Posts Tagged: passion

Jan 11

Good Pain

Hi, good to see you again.

I have no idea why I am tackling this topic on a Monday morning.  It just popped into my mind so here I am pecking away talking about… pain.  Of all the things pleasant things in the world, I come up with pain.

I heard an interesting story on the news the other day.  It was about a young boy that didn’t feel any physical pain. 

At first glance I wondered the significance of the condition that warranted a news story.  But oh my!  The boy never knew when he hurt himself.  He would cut himself, step on something, touch a burner on the stove… and never knew it.

The parents would have to routinely examine the child during the day to see if he had injured himself.

This story sparked a quizzical banter in my head.  Scary huh?  Yep, you should have heard all the ruckus as I wrestled with the dynamic and reality of pain.

The amazing thing about pain is that everyone has an opinion because we all have experience with it.  Experience tends to make experts of us all.

The reality of pain creates an interesting paradox.  Pain is both good and bad.  In fact, one can build a larger case for pain than against pain.

I believe that most people think that the presence of pain to some degree in life is a good thing.  But if it is a good thing, why do we avoid it? 

Well, maybe because… it H U R T S !

I don’t know, call me silly, but I don’t like to hurt.  In fact I try to avoid things that are painful, uncomfortable and inconvenient. 

But I also know the value and importance of pain.  In balance the good from pain far exceeds the bad.  As I said earlier, for me pain tends to fall into two camps – good and bad.

Bad pain tends to be that which is self inflicted by poor decisions, selfishness or downright stupidity.  Some can make the argument that one learns from that type of pain.  Yes, I think that is true but I still believe there is some pain that is absolutely unnecessary.

There is also good pain.  In a strange sort of way pain not only lets us know that we are alive but where we are alive.

The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain.

-         Lord Byron          


We are made to feel… feel physically and emotionally.  We are created to feel deeply, powerfully and passionately.  “Feeling” is a good thing.  Yes, you guessed it; feelings get us in trouble too. 

I tend to think that’s where pain comes in.  Pain keeps us calibrated with reality and helps us avoid those excesses that damage.   Pain causes us to back off where it’s dangerous and pinpoints the spots that need tending to.

Then there are times when we invite pain.  We intentionally engage in something that we know is painful. 

It is those unique points of clarity where we decide that the cost of pain is worth the reward that follows.  Pain is part of the process or path that takes us where we want and need to go. 

There has never been a great athlete who died not knowing what pain is.

- Bill Bradley


We all could add several examples to Bill Bradley’s list.  But one example that comes immediately to mind is anyone who experiences the joy of a great loving relationship.  To know that level of joy requires the pain of having difficult conversations, addressing hard issues, and being vulnerable. 

I would say that anything worthwhile, powerful, and good in ones life requires times of chosen pain.

A Weird Truth:  Most bad pain in life comes from not being willing to engage in good pain at the right time.

That which is escaped now is pain to come.

- Ancient Proverb


Knowing that pain is good for me doesn’t make me like it anymore.  It’s just that this knowledge helps me understand life’s process of getting to those places I want to go and allows me to embrace pain a bit more readily. 

Thanks for hanging out with me.

See you Thursday.

Jul 10

To or From

Hi, welcome.

Unlike Monday I am passionate this morning about today’s topic.  We are just three days from Independence Day.

I am passionate about FREEDOM.

One our top four holidays in the United States is the Fourth of July where we celebrate our independence as a country from the British Empire.

Whenever you look at something like freedom it is important to look at it from both sides.  Both sides?  Yes, both sides.  When seeking freedom it is important to know if we are getting freedom “from” or “to”.  This is a very important delineation as to the core motivator of any action to become free.

I had a friend one time that was planning to take a new job and I asked him if he was leaving from or going to.  This question set him back and caused him to think about what was driving the decision.  He eventually decided to not take the new job because it crystallized for him that he was trying to get away from something vs. go to something.  For him, he knew that he needed to face the issues of his current job and not escape via another job.

There is no question that most of the time there is both a “from” and a “to” when seeking freedom… but one is dominant.

Having a clear understanding of the driving motivator may not change your course of action as it did with my friend but it does provide important context for our actions.

I mentioned last Thursday that a driving passion of a friend of mine is to help a person to become free from anything that keeps them from experiencing the fullness of life.  Over coffee he was trying to challenge me about things that tend to trap me from taking some bolder steps in business (and life).  He was being my freedom fighter.

Side Note: There are a lot of people who will stand on the sidelines and cheer us on and provide encouragement.  But there are only a few that will fight for you.

Think about that for a second.  What did you think of first ?  Honestly my first thought was an analysis of who I know that fights for me.

The bigger question is, are you a fighter or just a supporter?  I believe that there are people around you right now that need someone to fight for and with them, not just an encourager on the sidelines cheering them on.

