What comes first…the chicken or the egg…the job or the passion?

“Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”, so says Samuel Ulman. So how are you protecting your working soul from “wrinkles”, these mid-winter days? Where are you at regarding your daily stores of enthusiasm for all you do on-the-job? No energy for enthusiasm in these doldrums days of seemingly endless winter, you say? Are you absolutely sure about that? Let’s see. What comes first, anyway…energy or enthusiasm? It could be argued that physical and emotional energy fuel enthusiasm. On the other hand, enthusiasm is often the burst of gusto needed to get up and go with your energy.

Think back to the last time you thought you had no energy to do anything (perhaps at the end of a long and trying day). Imagine a friend calls offering a ticket to tonight’s long ago sold-out concert by your favourite artist (for me that would be Paul McCartney!). Wouldn’t you be ready to go in an hour? Wouldn’t you be astonished at the “emergency” store of energy you discovered within yourself? Where the heck did they come from?

Think. What came first? Enthusiasm! What came next? Energy! The energy to get up off the couch, get dressed and get out of the house, quick. All done with reserves of energy you didn’t know you had a few moments beforehand. It doesn’t matter which spurs the other. They’re both important to feeling passion for your daily work. And, of course, energy and enthusiasm are both close cousins of purpose, humour, professional self-worth and positive thinking. They all hang together for the best passionate workplace results.

Have you ever noticed that when some people show up at work the energy level goes up? They’re usually upbeat, charismatic people, easy to like and regularly make a positive contribution. I call these people, “energy angels”.

Others show up and the energy goes down, down, down. You can almost hear “whoosh…thud” as the energy gets sucked out of the room. I call them, “energy vampires”. Under which category do you fall? And those with whom you work?

As well, as this day–Valentine’s Day, 2007–marks the first anniversary of the release of my book, Getting Passion Out of Your Profession, tell me…what do you think comes first…does your job make you passionate about what you do for a living, or does your enthusiasm/your passion /your natural joie de vivre inform your job? What came first for you?

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