It doesn’t have to be a co-worker you take out for coffee. It could be a daughter or son, your cousin, neighbour, a friend, your spouse…
The question, “What are you passionate about?” is a direct line of communication to the heart. It speaks to purpose without asking “what is your purpose in life?” Which for some people can be a daunting question if they’ve never really stopped to think about their purpose in the world. Being asked the question,”What is your purpose in life?”, especially if we’ve never explored the question, can cause us to feel vulnerable, exposed. It leads us directly into our heads as we scramble to find the ‘right answer’. And, because we think there’s a right answer, it can ignite the fear we won’t get the answer right, or that we’ll be judged if our purpose isn’t clear, or ‘big’, or headline making.
But when we ask, “What are you passionate about?”, we are speaking heart-talk. We are saying, “I have a deep interest in knowing who you are and what you’re about.” In the open expanse of the question, people click into that space within where their heart beats freely and their mind knows what they’re talking about is not about getting the answer right, but rather about what calls to their heart.
People can be passionate about many things. Collecting stamps. Being a Big Brother or Big sister. Their family. Reading. Mountain Climbing. Volunteering at a hospice.
Asking them to share about their passion, and listening deeply, builds connection. It strengthens the bonds that unite us as human beings and as we listen deeply, gives the gift of being heard, seen, known and valued.
Ask a question and listen deeply.
You may be surprised by what happens next.