Thursday, September 21, 2006
People and their passions
Sometimes it's the easiest thing in your life to find. Sometimes it's the most difficult. Everyone has one but very few can tap into it and make it their source of inspiration and income.

I'm talking about your passion. Whether food or fashion, sports or stamp collecting, your passion is that one thing that allows you to escape to a world in which you are in charge but perhaps more importantly, it's the one thing that makes you feel alive.

Art of Life has profiled many successful people and the one thing they all have in common is their passion. Whether it's Alberta Ferretti's passion for design, Thomas Keller's passion for food, Nerio Alessandri's passion for wellness, or David Coulthard's passion for racing, they all are successful because they are doing what they love.

But for many of us that's the hard part, isn't it? Making our passion work for us. It's not easy to take what is essentially a hobby and earn a living from it. For many of us life takes over -- whether it's raising children, paying off loans, keeping a roof over our heads, and feeding our families. Sometimes it's not easy to say I'm going to take what I love to do and make money off it.

Don't get me wrong, there are many people who aren't wildly rich but are doing what they love. A good friend of mine can't wait to go to work every morning and trade the stock markets. He says it's the challenge of balancing the complexities of the markets with the immediacy of results. It's the fast-paced environment that's filled with million-dollar pressures, but he loves every minute of it. He, I guess, would be among the lucky ones because he has found what he loves to do and does it for a living. Thing is, if you get to do what you love you can do it for as long as your mind and body allow.

So do you find your passion or does it find you? There are many of us who are so wrapped up in our lives (mainly because we have to be) that we can't find (or don't know where to begin to find or recognize) our passions. Plato said, "necessity is the mother of invention".

Perhaps necessity is also the key to leading you to your passion. I remember Fawaz Gruosi, founder of de Grisogono jewelry, telling me that it was his need to find a job that landed him at a jewelry store as an assistant (he said he basically started out getting tea for everyone.) He would later find his passion for designing jewelry, a passion that would earn him a multi-million dollar business and ultimately a lifestyle of luxury.

I love meeting people who inspire me. I love meeting people who are doing what they love to do. It gives me that kind of energy and inspiration to find that key to not only unlocking my passion but to earn a living from it. That, in my mind, is when I know I am successful.

I guess the secret is being open to it and to never stop searching until you have found it.
Posted By Leetlegirl: Thursday, September 21, 2006
Hi Monita,
You have touched on a topic that has a relationship with our hearts. I have often discussed this topic with taxi drivers and I've received some very interesting reactions. One guy said he loved videography. He is one of the few who could identify his passion. Some get inspired even by the thought of doing whatever they feel like, but they can't figure out just what. Many say that if they could get out of the daily grind, they would go on a world tour. When I asked them what they would do if they couldn't go traveling, invariably, the reply is: I would do something for others. The consistency with which I have received this reply shows that ultimately our highest desire is to serve others. That, it seems, is the ultimate passion.
Posted By Anonymous Atul Mathur, Singapore : 3:48 PM, September 21, 2006
I enjoyed your article. Passion is important but it does not necessarily pay the bills. You can set it off against your income and it can balance and motivate you. If your work is not 100 percent your passion, it can get you through -- the work pays the bills in order for your to have your passion. That's what I did. I had a hobby of collecting memorabilia. Now, I own a museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi which is not for profit. I am retired so my pension pays the bills. Yes, we are not rich but you do not need to be, just seek no debt and find a way. First find your passion. It makes you feel whole and more fun and who knows? You might live longer because of it. Balance is key!!
You can check out my passion here:

Best regards,

Posted By Anonymous Theo Dasbach, Clarksdale, Mississippi : 4:15 PM, September 21, 2006
Hi, this is really a wonderful read. I am sure it will inspire many. Well, they say: 'do the things you love and love the things you do.' Indeed, those are the lucky ones who manage to figure out the equation.

For many, inspiration is somehow faded with the chaos of every day life, but at least you remind us that it might worth a try. After all, we have one life to live.

