BY indefiniteloop

You only need to look up the definition, and origin of the word “Passion to understand that it doesn’t mean, what you think it does.

The Origin of the Word ‘Passion’.

n. late 12c., “sufferings of Christ on the Cross,” from Old French passion “Christ’s passion, physical suffering” (10c.), from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio) “suffering, enduring,” from past participle stem of Latin pati “to suffer, endure,” possibly from PIE root *pe(i)- “to hurt” (cf. Sanskrit pijati “reviles, scorns,” Greek pema “suffering, misery, woe,” Old English feond “enemy, devil,” Gothic faian “to blame”).

Sense extended to sufferings of martyrs, and suffering generally, by early 13c.; meaning “strong emotion, desire” is attested from late 14c., from Late Latin use of passio to render Greek pathos. Replaced Old English þolung (used in glosses to render Latin passio), literally “suffering,” from þolian (v.) “to endure.”

Sense of “sexual love” first attested 1580s; that of “strong liking, enthusiasm, predilection” is from 1630s. The passion-flower so called from 1630s.

The name passionflower – flos passionis – arose from the supposed resemblance of the corona to the crown of thorns, and of the other parts of the flower to the nails, or wounds, while the five sepals and five petals were taken to symbolize the ten apostles – Peter … and Judas … being left out of the reckoning. [“Encyclopaedia Britannica,” 1885] 1

“Passion: Latin pati meant suffer’ (it is the source of English patient). From its past participle stem pass- was coined in post-classical times the noun passio, denoting specifically the suffering of Christ on the cross. English acquired the word via Old French passion, but its familiar modern senses, in which strength of feeling has been trasferred from pain to sexual attraction and anger, did not emerge until the 16th century. Also from the Latin stem pass- comes passive, etymologically capable of suffering.2

“Follow Your Passion” is Definitely Bad Advice.

I don’t know about you, but every since I was in the middle leagues (high school), I’ve been given this advice by many people - close relatives, friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers. At that time, I considered it as, if I may, a blessing. Thus growing up, and doing things the way I wanted to was a big part of “Following My Passion”.

Today, I sit here, and remember those days. How naive I was, to think that I was following my passion(s). Following my emotions. I neither questioned the advice, nor did I try to understand what it meant; until fairly recently when a fellow blogger, and a friend - bxrtley shared Cal Newport’s video, which essentially tells you the same thing, that “Follow Your Passion” is a bad advice.

Cal Newport: "Follow Your Passion" Is Bad Advice .

Why You Shouldn’t Follow Your Passion, or Your Other Emotions, and Instead Should Always Be Content.

The above video got me thinking about passion, but it was lacking in the way that I couldn’t fully understand why it is that following one’s passion is essentially bad advice. Then came along a book (it deserves it’s own post, and so I am not going to write about the book here) that provided that final push off-the-horse. The book has some great advice, of which two I share, with you, today.

  1. If anything falls in your plate by chance, run away. It’s may be a trap.
  2. You’re enough. You, as an individual, have everything within you that you need. But this shouldn’t stop you from using what you’ve to get what you want. And, don’t be greedy about it.

For the sake of brevity let’s, for now, forget point no. 1. Let’s pick up point no. 2 - It simply states that you should know that you’re enough for whatever it is you want to achieve. You’ve everything you need within you, to achieve success (however you define that term). It requires deliberate work, patience, commitment, and focus. Not an easy list of ingredients, to have at ready with you. All of the four words mentioned in the previous statement require experiences that teach you the meaning of those words.

Coming back to ‘Passion’ it’s a feeling of pathos (see above), of suffering. That’s were the word comes from. It’s an emotion filled with suffering. How, and what does the word have to do anything with point no 2, you ask?

Well, the answer quiet simply is a logical one. Why would you want to follow suffering? As point number 2. above states that you’ve everything you need, and that you’re enough. So emotions caused by external wants, things, or desires shouldn’t come into play. What should come into play is your work, focus, commitments, and patience. Simply put, when you work towards something to achieve whatever goals you’ve set to achieve emotions shouldn’t be the driving force.

Now, I am not of the opinion here that emotions do not play an important role. What I mean to say is that if you know you’re enough, when you know that you’ve everything you need within you to do whatever it is you want to, then you should be satisfied, or happy always. No matter your external achievements. Emotions shouldn’t drive, or derive who you are.

This is where Point number 1 comes in, in short it means that don’t wait for chance, if you want to achieve something, then work towards achieving it. Put in the good work. If, and when chance does come around, and lay it in your laps then it may be too late, or too early.

“Leave nothing left to chance. Because you’ve, or you’ll have a hand in all of it.”

  1. “passion.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 04 Jun. 2015. 

  2. - Archive of Etymology Questions

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