The most important aspect of gaining freedom is that we have to realize that we are not free.  There are some things that are very clear that we know we need freedom from.  Maybe its an addiction, way of thinking, debt, etc.

But I also believe that there are some things that have us captured to which we are completely oblivious.  It is not even on our radar screen that something has us trapped because it is the world we know.

I freed a thousand slaves and could have freed a thousand more if they only knew they weren’t slaves.  – Harriet Tubman

We are not free yet.  We have achieved the freedom to be free.  – Nelson Mandela

Hopefully I have given you something to think about as we celebrate our freedom.

See you Monday.

Jun 10

A Change of Plans

Hello, me again.  It must be Monday.    

In the last blog entry I shared about a friend that talked with me about finding my resonate passion.

I thought about my friend’s charge and was all geared up to talk about PASSION.  I was going to talk about finding your passion, the power of passion and all sorts of good stuff. 

I was planning on exploring how discovering your passion drives behavior and how passion can easily override logic and throw our lives out of balance.  The same fuel that drives life can burn up a life. 

I even ran across some fancy dancy quotes from minds greater than mine expressing the blessings and curses of passion.

Fancy Dancy Quotes:

“It is with our passions as it is with fire and water, they are good servants, but bad masters.”                – Aesop

“The passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways and dangerous only in one, through their excess.”   – Christian Nevell Bovee

“Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson


While I was mentally preparing for this blog I recognized the fact that… I’m not passionate about writing about passion.  Pretty sad huh? 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a slug slowly crawling along in this life leaving a trail of slime as in indicator of existence.  I have a lot of energy around certain things.  Just not writing about passion today.

For some reason it felt contrived.  Passion is to be spontaneous not manufactured.  Something like passion should flow and not be forced.  In fact, if anything, I should be using energy to restrain the flow vs. energy to pump something out. 

So as I type away I am conflicted.   I know that if I write with passion the invisible energy is somehow mysteriously transmitted to your heart and you are touched on a deeper level.  If you’re feeling touched on a deeper level while reading today’s blog it probably means you have gas.

Oh well, I don’t think I’ll be causing any profound aha’s today.  But who knows?  Maybe you’re the perfectionistic type that finds it difficult to give yourself permission not to perform at top form.  This blog may give you enough courage to give yourself a rest. 

Now there are others out there that will take any excuse to sit on your ass.  If so, this blog today is not for you.

If I’m not careful I’ll start getting passionate about something.  I better quit while I still have my wits about myself.

See you Thursday.  Thanks for hanging out with me.

Jun 10

The Point of Passion

Howdy.  I’m movin kinda slow this morning.  It is obvious that I was moving slow yesterday because today is Friday and I am typing Thursday’s blog. 

Although I was moving slow yesterday there was something that occurred that has been poking around the edges of my mind.  I had coffee with a dear friend yesterday and he was talking about the importance of finding the resonant passion in our life. 

There are a lot of exciting things that energize us but they tend to be short lived.  Engaging in things that are exciting provide momentary explosions of energy and enjoyment.  But resonant passion… that is energy and joy on a different level.

People who are musical talk about the resonance that certain rooms possess.  You can hum and when you hit the exact pitch and the whole room seems to vibrate.

Side Note:  For some reason large public bathrooms are particularly exciting. 

Now, now we are talking about music.  I know that I am weird but not that kind of weird.  I am a nice weird… I think it’s time to quickly move on.


A resonant passion is something that makes your whole life vibrate.  There are parts of our lives that tend to be mundane.  That’s normal.  There are the daily requirements that maintain the basics of life.  If not careful the mundane can become the focal point and our lives dry up.

I believe that resonant passion is something that touches you in such a way that it makes the mundane meaningful.  The mundane has meaningful purpose because it allows greater passion to be realized.

“We could hardly wait to get up in the morning.”

-  Wilbur Wright


Typically I am a morning person.  But to have a resonant passion that makes me impatient for the morning is intriguing.  I remember as a kid wanting morning to come quickly on special occasions such as Christmas, vacation, or trash day (I threw in trash day to just see if you were paying attention… although trash day can be pretty exciting).

My friend continued to push me to think about times in my life when I was engaged in something productive that made me feel alive and vibrant.  What was it about those events that sparked life?  As he shared he talked about the fact that it wasn’t the specific activity that made him alive but what it represented.  The specific activity tapped into something that was deeper.

He indicated that his resonant passion was setting people free from their self-imposed limitations.  As we were talking he was getting more and more excited… vibrating you might say.  Why?  Because he was trying to help me break free of my self-imposed limitations. 

So the question for myself (and for you) is, what is it that sparks life… makes me vibrate?  I have to remember not to get locked in to the specific activity but what the activity touches.

So my self assignment this week is to be attuned to the things that make me vibrate. 

Side Note:  If you happen to be in a hotel room while reading this and you’re getting all vibraty you may need to turn off the “Magic Fingers”. 

That statement really shows my age.

See you Monday