A couple of weeks ago my first article explored beauty, or perhaps rigorously defended all beauty! Last week, I shared how my recent discovery of photography became a passion for me and my daughter who has autism. A good friend of mine once told me that things I love, I love passionately all or nothing. At that time, I can recall that those things (children aside) were basketball, hip hop and equality.
I’d been crazy about basketball since school and to this day I’m still as enthusiastic as a school boy fan. If any of you have seen the film Brown Sugar, there is a golden moment when the film cuts to various artists describing the moment they fell in love with hip hop for me it was hearing The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on The Wheels of Steel. I can remember what radio stations were like before hip hop, and it is so big now it could almost be talked about in terms of ‘pre’ and ‘post’ hip hop, similar to how our calendar is BC and AD.
Equality was something drummed into me by my mother. Through hip hop I learned that people were in fact treated differently, and that ignited my passion for equality from a passive to a proactive experience. Public Enemy and Gang Starr’s lyrics were too hard hitting to ignore.
It is important to have passion in our lives. Passion could of course mean love. I’m passionate about my partner and my children. Passion, it’s like a super love, almost obsessive, an ‘I can’t get enough of it’ kind of love. Not an addiction, but nonetheless what you are passionate about completes and defines you and makes you whole. That’s how I’ve been about hip hop. It’s not just a musical genre, it’s a culture to itself and true hip hop stands for something positivity, revolution, fighting oppression. No wonder it tied in with my love of equality, but the first thing I heard was simply beautiful beats and DJ’s blowing my mind with art created with vinyl and a needle.
I thought about looking up the definition of passion before I wrote this piece, but passion and the intensity of it, is such a personal thing, who could describe what my level of passion is? I guess just me.
How does passion help you? Does it give you a cause, a reason to be? A reason to love?
As I’ve grown older, I’ve found rather than being stuck in the same three passions of hip hop, basketball and equality, I’ve actually grown more passionate about things. I mentioned photography, but in the last few years I also discovered poetry and supporting theatre production and even more recently playing guitar, bass and music production. What becomes even more beautiful is when those recently discovered art forms combine with other passions .you know I’m on fire when I’m recording music in a hip hop style that’s backing a poet fighting for equality!!
There are many quotes about passion in the work place. They say if your job is something you are passionate about, you’ve got it made. That’s certainly a place I would like to get to. The day job pays the bills, I work hard, but it’s not my passion. I would love to be in a place where I can get up in the morning and love what I’m doing as a way of life. Some of you reading this will already be in roles that allow you to earn sufficiently from your passion to live your dreams. Many of us are stuck in jobs that we maybe happy in, but they do not define us as our passions do.
As we approach the weekend, let those like me who think about work with a little disappointment on a Sunday evening take heart. Have passion. Find passion. And when you have it, live it and let it define you. Let it hold your heart through the 9 to 5 and glow inside knowing that it sets you apart from those around you at work. And then look to find how you can make your passion work for you, and you for it. The most successful people seem to be living their passion. There are ways to make what you love work for you. Sometimes we may need to plan, we may need to take that extra qualification, to take a diversion, or even start over. But if we want it bad enough, we can make a living from what we’re passionate about.
I’m currently in transition. I know where my passions lie, and I know what I want to achieve. The day job is now functional for me and part of the wider plan. I need its money whilst on my journey to make my passions my life. Each day God willing, I take another step towards making a new reality, and until I get there, my passion gets me through the trudge of a day that I won’t let define me.
I’m sure many of you have taken leaps of faith and followed your dreams. I’d love to hear your stories. You inspire me.
Have a great weekend.