Team AO,

I was reading today and came across some excellent thoughts on the issue of passion. What is passion? Most of the time we relate the word passion to an intimate relationship between a man and a woman. For those of us that have ever fallen in love we know that passion can cause a person to do some crazy things, but that is for another discussion.

Today, I want to take some time to explore passion as it relates to leadership and the accomplishment of one’s God given purpose and vision. Here is a test that one can use to determine if they are passionate about something in their lives… If you can stop doing a thing then you are not passionate about that thing. For instance, Michelangelo in painting his masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel became so engrossed in his vision that he went without food, and bathing for weeks on end. He laid upon his back and painted himself nearly blind for four years in order to complete his vision. In essence, he could not quit. His passion for completing that which he had started drove him to greatness.

So the question begs…What are you passionate about? What vision do you have that you cannot shake? What people, dreams, hopes and aspirations provide you with an unwillingness to give up? For many of us we may not have truly identified our passion as of yet, but many of us have some big clues, and we may even secretly deny our passions for fear of failure and responsibility. Well what better time to uncover that which stirs our souls, and start to run in that direction.

Passion does three things for the individual that is willing to bask in it’s flames. First it energizes us to get up a make something happen. A person with passion needs no motivation, they jump out of the bed and chase down the next challenge. This is why Michael Jordan was the first to the gym and the last to leave, he wasn’t practicing basketball, he was living his passion. Secondly, passion renews the life back into dead situations. So often we see people just surviving life because they have lost all passion, and in an instant they re-discover their passion and become alive again. Thirdly, passion strengths one to fight another day. Often when we choose to pursue our dreams, it seems like everything begins to come against us at once. But passion can comfort the most weary soldier once discovered.

Passion manifests itself differently for each of us. Some have the passion to build of create things, others have a passion to leave a contributing legacy for generations to come. Many have a passion for fixing injustices and wrongs. Whatever area you feel most compelled, I challenge you as I challenge myself to uncover your passion and let it burn in 2009. The world needs you!

Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

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