A while ago I was having one of those catch up lunches with one of my girlfriends. You know, the ones you legit need to schedule in order to maintain pre-Apple FaceTime in this wild, wild adulting world. We hit the topic of relationships and I was relating to her how I realized that I’m attracted to people who are really good at what they do.
It was a simple enough and perfectly sufficient conclusion at the time, but just last night during a conversation with another friend, while venting my frustrations about the lack of expert knowledge across certain fields of work, I had an epiphany:
There’s something deeper than ‘being good at what you do’ that’s so magnetising — it’s being passionate about what you do.
And I’m not talking about people who scribble ‘self-motivated’ or ‘driven’ on their CVs in the self-proclaimed Skills section. Neither am I referring to the ideology behind the quote I once had the misfortune of seeing an Instagram celebrity post: “I don’t love rich men; I love ambitious men and ambitious men are never poor.” I mean, seriously. Lastly, this kinda passion doesn’t manifest itself in inefficient workaholism. In fact, I’d proffer that passionate people work smart, not hard. Which brings me to my point:
Being passionate makes you good at what you do. Passion for something drives you to delve deeper into its inner workings, and to build on the work of past pioneers for the advancement of that field. It’s a rabid hunger that growls ‘how?’ ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ until one day that teacher, tiler or tradesman, through passion, perfection and sheer persistence, finds themselves at the top of their game.
…and getting better makes you more confident, which is the bee’s knees in attractive forces. Not to be confused with arrogance; this confidence stems from knowing that there’s a conference room, operating theatre, or some specific context where no one can pull the wool over your eyes. And that bubbles over into other areas of your life — you start speaking with authority, standing straight and all those other superhero characteristics.
The deep study of anything sparks some kind of introspection. I remember sitting in a 100-level Philosophy college class and everyone was waxing eloquently about history’s great thinkers, as one often does in such a setting, and the professor brought up the point that the process of learning doesn’t sit outside our lived experiences. In fact, we bring something of ourselves to each new level we unlock.
As we learn more about our passions, we learn more about ourselves and life, and what could be more beautiful?
Passionate people are rarely bored, or boring. Opening your mind to new knowledge is all-consuming. You’re always discovering something or solving mysteries. The best foundation blocks for conversation and consequently relationships are people with something new and interesting to say. And when they speak, the passion ignites a fire so powerful that it draws you in and warms you from the inside out.
By contrast, people who aren’t passionate about anything can be recognized by their greatest hits including “sup?” and “nothing much, wbu?”
…can I scratch my eyes out now, please.
Passionate people challenge you to be more and to do more. It’s invigorating spending time with people who are unapologetically pursuing their passions. When you’re around them, your hangups dissolve and you think, even if just for a moment, that you too can be anything you want to be. This kinda passion is infectious.
So as we plan for workouts, skin care routines and other outward enhancements, let’s make this a 2019 goal:
Find your passion.
This post was first published on The Ascent.