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When you look up the definition of passion in the dictionary, you run across several ones. The definition that I refer to in this series is intense enthusiasm: a strong liking or enthusiasm for a subject or activity. When I say true passion, I mean the one thing that really resonates with your inner most being. True passion is the key to finding your personal legend. The day I realized my true passion was the day that I had ended my search for something better in life. Though I eventually found my personal legend, I must say that it all started with the right timing and the right situation.
I was a junior in college and as you may recall in my first post, “Personal Legend: My Journey” (if you haven’t read it yet I encourage you to do so) I was just very unhappy with every aspect of my life. In search of trying to figure out what was missing, in April of 2008, I turned to the only person I knew could help me that I had kind of neglected for a really long time – God. I will not talk much about this part of my personal legend because I do not wish to impose anything upon my readers. But what I will say is that by allowing God to guide me, I was able to find my personal legend a lot easier.
I mentioned in the previous post that I had read a book in January 2008 that had sown a seed and left me feeling restless. As a result, I started finding ways in which I would get involved while being a full time student, working part-time, and being in a sorority – which was at times a part-time job itself. I found an organization called Keep a Child Alive (KCA). The organization was co-founded by Alicia Keys and serves to provide medication and care to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. The organization has a college program that allows college students to establish a chapter at their current schools in order to raise awareness about the pandemic and fundraise to support the mission of KCA. I immediately got involved in the organization by joining their executive regional board as the great lakes regional leader overseeing 26 chapters in 5 states. Additionally, I started a chapter at Northern Illinois University. My involvement with this organization helped nurture and cultivate my passion to serve the most vulnerable humans in what at times can seem as an unjust world – children.
Throughout the whole 2008-2009 academic year, I was battling whether or not math education was right for me as a major and even as a career. One conversation I had with my pastor made me realize what my passion was and thus what my personal legend is. You see, your passion is always connected to your purpose. In the conversation, I was basically venting and voicing my frustration with hopes of him helping me figure out what was going through my head and my heart. My pastor asked me one particular question, “If you were to be paid $1 million to do anything what would it be and why?” In other words, what “job” would I chose to do and why if money wasn’t a factor?
Check out the posts regarding never getting a real job part 1 and part 2.
My answer was: “If I graduated with a bachelor’s in math, completed my teacher certification, and secured a teaching job but KCA offered me a position to work for them, I would take the job with KCA in a heartbeat no questions asked.” And there it was folks, my passion realized! Now, the question had become when and how do I pursue it? But that is a different post for a different day. For now I would like to leave you with the question that helped me realize what my passion was:
“If you were to be paid $1 million to do anything what would it be and why?”
Take some time this week to think about the question and let me know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to come back next week for the concluding post to this series, in which I give specific tips to finding your personal legend and actually pursuing it.