Posted By Anonymous Sharif (Bangladesh), Limassol, Cyprus : 6:45 PM, September 21, 2006
Can you write about relationship between religion and science in our daily life?
Posted By Anonymous Tashi, Davie, Florida : 8:32 PM, September 21, 2006
Hi Monita,
The idea of finding a passion and then being able to make a living doing that is wonderful but sadly not all that realistic. For some lucky people it is their reality but most people take survival jobs. Hate their work but need the money to live. I think we are setting up a new generation for some heartache by making them feel they will never have to work for a living in a job that's not a big wow, but I'll hope for the best for everyone.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton Calif. : 9:32 PM, September 21, 2006
Monita, I've been practicing exactly what you're suggesting all my life. In professional sports, travels, studies and professional work, I've always pursued the things that have inspired me most, and have been wildly successful along the way. It is not easy at times -- downright awful facing certain choices in fact -- but I think the best thing we can do for future generations is to encourage them to pursue life, the way you have suggested here. Bravo. All respect to you!
Posted By Anonymous david, stuttgart germany : 12:06 AM, September 22, 2006
Very thoughtful and I should say necessary article. Hope it will make some people stop for a moment and think what really makes them alive. I am very lucky to have two passions in my life and while one -- software design and development -- provides living, the other one -- painting -- no less important and provides hours of relaxation and even allows me to come up with more ideas for the first one. But I do remember times when I could not make money with either of them and had to work just to pay bills and it was a nightmare. Hope it never happens again.
Posted By Anonymous Karine Ishkhanova, Toronto, Canada : 1:10 AM, September 22, 2006
So true. Your thoughts matched with the speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford, "Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry."
Posted By Anonymous Dev, London UK : 1:55 AM, September 22, 2006
Hello Monita,
While most of us have a job which fits the saying 'necessity is the mother of all inventions,' it may not be a passion. I like my job because it pays me more than the other jobs, however I pursue my passion on the side on the weekends, which makes me appreciate my day time job :). Nevertheless, I like your article and wish I could be a banker raking in major dollars and believe me I would whoop myself to make it my passion.
Posted By Anonymous Gautam, NYC, NY : 2:05 AM, September 22, 2006
How about finding LIFE as a passion in itself? At the end of the day it really all comes down to whom you have showed love and how they love you back, and the work you have been blessed to do today to provide for family.
Looking at the flower that's so beautiful and being in awe of it, hearing children laughing and remember to have loved one's to whom you can pass on family traditions and heritage.
Anything above all these things I consider a plus.
That to me is successful living.
And that's MY passion.
Posted By Anonymous Dawn Hiuser,Ontario Canada : 3:45 AM, September 22, 2006
Great subject/blog. I've seen your show while I was in Asia last July -- truly wonderful. Passion, what a great part of our life. It certainly is true that most of us have passion that does not pay our bills. I've been lucky to do what I loved most, like competing in triathlons, (I'm training for the Ironman in Florida which is on November 4.) climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and spending time in Tanzania in January this year and spending time with my family in Asia this past summer.
I'm not wealthy, just a regular guy working. Life is good. The blog was certainly true about finding "balance" and "not having debt" etc.
Posted By Anonymous ray, denver colorado : 6:36 AM, September 22, 2006
Passion. It can find you when you are least unexpecting it. In university I always dreamed of wanting to work in marine biology. After graduation my focus somehow changed, and I found myself thinking about how I can work out my career path towards a life of financial independence. I tried my hand at a few things, and finally arrived at trading the currency market full-time for myself. It was an opportunity that jumped at me, and the passion grew on me with time. I feel very lucky that I am able to combine my passion for the financial markets with making a living out of it. A person can have more than just one passion, and it is possible for passion to find you when you are open to that possibility. In this age and time, many things are truly possible.
This is where I write a daily forex blog on my website
Forex Currency Trading Blog
Posted By Anonymous Grace Cheng, Singapore : 7:14 AM, September 22, 2006
This didn't actually give me any direction or inspiration. Dr. Eric Maisel's work for creative people of all persuasions would be much more giving than this article. Google him and be inspired!
Posted By Anonymous Connie Soslberg, Bergen, Norway : 8:02 AM, September 22, 2006
Being able to exercise a passion is the ultimate luxury experience. And being able to find new ones in our daily life is what opens the doors for true happiness: the essential "art of life!"
Posted By Anonymous Fernando Grau, Beijing, China : 10:33 AM, September 22, 2006
Hi Monita,

Passion is our moving force. Eveybody has passions. I consider myself one of the few lucky ones where I managed to make my passion to be my work. Although I feel very happy, excited, created and fulfilled there is always the case where you tend to lose the balance between work and personal life simply because your work is your passion. How can a woman end up taking care of the family as much as she wants to when her work is actually her passion? Very tough question and even tougher to apply. Money isn't eveything -- it is all a matter of balance.
Posted By Anonymous MB, Athens, Greece : 11:42 AM, September 22, 2006
I loved the Jobs speech that Dev mentions above. If you want to get into the psych side of it, look into Winnicott and Hilde Bruch. If you want to read new theories of passion applied to your career, read Herminia Ibarra.
Posted By Anonymous David, London, UK : 12:39 PM, September 22, 2006
Hello Monita!
I agree what you think about passion in our lives.
If we all thought about how short our lives are we would not spend one a minute in jobs we don't like to do.
Many times I have asked myself what makes a person clever and I think the answer is someone who spends his life carrying out activities with love and passion.

