When your friends and family are tired of hearing you talk about it, and you just can't find a way to use it at work, what happens to your passions? What happens to you? More importantly, what can be done about it?
It's perfectly fine to relegate your passions to weekend hobby activities or volunteer time, but it's essential that your passions get expressed.
When a person has a passion that does not get expressed, two things happen:
1) The passion itself becomes lacklustre. You might even forget about it. Like an unused tool on a shelf, it is out of sight, out of mind...and its potential for good in your life and others is wasted.
2) You start to feel the pressure of it. Without expression, a passion builds up like steam and can create damage if not released. You can start resenting your job or your family and friends because they're not appreciative of it, but it's not their fault. It's time to look for your passion's natural audience.
There is a group of people out there that are meant to be on the receiving end of your passion. Passion is not a selfless thing; it is meant to be shared in a win/win environment. Here's why:
1) The person using the passion is energized; they can carry on with a passion-fueled task that lasts for hours, without feeling the need of a break.
2) The quality of their work is high; when a person is passionate about what they're doing, they naturally care about the outcome, and will persist until it attains perfection.
So if your family and friends aren't interested in hearing about or receiving your passion, and if you can't figure out a way to use it at work, what do you do?
First of all, I highly recommend that you consider Steve Farber's quote to "Do what you love in the service of those who love what you do!" It's imperative that you recognize the gift of your passion, and don't settle for half-hearted or obligatory interest. You DO have a fan club for your passion, and the only way to find them is to start shouting to the moon what you love to do, and they will find you! Publish your Passion!
Second of all, don't get frustrated and give up if you can't easily find an outlet at work or in a volunteer capacity for your passion. There are other easy expressions out there, but it takes some guts.
For example, a good friend of mine has wanted to write letters to her daughter who is currently 4 years old, so that at some point in the future, her daughter can pull them out and see what mom has to say on certain subjects.
My friend also happens to be a gifted writer, and often yearns to philosophically discuss life lessons from current events. She is unable to do this in her work setting, so we brainstormed together the benefits of starting her own blog, which would take care of her desires simultaneously! She can write the blog as if it's letters to her daughter, and share her life lessons, one blog at a time. This will also create a forum for my friend, who can then discuss these current events with others interested in doing the same ("Do what you love in the service of those who love what you do!")
My friend immediately set to crafting her blog, and at this writing already has one blog draft done and ready to publish. It's a big step, putting yourself and your passion out there for the World to see - what if no one reads it? It's helpful to think of the opposite effect - what will happen if you DON'T share it? Resentment and stress will build within you, as that pressure of not expressing your passion increases. Also, don't forget about your fan club. They're waiting for the goods of your passion. Without your guts, they'll never get to experience them! Often, I find that thinking of others cures my fear.
If you're interested in some one-one time with me to determine your passions and how to find a way to express them, I have a mini-course that does just that!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!