Tuesday, March 23, 2010

P4L: The Breakdown

Passion, desire, motivation, love, inspiration
None of these words describe anything tangible. They describe feelings or emotions.

Some people go through life doing what needs to be done without really engaging their emotions - without being worried about how they feel about things.  In the public sphere we are encouraged to use the word "think" and never "feel", we are taught that emotions are nothing, that actions/rationale are everything. 

Lamarr Womble branded his concept on purpose. Passion - the feeling - for Leadership - the action - is the intersection between the ethereal and the practical. It is the heart's way to the head, and the head's way to balance the heart.  Don't think for a moment that passion is all fluff and fancy with no concrete necessity or basis.  And don't be fooled into the belief that you can lead successfully (for very long) if you are not passionate.

As co-author to this book and someone who lives her life by its philosophy, I know this concept through and through.  Allow me to give you a piece of advice, before you embark on the journey that is passionate living. Open both your mind and your heart to these ideas; experience this on a practical and an emotional level.

When I first heard the P4L concept at a conference when I was a junior in college, I experienced it on an emotional level because my life had been overrun by the practical. I was in five or more extracurricular organizations, taking 16 hours of classwork, work 2.5  jobs, and having panic attacks. I was spread too thin. It wasn't, as a poet I know wrote, "what I loved but what I felt I was supposed to do" (Colin Gilbert, "Desert of Words").  After hearing that I didn't have to reinvent the wheel, and not everything requires a degree, and I didn't have to (and shouldn't!) quit my day job to develop my "side hustle", I was near tears with relief.  A leader has to hustle, but if she is resourceful, and if she's hustling for what she really wants then it won't feel as hard - and it won't cause panic attacks!  Here's the challenge: If you tend to shut off your emotions and focus solely on action - let this book appeal to your feelings, your heart.  Read it all in a short amount of time, don't dog-ear pages or make notes or use a highlighter.  Don't study it, just receive.  And once you've let the initial impact settle (a week or more) then go back through and pull out the more practical elements.  If you tend to never look at the practical and focus solely on the way you feel - let this book teach you that practicality doesn't have to be dispassionate.  Take this book slowly and in small bites: one chapter a week with a highlighter and a pencil. 

Lamarr hit the bull's eye with this. It will change your life - not just your collegiate career or your job search, but your whole life - if you let it.

Happy reading, passionate living, effective leading!

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