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Live from FEI 2013: Passion for Work

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Todd Henry's session started with him asking for permission to get "touchy feely."

With a resounding, "Yes!" from the crowd the session began...

Hmm...did you know Jimi Hendrix started by opening for the Monkees? Well, as you can imagine it didn't work out. We didn't start out as kids saying "we want to be yes-men, we want to be overlooked, we want to be marginalized." Interestingly, when we were younger perhaps we were better at tapping into our passion.

But, what is passion?

Passion is a misused term. You aren't really as passionate about your loved on as you are about ice cream. The root of the word passion is "to suffer." This begs the question, what work are you willing to suffer for? What are you willing to pour yourself out over?

As it turns out, passion isn't one thing. Passion is many things. We are "building a body of work."

Ask yourself, "What is the change in the world that exists because you spent time and energy today?" Once you're over the procrastination, the fear, the perceived consequences of failure, you'll be on your way to discover your passion. And, if you need help:

Follow the arrows
There are probably hints in your life where what you did really resonated, what were those times?

Find your strengths
Ask yourself what others think you're great at.

Plan for experimentation
Life isn't always scripted. Allow time to try new things.

Mix and match
Apply skills to adjacent opportunities.

Notice, then act 
There may be a platform that you can find in your work that drives you. Passion may not be about the mechanics of the job, but what it allows you to do.

If that's not enough to help figure out your passion, ask yourself these questions:

What angers you?
What makes you cry?
What have you mastered (or what are the platforms that already exists?
What gives you hope?
What terrifies you?
What change do you crave in the world (and what are you going to do about it?)

Alicia Arnold holds a Master of Science in Creativity, Innovation and Change Leadership from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College and an M.B.A in Marketing from Bentley University. She enjoys writing about creativity and innovation and is published with Bloomberg Businessweek, the Huffington Post, The National Association of Gifted Children, and iMedia Connection. In her role as an award winning, digital marketer, she uses her passion for creativity and innovation to develop breakthrough digital and social experiences. You can connect with Alicia on Twitter @alicarnold.

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