The Merriam-Webster definition of passion is a strong feeling or excitement for something or about doing something. The Urban dictionary goes deeper. Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body, and soul into something as is possible.
We can be passionate about many things. We can be passionate about many things at once. Sometimes it can be hard to pin point what it is that we are passionate about. Or you might be like me. Your passion is like a moving target that keeps moving. It is hard to hit. That reminds me of what I have told my bosses at Dillons grocery store. I will be rushing around working hard and they will want to talk. Usually when you talk to your boss, it is not good. They are going to find more jobs for you or coach you on what you are doing wrong. I avoid my bosses by walking fast and acting like I am on a mission. If they ask why I am in a hurry, I like to give them this answer. "It is hard to hit a moving target." Usually they will smile and chuckle.
As a kid I loved sports. I loved to watch baseball, basketball, football, etc. I loved ABC Wide World of Sports. They had a saying at the beginning of the show. " The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." They would show players celebrating their victories. This was the thrill of the victory part. Then they would show a ski jumper as he crashed and fell off the side of the ski ramp. It looked so painful every time I watched it. The agony of defeat. I also loved playing sports. Basketball and baseball were two sports that I was very passionate about.
I love to play guitar. As a kid I took piano lessons. Piano is a great instrument and I appreciate it more today than I did as a kid. It wasn't cool in the 60's and 70's to play piano. Guitar was cool. I liked acoustic guitar over electric guitar. Acoustic guitars have a sweet sound. It is a warm sound that I fell in love with.
I started taking guitar lessons as an adult. I was nineteen years old and took lessons from a sixteen year old girl who played at church. I remember the first song that I learned. It was an Eagles song. "Lying Eyes". You can't hide those lying eyes. I have owned and played guitars for the last forty years. I was terrible but I was passionate about learning to play. I remember when all my songs sounded like strum, strum, strum. Lying Eyes sounded like Witchy Woman. At this stage you don't want to play name this tune. Trust me.
I got better and then I wanted to play for people. One of the first times I played was for Junior church at Eastside Baptist church. I don't remember what song I played. It was probably a old fashioned hymn. I have played at a lot of different places over the years. I played guitar with at four different churches in Topeka.
I was attending Topeka Baptist and they had more guitar players than any one church needed. I was not getting to play on a regular basis so I went to a coffee shop and asked for a gig. I was so shocked when they said, "Yes." They asked me to play for two hours. It was time to learn some more songs to fill up all of my time. It was also time to learn the lyrics to the songs. I had developed the habit of only learning one verse or the chorus. I had to actually learn all the words to the songs.
Everybody can sing. Some people do it a lot better than others. I am not one of those not so gifted singers. I started writing songs to compensate for my singing. If you write your own songs and you can't sing it, you can only blame yourself. This is how Bob Dylan dealt with not being a very good singer. If it works for Bob, maybe it can work for me.
This was the start of playing music at coffee shops. I played regularly at the Classic Bean. It is a really nice venue. I was even paid to play. Doing what you love and getting paid for it. Can it get any better than this? I started writing a new song for every concert that I played. This went on for a couple years. The coffee shop changed managers and changed the format. They started going with more bands and less singer songwriters.
This was a chance for me to devote more time to song writing. I started spending less time playing guitar and more time working on songs. I started keeping lists of possible song titles. I would also write down any song ideas that I had. I started having a piece of paper by the bed on my dresser. If I woke up in the middle of the night, I would be able to write down my great idea. Sometimes they were not very good, but at 2 am I wasn't a very good judge of quality.
Songwriting is my latest passion. I love it. It is a lot of work and it isn't easy. If it was easy everybody would be a songwriter. I like to write songs that use imagery. I also want my songs to say something. We all have something to say.
Figuring out what you are passionate takes some time. It is easy to get sidetracked. Sometimes it grows into something bigger and better. My passion for guitar playing turned into writing songs. I record my songs and make rough demo's. I thought that this might be something that I was passionate about. It isn't. Mixing and editing a track is very time consuming and it wasn't fun. This is a job for me to have someone else do. Someone is passionate about it. Half of figuring out your passion is knowing what you don't want to do.