My wife is the greatest person in the world. I know I may be a bit bias, but she is the smartest, hardest working, most common sense person I have ever met in my life. My life would literally not be the same if she was not in it. She isn’t bad on the eyes either. : )
But I tell you that not to brag (OK – maybe a little) but to set up a story.
My wife and I recently found out that we are expecting our first child. After having a miscarriage over the summer – we are more than thrilled. My wife spent many years being a nanny, and is a teacher of younger grades and absolutely knows everything about kids. I have a high level degree in a science field and know the ins and outs of the mindset of humans. Together – with her hands on and my science background, we think that we are going to be OK parents.
But while taking a walk yesterday, we started chatting about what to expect now that we are expecting and my brillant wife said something that just astounded me:
The best parents are always the ones who are the most passionate.
When the subject of expecting our first child comes up, most give the advice of “Sleep now all you can – because that is ending with kids”. There are even some that go so far to write blog posts to their child-less friends about the joys of NOT having a kid (Article Here). And although I understand where they are coming from, and life isn’t quite the same with kids – I don’t quite understand it.
The best parents are the most passionate ones. The best parents are the ones who get kicked in the face by their child sleeping in the bed, and loves every second of it. The mother who wakes up at 3:30am to a crying baby to feed it and smiles because she have a beautiful baby to feed. The dad who gets up at 5a to take the feeding, shuffles off for a full day in the office, and gets excited to come home to see his family, because that is why he is working so hard.
Every single thing you do in life should be filled with passion. Over joyed that you get to have a baby. Over joyed that you get to go to work. Over joyed that you get to experience life. If you don’t do that – you are just going through the motions. You are just having kids – you aren’t starting a family. You just have a job, you don’t have a career. You just survive – you don’t thrive.
Losing passion in something puts you in a bad place. When you lose that passion – when you stop developing that passion – you start associated negative feelings toward that thing you don’t have passion for. You start disliking it – and that resentment gets worse and worse and worse the more you just go through the motions.
Divorce is outrageous in the US. I know more people my age (under 30) that have been married, divorced and remarried than I should. UNDER 30! Why? They lose that passion. Whatever the reason you believe, it comes backs to losing the passion. If you’re fighting, you lost that passion. If you cheat, you lost that passion. If you “grow apart”, you lost that passion. If you have that passion in your relationship, you never have any issues. Passion keeps you going on dates. Passion keeps you excited to come home every single day to the same person every single day year after year and never think about going else where. Passion makes it so that when you see your partner smile, you get this feeling inside that you can’t even begin to describe.
Passion keeps you happy at your job. The second – THE SECOND – you start disliking what you do, you lost it. It slowly gets worse and worse and worse until you are overweight, stressed out, hating your life. This usually happens mid-age, hence mid life crisis, although it can happen at any stage in your life. That doesn’t mean you have to like what you do. I know plenty of people that do something they don’t like, but they have a passion for what they are doing and so they are just fine working. The whole notion of “work what you are passionate about” is all good, but not very feasible for most people. Instead, be passionate about your work. I don’t care if you dig graves for a living, dig that damn grave like there is no tomorrow.
Passion in every aspect of your life is contagious. People feel it – they feed off of it. They want to be inspired by it. Every single thing that you do in your life, from your relationship, work, cheering on your football team, having sex, eating ice cream, going for a walk, do it with all the passion that you can – and then maybe be a little more passionate about it. You will start to see people around you doing the same.
Yes – you can get passionate about things that you don’t like. That is the first question people ask me. “I really don’t like my job – so I guess I should go find something I am passionate about”. Sure you can. But you will always be looking. You will always be trying to find that one thing that you can do that will give you passion, rather that putting the passion into your life. Finding something else to attempt to be passionate about is just a lazy excuse. You are running from everything try to find “IT”. Sure – there are those that find “IT”. But most don’t. Don’t run from it – create it. Create that passion in everything that you do.
How do you create passion?
Get fanatical. Get excited. You may feel like you are faking it at first, but eventually, what you put in will become what you put out. And your passion will develop.
Ask your boss what you can do to help the company grow. When he gives his answer, say out loud “That is so exciting – I am just so passionate about (Whatever industry that you are in) I just want to get busy helping this business grow”. Yes – this is corny. But this is where you need to start.
Get home, grab your spouse, dip her and give them the biggest kiss you have planted on them in awhile. This should be every single kiss every single time. Text them they are are amazingly beautiful. Put that passion back in.
Yes – this takes work to develop. It isn’t overnight. But it does work, and it will bring something extra to your life if you can do this every day.
Life is too short not too.
I maybe coming from a different place, but I think about my future baby that is on it’s way, and I cannot wait to be up till the wee hours of the morning, drag myself into work to execute a full days work, and be excited to come home and do it again. Yes – I will be tired. Yes – I may tell you a different story a few months after the bundle comes. But right now – my passion is telling that it will be the best experience ever.
And to those people who talk about, write about, and otherwise whine and complain about parenthood (or anything else for that matter), maybe you should have done more without kids so that you don’t have regrets. Hindsight is a clear 20/20. It is those regrets that is effecting your passion. But here is the good news: You can change your future. Start today and write an article on how your kids are the best thing that has ever happened to you. The next time someone tells you they are expecting, say “OMG – it is the best thing that you will ever happen in your life”. Don’t say “Oh it’s tough”. Don’t give me 5 things you would like to tell those without kids. Tell me how you have so much passionate for your kids that it hurts you to even try to explain how amazing your family is to you.
Passion makes the difference.
Live life with passion.