Passion was one of the 20 most overused words in the UK in 2013. As we use it so often, we forget how a deeper analysis of its meaning can bring alive new ideas for what we post on social media. When I started to dive deeper into what passion really means, I came across a spot-on definition by a Dutch professor in Organizational Psychology of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Arnold Bakker. He defines passion as a supreme state of mind regarding your work, characterized by vitality (you burst with energy), dedication and flow. Flow is an important aspect here, which he describes as a state of consciousness where people are totally immersed in an activity and enjoy it intensely. Passion is something that comes from inside. If you feel passionate, things go automatically, you work on something and it just goes by itself. It’s the feeling that you want to start right now. It feels effortless.
What entrepreneurs say
I have analyzed several stories from entrepreneurs and when they discuss their passion, they mention things like:
- “I intrinsically enjoy helping others with my skills and expertise.”
- “I feel extremely satisfied when my customers are happy, that gives me a lot of energy.”
- “Passion is a driving force which keeps me going. It makes me get up early in the morning and keeps me going if needed till late at night.”
I tend to describe passion and flow as something that has no ending; it feels like an endless source of energy and ideas.
Passionate consultants, do they exist?
Passion is often related to things you can feel, touch and see and therefore often linked to people who create things. Think of an artist or fashion designer. Or people who achieve amazing things like sports people or mountaineers. However, I am convinced that passion also has to do with the effect of what you do. For example, it can be that you feel passionate about your work as a trainer or consultant because your work contributes to better business results or better teamwork, or to another person’s success, or you feel that you make a difference in someone else’s life.
Why is it so important to let others feel and see what you are passionate about? If you show that you are passionate about something, you will inspire the people around you. It is almost like giving them a bit of the inspiration you feel inside. It is what a passionate photographer mentioned in an interview: She says. “You need to be inspired. A customer feels if you are or if you are not. They choose to work for you because of your passion.”
There are many questions you could ask yourself to further define your passion. I will give you four to start with.
- Which activities feel effortless and make you get up in the morning or work late at night?
- If you analyze your work experiences; what activities do you enjoy most?
- Is there something you have been passionate about as a child, which you still enjoy doing?
- What do you keep on trying to do?
Share your experiences
So why does your passion matter on social media and how to share it online? I strongly believe that sharing what you are passionate about helps to build a strong foundation for a meaningful relationship on social media. And the good news is that social media offer a lot of possibilities to show what you are passionate about. Blogging, for example, is a great way to share what’s on your mind and to let others get an idea of who you are. The better you know what it is that makes you tick (‘your why’), the easier it will be to relate to others. The responses you get on your blogs show whom your topics resonate with; this is where the connection starts.
Joining online communities, for example on LinkedIn and Facebook, is also a good way to connect with others. If you join a community because you expect to get in touch with people who could be your clients, find out what you have in common with the members of this community. That’s a good starting point for a relationship. Or try to literally visualize what you enjoy by sharing your pictures and videos online. You will see that it will trigger those who share similar ideas, values and interests.
Do you find it difficult to define what you are passionate about? Or do you know what you intrinsically enjoy, but struggle to find ways to share it online? I would love to hear your thoughts.