Finding your Passion, in Search of Tension

I’m currently reading this short infographic book WHAT TO DO WHEN IT’S YOUR TURN (and it’s always your turn), by Seth Godin. There’s more info about him on his “about the author” page, but he’s really big in the inspirational author, blogger, and business fields. To sum up the book, here’s a quote:

“Explores, as directly as I can, the dance we all have to do with our fears, the tension we all must embrace in order to do work that we care about. It pushes us to dig deep inside so we can do better work and impact the things we care about.”

This post is just a small reminder on how to be mindful in whatever work it is you’re doing. As a student working on this blog, and after just finishing finals, its hard to just take some time for yourself and remember why we all do the work we choose to do.  On reading this page, I was motivated to share the insight from Seth with others. I thought about what it really takes to ‘find your passion,’ and how most people really are afraid to take the leap necessary for reasons like they might fail or will “turn others off.” What really struck me was this:

“Great work is the result of seeking out tension, not avoiding it.”


A lot of planner’s work, or anyone for that matter that works with the public, deals with the continuous balancing act of public and private- systems that are usually in tension with each other. However, by avoiding the tensions that may come up in any work, we are denying ourselves chances to produce great work. It may not work, but then again it just may; thus the tension is worth it.

He writes after this page that even when one does not feel “motivated” they still must write/paint/sing, whatever it is you do for your work. Because each time that one says they need motivation, they’re actually hiding in fear from the opportunity to take their turn, to use their freedom, and to do something great. One has to

“develop a habit…of showing up on a regular basis…pitching in every single time…How motivated you are today has nothing to do with the opportunity and the obligation you face.”

So when you’re having one of those days where you think you just can’t possibly produce anything worth reading, or you’re just not motivated enough to give your best, remember this. Needing motivation is just a hiding technique. Show up every time, because you never know what you’re capable of until you actually get started. And who knows, you might just produce something great all  because you believed in yourself enough to show up and remain dedicated to the work.