Passion is contagious

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ~Jack Kerouac

In a fine moment of synchronicity last week, a post came out on Zen Habit’s called Simple Daily Habits to Ignite Your Passion and I received an email from someone talking about the benefit that comes from having a Happiness Tribe. I wound up reading them back-to-back.

The first, and foundational, daily habit the blog post mentioned was surrounding oneself with passionate people. The author makes the point that we either rise or sink to the level of those we surround ourselves with. Passion is contagious, so if we surround ourselves with passionate people, we will become more passionate ourselves. If we surround ourselves with passionless people, that’s what we will become as well. (His entire list is worth reading, but the first point was the one that really captured my attention because of the synchronicity.)

The author of the email was making the same point about the effect of the people around us. She has been part of groups intentionally designed to bring together passionate, happy people for mutual support for almost 25 years and has found these to be critical to her own success in life.

I do have a few people in my life that have this kind of passion for something they want to do, and I find that spending time with them always fuels my own passion for life and for the things I want to accomplish. I am also surrounded by a lot of people who distrust passion. I spend many years in the corporate world where I was daily surrounded by people who had given up on their passions and lived a beaten down life on the job to pay the bills. Being passionate about anything was seen as dangerous because it made them hope for things they believed they could never have. I spent much of my life viewing things the same way.

As I begin this journey into self-employment by trying to find ways to make a living from things I am passionate about, I find that I am capable of much greater passion for life than I thought. I can feel dormant parts of my soul coming back to life like the bulbs sending shoots up from the soil in the early spring. I am discovering such joy in being open and available to my passions in life that I want to intentionally nurture this part of me. I want to surround myself as much as I can with other people whose passion for life burns “like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” What a glorious image!

I’ve already found myself deleting friends (or in some cases hiding them) on Facebook if the only things they ever posted there were complaints, whines, or angry diatribes. It’s not that I expect anyone to be happy at all times in every moment, but I am limiting my exposure to people who are stuck in unhappy places. This is completely different from listening to a friend who needs to vent or work through a rough time. This is about people who are stuck in negativity with no desire to move along. It’s the people who would answer “no” to the question about wanting to be happy in Monday’s flow chart.

The next step I need to do is to find ways to be more intentional about finding and spending time with positive, passionate people. Perhaps I need to start a group of my own for like-minded souls so we can encourage one another to “burn, burn, burn.” I’m not quite sure how to go about finding people for a group like that, but I’m looking into it. These two back-to-back messages are clearly trying to point me in that direction!

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.