A retired gym teacher and gymnastics coach recently told me that Olympic athletes all have three things in common:
1) Natural Talent
He said, "You need an even amount of all three to make it as an Olympian."
After he said that I thought - well, we all have natural talents (be it sales, painting, dog training, mentoring, communicating, etc), and we all can gain that confidence by practicing that gift over and over again, but PASSION - now that's not something everyone has. Or is it?
Do we develop passion over time? Are we born with passion? How do you get it?
My hypothesis was that we ALL have passion, but it can GROW exponentially over time.
I put this hypothesis to the test by attempting my very first dog portrait. I've only drawn or used colored pencil to create them, but never using acrylic paint.
I only wanted to paint one, but my experience drove me to paint another that very same day.
My experience was bright with color, silly with bow ties, emotional with sweet puppy eyes, and energizing with a new challenge that I wanted to master.
The other part of it was the purpose behind the painting. And it's the same purpose behind all my paintings and drawings - to redirect troubled minds onto something more positive, sweet, and full of life, like puppies and kitties.
So I realized after this little experiment that passion involves a lot of feeling. A lot of love. And it's like a burning fire.
I've had the passion to create art since I was born, but it burns brighter the more I love. It's like there's a direct correlation between love and passion. The more I love the people I'm serving and the experience of creating, the more my passion grows.
On the other hand, when that fire is not being fed, it slowly dies.
Three years ago I wasn't creating any art. I thought the more I focused on myself and my career, that the more I would find passion and purpose. And yet, that did nothing but make me feel more empty and more depressed.
After I fully surrendered to Christ, I realized that my passion and purpose was there all along. I just needed to feed it with lots of practice and patience, and let God do the rest.