One Christmas party, years ago, I was chatting a partner whom I have come to respect tremendously. It was a conversation that only Christmas parties facilitate: candid, personal and adorned with outrageous costuming.
We talked about family. He had two kids, young but not infants. We talked about hobbies. He had a few, but none current:
“I used to run a long time ago before I was a Partner.”
“Why don’t you start again?”
“Oh Luke, but where to find the time? There’s literally nothing left between work and the kids.”
“Yeah, after work and kids, you must be completely drained.”
“Ah, now that’s where you’ve got it wrong. You assume that seeing my kids drains me, but I get ALL my energy from my family. It’s not a chore, it’s living. You’ll understand that one day.”
I didn’t understand that day, nor any day since. That’s because I don’t have kids. But I do have things that I love so much I could spend time on them until the moment I faint from exhaustion. And so do you.
Few people know what to do with passion. A friend recently told me about his incredible mid-week adventures. On a Wednesday night, he would drive up or down the coast, hike and climb for a few hours, sleep under the stars and drive into work on Thursday morning, shower, change, and start again. I searched reasons why the idea was stupid and excuses for why I couldn’t do the same. I found none.
So many of us eat life with a teaspoon and drink life through a straw. When it comes to things we love, we should be piling up plates of it and coming back for seconds and thirds. We should devour our passions with great appetite, obsession, and gluttony.
And we shouldn’t do them idly or moderately. We should “John Nash” our passions, scribbling about them on blackboards, planning them, dreaming about them, and talking about them until it makes other nauseous.
So this Christmas, pig out on your passions. Turn your I’ve been meaning to’s into your I did it’s. Take a low-work, high-octane diet. Urgently, greedily and relentlessly stuff yourself with what you love. You’ve been tapping your feet and drumming the rhythm on your desk all year. Now it’s time to leave the office belting Good Morning Baltimore (you can clean up the confetti next year).
And not just so you’re fresh for 2018. This isn’t a pitstop for a quick brake check and oil change. Because this is your passion, scrawled in chalk on a blackboard in letters so big there’s no room for anything else.