successful because we want to be passionate. We have to take risks to try to follow what feels right. It might mean making less money, it might mean making no money (ahem), it might mean downgrading, selling, going second hand.
Cling to the passionate. Pull in the passionot. The world needs passionate people doing passionate work. Isn’t it what we all crave?