Jordi Caldentey, Manacor, Catalonia
Posted By Anonymous Jordi Caldentey, Manacor, Catalonia : 7:01 PM, September 24, 2006
I agree with you competely, Monita. I watch your program all the time with a kind of passion. Meanwhile, I also love my work -- although I did not have such feeling in the beginning. I overcame this and now tend to like whatever I do at work.
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 7:47 PM, September 24, 2006
Passion. What is it? I think if someone has this virtue it will be reflected in all of that person's footsteps. Being passionate implies that someone is run not only by their brain but by their heart too. I consider myself to be a very passionate human being who gets excited by any big or little object or incident that touches my heart.
Posted By Anonymous Rupa Dhar , Boston ,MA : 2:53 PM, September 28, 2006
Anyone seen the French film "Alexandre le bienheureux?"
Posted By Anonymous anita watts, brussels, belgium : 5:33 AM, September 30, 2006
I just wanted to say that whenever I see you anchoring, you make me smile cause you are always fun. Keep up the good work. You are a great anchor. Compliments to Adrian Finighan and Jenny Harrison too. You make a great team.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Kathmandu, Nepal : 7:49 AM, September 30, 2006
I found my niche in life at age 47. A love of history and geography since high school gave me a wanderlust that I could not resist, so my wife and I opened a travel agency 37 years ago. We traveled the world with groups or alone, made many friends in faraway places. We are not rich, just comfortable and happy. Monday mornings can't come quick enough. This is our life. My hobby? Model trains -- what else?
Posted By Anonymous BILL RODD, CARO MI : 3:09 PM, October 02, 2006
Hi Monita
Well put! I think your comment is particularly relevant, especially with the Generation X-ers and beyond. At the risk of making an overly sweeping statement, baby boomers were more likely to stay in one job for the rest of their lives. It may be due to the prevailing social and economic situation at the time. For the same reason, Generation X-ers (or at least, the many of whom I know) want a job they're passionate about, and of course pays them well. But many would choose passion first, over money, because the idea is that if you're gonna be working most of, or at least, a large chunk of your life, you should enjoy it, shoudln't you? Everything else will then fall into place. Just my 2 cents. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Posted By Anonymous Insouciant_One, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : 9:07 AM, October 03, 2006
Keep up the good work, sis. Too bad we can't get the show in Toronto.

Mum and dad would love to see it.

Deep Rajpal
Posted By Anonymous Deep Rajpal , Toronto , Ontario : 3:37 PM, October 04, 2006
I agree with you.
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 8:57 AM, October 05, 2006
After reading your comments about searching and finding your passion I am left feeling jealous. It appears that you are lucky enough to have found your passion unlike the rest of us who spend eternity searching for it and when we do find it, we find out that being actively involved with your passion doesn't put food on the table.
What if we all had the chance to exploit our passions with the promise of monetary rewards?
Life in the so-called third world is quite tough and those who actively indulge themselves in their passions are those who have an extra buck -- or should I say shilling -- to spare.
Yours, Kevin
Posted By Anonymous Nairobi,Kenya. : 11:12 AM, October 05, 2006
Is there any chance we can read more of Monita's writings? I really like her blog but I would like to read more of her views on what's going on in the world or even just what she's up to. I'm a big fan of Art of Life and Monita's morning news show.
Posted By Anonymous Mandy, Berlin : 12:23 PM, October 09, 2006
I agree with Mandy. The more Monita the better.
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 12:30 PM, October 09, 2006
I agree!! Can we hear from you in between shows, Monita?
Posted By Anonymous Pam Brown, Hong Kong : 9:25 AM, October 10, 2006
The secret is only being "open" ...
... around us there are always many solicitations that can spark our interest and our involvement ...
Uour "Add a comment" is a good example of "I love meeting people who inspire me."
Posted By Anonymous M�rio Silva - Lisbon - Portugal : 4:31 PM, October 10, 2006
Hi Monita,

Your write-ups always in focus, educating and enlightening.

Keep the write-ups coming -- we are always here to send/add our comment.
Posted By Anonymous Muhammad Umar, Kano State-Nigeria : 1:55 PM, October 19, 2006
Yes, Monita, you are right.
Passion is the root of searching.
Even to search for dispassion you need to have passion.
Bhuddha and all saints and sages ultimately discovered the path to dispassion, just becouse they had the passion to do that.
Posted By Anonymous Aruna Kahaduwaarachchi, Colombo. : 4:48 AM, October 20, 2006
Thats right , Its up to Us - Belive it and get it, Live the Dream :))
Posted By Anonymous Yanis, EU , Latvia , Riga : 9:51 AM, November 10, 2006
I agree. Doing for a living what one enjoys doing is the road to peace and happiness in life. Only a few people are blessed with this liberative situation in life. Parents have a duty to discover the hidden talent and inclination of their kids to guide them doing in their lives what they enjoy doing. Not everyone has big and unique passions, but everyone has something they enjoy doing. A high live wire executive may enjoy cooking, an academic may discover that painting nature gives her pleasure. What is important is to discover your uniqueness and do things that will bring out the uniqueness and indulge in what you like without harming others.
Posted By Anonymous KP Joseph , Kochi , Kerala , India : 11:51 PM, December 23, 2006
Hi Monita
Your write-up is inspiring. Your ideas meeets the needs of many people, but we need to draw a line between the good and the ugly sides of of passion.
Posted By Anonymous njweng tekum,Cameroon : 1:46 PM, February 20, 2007
Monita, your smile and humor light up my day. Keep up the good work and keep smiling!!!
Posted By Anonymous Bill, Mato Grosso, Brazil : 9:01 AM, March 29, 2007
Can passion be the pursuit of someone you just really, really love, and hope to marry someday?
Posted By Anonymous Carmen Cruise : 6:14 PM, September 10, 2007
CNN anchor Monita Rajpal blogs about her experiences filming the "Art of Life" show.

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