While there's nothing particularly scientific about this list, I have found that among the people I have interviewed, and those I know who are living their passions every day, there are some interesting characteristics that they have in common. The 7 listed below represent those that I feel most directly relate to the philosophy of this blog and my book, Live Your Passion:
1. They have a deep sense of purpose and are often selfless in their actions:
This is perhaps the hallmark of all the passionate people I have interviewed and know. Their clear sense of purpose in life seems to lead to their attitudes of gratitude, kindness, compassion and selflessness. This spirit of "service to others" is a characteristic that, I believe, makes passionate people unique.
2. They are authentic and real:
Passionate people know themselves. They have a clear sense of their values and beliefs, and they live by them. They also know their strengths and their weaknesses, and focus on those things they are good at and enjoy.
3. They accept themselves as imperfect and growing:
Passionate people see themselves as growing and changing, always imperfect. Ironically, this imperfection is viewed as "perfection," because it allows them to change and grow. Passionate people allow themselves to be vulnerable, knowing that vulnerability is part of being alive - it's part of the human experience - denying it leads to a false sense of self.
4. They see life as a series of choices and options:
Passionate people see the big picture that life has to offer. They see many choices and are always exploring what options life offers. They think outside the box in creative and innovative ways. They welcome change as part of the process of finding and living new passions.
5. They take action to live their passions every day:
The passionate people I have interviewed see life as a precious thing, knowing that it could be taken away anytime. They have a sense of urgency to their day. They tend to focus on the most important things in their lives, letting go of what they see as trivial - such as the pressures created by society, media, and others to act or be a certain way. They plan and set goals but are flexible in their thinking. They do not lock themselves into achieving goals that are no longer consistent with their values, beliefs and purpose in life.
6. They are enthusiastic about the success of others:
One of the most impressive things about the passionate people I know is that they have a deep sense of caring and compassion for others. That often shows itself in a sense of enthusiasm about the success of others. They sincerely want others to be happy and experience good things in life.
7. They take responsibility for their lives but are not afraid to ask for support:
Passionate people recognize that they are in the driver's seat as they travel on their journey of life. They take full responsibility for their decisions (choices, #3 on the list) but when they need additional information, a new skills, or perhaps mentoring from an expert, they quickly seek it out.
Let me know your thoughts on this.... as I said earlier, this is my, unscientific list, based on my philosophy and my many interviews with some very passionate (and cool) people. Also - I am interested in hearing your story or those of others you feel are living their passions in a big way!
Until next time, be well and live your passion!