13 Random Thoughts on Passion I Couldn’t Hold in Any Longer

“When passion is involved, the rules change.”

That sentence is NOT a scientifically proven fact.
That sentence is NOT a Wikipedia entry.
That sentence is NOT a statistic.


I don’t believe in statistics. Statistics prove NOTHING. Statistics are fabricated pieces of bullshite that people manipulate to make themselves look better.

I believe in EXPERIENCE … because it is founded upon TRUTH.

And truth is currency.

“When passion is involved, the rules change.”

That’s what’s been on my mind a lot lately: Passion. So, I wanted to share 13 ideas on the topic of passion. In no particular order, with no particular agenda:

1. Channel your passion. Into your job. Into your family. Into your life. Into everything. Think of yourself as a conduit. A catalyst. Find a way to embed passion into the pavement that leads the way to wherever you’re going. You’ll arrive there faster, better, with more fun and by your own design. Where are you channeling YOUR passion?

2. Convert your passions. Into a job, a cause, a mission, a movement or a purpose that gets you out of bed thirty minutes before your alarm goes off. Transform that which lights your heart and soul on fire and leverage it in the service of others, of the world, and of God. What gets you so excited that you can’t WAIT to get out of bed in the morning?

3. Express unqualified passion. You don’t need a degree. You don’t need a certification. You need to have love and longing and LIGHTNING in your heart. Because the world cannot resist a man on a mission. And there is nothing more attractive, more approachable and more beautiful than a person exploding with passion. What comes OOZING out of you that inspires others?

4. Have secondary passions. It’s OK to have more than one passion. Maybe one is your job, one is your solace and one is your service to your community. It doesn’t matter. Have as many passions as you want. It doesn’t matter WHAT you’re passionate about; it only matter THAT your passionate about something. What three things do you HAVE to do every day?

5. Have sweeping passion. Don’t be afraid to say, “My passion is PEOPLE,” or “My passion is helping others,” or “My passion is humor.” Cool. It doesn’t have to be something specific. Make it broad. Make it bold. Make it huge. Allow sub-passions to formulate on their own. What generalities get YOUR blood flowing?

6. Let passion prioritize. Passion makes decision making easier. Use it as your barometer, your compass, your map and your walking stick. Let passion lead the way. Organize your life around your passions. Ask yourself what your top three passions are. Then ask yourself what your top three activities during your week are. See if they’re aligned. If not, no worries. That just means it’s time to re-prioritize. How are YOU using your passion in your decision making process?

7. Make passion palpable. So obvious that you don’t even need to tell people what you passion is. So unarguable that it’s assumed you’re completed obsessed and driven by it. There’s no question in people’s mind about what flavor of Kool-Aid you’ve been chugging all day. What is it about you that you can’t help but NOT do?

8. Mobilize your passion. Use it in the service of others. Give it wheels and legs. Think of it as the coal powering the locomotive of your life. Stop watching TV. Get off your ass and get off to the races, whatever races are needed to move closer to the validation of your existence. What is it about you that you can’t help but not BE?

9. Passion creates fire. In your heart. In your eyes. In your body. In your soul. What’s more, the fire created by passion is SO contagious, it unflinchingly burns and chars and smokes everything it its path – yet in a good way. The type of fire you never want to douse. The type of fire you gladly watch with joy as the light and heat soaks your being. What types of flames are YOU emitting?

10. Practice with passion. How you play is how you practice. Period. Not just for sports, but also for any action you’re preparing for. Whether you’re in a hotel room in Columbus the night before a HUGE speech; sitting in your rental care in the parking lot of a BIG customer, ready to close that sale; or whether you’re sitting in the bathroom stall going over your vows before you tie the knot … practice with passion. It’ll make your final performance a cakewalk. How are you inserting passion into YOUR preparation process?

11. Reawaken your passion. Maybe it was overshadowed, blocked or buried somewhere along the way. Maybe your inner choir of vicious voices – comprised of parents, teachers, religious leaders and siblings – put your passion to bed. Fine. Get over it. Wake that sumbich up and announce to the world, “Guess who’s back…!” Whom are YOU ready to make look like an idiot?

12. Remain passionate despite. Despite the haters. Despite constant failure. Despite having no idea what hell you’re doing. Despite ANYTHING. Suck it up. Keep the flame of passion burning voraciously for as long as you’re still breathing. Do that, and the spirit of your passion will remain alive forever, even when you’re six feet under. What will YOU be buried with?

13. Suffering breeds passion. From great suffering comes great awakening. So, next time you go through something really terrible, really big or really ugly, remember that the suffering you’re experiencing is the gateway to something awesome, something enlightening. You may not know it at the time, and it may take a few months or even years until you realize it, but never forget that beautiful flowers can still grow in a pile of manure. What is this atrocity teaching YOU?

When passion is involved, the rules change.

That’s what my experience has taught me.

Stick yourself (and your passion) out there. TODAY.

Does your calendar reflect your passion?

For the list called, “”86 Passion-Finding Questions to Discover What You Love,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Hire Scott to speak at your next company meeting and he will show his nametag tattoo on stage! No extra charge.

Book The Nametag Guy here.

