Passion and Authenticity

A few months ago, I started watching a bunch of VlogBrothers videos back to back. (Side note: I then realized that John Green, one of the brothers, wrote The Fault in Our Stars, which is a fantastic book.) Anyway, the vlogbrothers started DFTBA – Don’t Forget to Be Awesome. And since then I keep thinking (or, more accurately in my case, worrying) that I forgot to be awesome. Or am forgetting to be.

I wanted to define awesome, so that I would know if it described me or not. I started researching awesome. I wondered if one can learn to be awesome. Then, I found Neil Pasricha’s The 3 A’s of Awesome Tedtalk. Neil’s 3A’s work because they are applicable to everything – walking the dog, cleaning the kitchen, managing a meeting. . .


(Spoiler alert!) One of Neil’s A’s of awesome is authenticity. Authenticity is part of being awesome because it allows more genuine connections and builds stronger relationships. And this is where watching youTube videos dovetails with my day job. I work in HR and manage a small team, and in the last several years, have been working to find a way to balance who I am with a conservative work environment. (That’s is why I started this blog, to figure out how to get more recess into a grown up career.)

Then mynameiskate posted this:

“I was given the advice once, in regards to management and innovation, that each month I should read a magazine that had nothing to do with my field of practice or interest. To pick up something like “Field Technicians Monthly” or “Sewage Treatment Quarterly”. Because first and foremost they were about passion – and by reading about someone else’s passion for their career might inspire some in my own. And also because great ideas about management and innovation can come from anywhere. To keep a sharp mind and open creative spirit, it is imperative to have a regular stream of new ideas and experiences available.”

YES! The key to being authentic and having strong, genuine connections with other people is to follow your passion! It’s making sense, it’s clicking, I know this isn’t a new idea, but it’s presenting itself in a new way to me, and I’m putting it together on my own. I love both the idea of broadening where we get ideas and experiences, and how they can fuel our individual passions for our work.

I bounced around the internets a bit to figure out how to find your passion. Richard St. John does a great job explaining the Power of Passion in this TEDtalk. However, he makes it sound easy to know what your passion is – and sometimes it’s not! At least, I hope it’s not, because I haven’t found mine yet.

FastCompany published an article and exercises to help Find Your Purpose and Passion for Work. And before I got too discouraged about not knowing my passion yet, I remembered a great piece by Malcolm Gladwell  from the New York Times reminding us that sometimes finding your passion takes time and that there are “greats” that we think of that really were (or are) Late Bloomers.

Something is happening here, folks, and I’m going to follow this pursuit of passion (sounds vaguely naughty, doesn’t it?) to get back to the original goal of this blog – to figure out how to have work feel more like play, to make an impact and to live what I believe, even if I’m not sure what that is just yet.

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