25 Passion-Finding Questions to Invite Someone to Talk about What They Love

When people start talking ABOUT or get on the topic OF their passion, it’s interesting to note the changes in their communication patterns.

They get excited.
Their eyes light up.
They become more engaged.

Their emotions heighten.
Their energy level increases.
Their defensiveness decreases.

They become more comfortable.
They seem more relaxed.
Their posture grows sturdier.

They talk with more speed and less effort.
They get on a roll, on a rant or on their soapbox.
They seem like they could go on forever.

Passion. It’s a beautiful thing!

As my hommie Curt Rosengren says, “Passion fuels your career success, strengthens your confidence in your abilities and inspires the persistence it takes to make your dreams reality!”

Well said, Curt.

AND, HERE’S THE BEST PART: Asking about passion is a MILLION times more approachable then asking someone, “So, what do YOU do?”

(As my eyes roll…)

Because of COURSE, we’ve been programmed to default to that question as SOON as we meet someone. That way we can quickly, easily (and usually inaccurately) compartmentalize that person into a neat little box.

BUT, HERE’S THE REALITY: Most people don’t care.

See, it doesn’t really matter what you “do.”

It matters who you ARE.

And in my experience:

Who You Are = What You’re Passionate About

Because passion is everything.
Because passion is what (truly) connects people.
Because passion is the most approachable thing in the world.

THEREFORE: A successful conversation is one in which PASSION is discussed.

Especially if you’ve just getting to know somebody. Steering the conversation into the territory of somebody’s passion is the perfect way to create an engaging, unforgettable encounter.

The challenge, however, is making the transition.

See, if you’re too deliberate with your questions, it may come off as rapport seeking, as opposed to rapport attracting.

Or, you may sound like an unappointed career counselor or a motivational speaker.

And that’s no good.

That’s why you need to be careful. Because if someone gets the impression that you’re only asking passion-finding questions to “fix” or “coach” or manipulate them, they probably won’t open up fully and authentically.

So, without trying to hard, without probing and without being over-determined or over-intentional, here’s your three-word assignment: Ask about passion.

After all, your questions WILL differentiate yourself in the minds of the people you meet.

That is, if you ask the right ones. At the right time. And in the right way.

Hence, today’s list:

25 Passion-Finding Questions to Invite Someone to Talk about What They Love

1. If you could do just one thing all day long and get paid well for doing it, what would you do?
2. If you could only give one speech, for one hour, for one million people, what ONE WORD would that speech be about?
3. If you could only have one section of the bookstore to visit, which section would it be?
4. If you could only subscribe to ONE publication for the rest of your life, what would it be?
5. If you could only work 2 days a week, what would you do?
6. If you could only work 2 hours a week, what would you do?
7. If you could take a sabbatical for one year, where would you go and what would you do?
8. If you didn’t have to work, what would you do all day long?
9. If you were the last human on Earth, what would you still do every day?
10. What activity always makes you lose track of time?
11. What activity gives you the most energy?
12. What brings you to life?
13. What could you talk about forever?
14. What things are you able to do, without even trying?
15. What do you like to do, just for the fun of it?
16. What do you love to do that (you can’t believe) people actually pay you money to do?
17. What do you love to talk about?
18. What do you most enjoy making?
19. What have you always found to be easy?
20. What is the one thing that people couldn’t pay you NOT to do?
21. What pictures or wallet items do you ALWAYS show to people?
22. What questions do you look forward to be asked?
23. When you don’t know what to do, what do you find yourself doing to find your way?
24. Why do you admire the people you admire?
25. You, yourself, are at your best when you’re acting HOW?

– – –

OK! Think you’re (now) ready to start asking some of these Passion-Finding Questions?

Not so fast, Oprah.

Before your start spouting off a bunch of unusual questions to complete strangers, remember a few things:

o Make the right call. Some of these questions are more penetrating and personal than others. So, be sure your timing, context and wording are appropriate. You don’t want the other person to question your questions!

o Don’t overdo it. Now that you’ve read this monstrous list, choose 3-5 of your favorite questions to incorporate into your lexicon. (Any more than that will be too much to remember!) In fact, you could even write your questions on a little card to keep in your wallet as a handy reference.

o Keep it real. When asking PFQ’s, be careful they don’t sound too calculated, rehearsed or unnatural. I suggest you practice asking your favorite questions a dozen or so times until you’ve routinized, internalized and normalized the dialogue.

Ultimately, when you ask someone about her passion – ESPECIALLY a customer – it pays off BIG time in the world of service.

Here’s how:

1. The customer starts talking about her passion.
2. That passion becomes intertwined in the sales conversation.
3. The customer builds and customizes her product or service WITH you.
4. The customer takes ownership since she helped create it.
5. The customer buys it.

Passion! It’s a beautiful (and approachable) thing.

So, next time you meet someone, avoid asking, “So, what do YOU do?”

Instead, invite them to talk about what they love.

If you were the last human on earth, what would YOU still do every day?

For the (full) list called, “86 Passion-Finding Questions to Invite Someone to Talk about What They Love,” you know the drill! Send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’ll give you enough PFQ’s to last a lifetime.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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