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Some of us need to rediscover our passion. Others need to feed it and follow it more often. And some of us may just need to appreciate how our passion has carried us through hard times and difficult challenges throughout our careers.

Passion can be misunderstood and its benefits are often underappreciated. It happens that the presence of passion can be a strong antidote for burnout resulting from stress and pressure. The presence of passion provides a sense of purpose, perspective, and context that can carry us through setbacks, conflicts, and disappointments.

Writer and speaker John Hagel (2012) describes three types of passion, each of which can help us to refocus and become re-energized professionally. The first type of passion is the passion of the fan. This passion drives us to learn all that we can about our profession. It leads us to read, watch, and absorb everything about learning, teaching, and motivating. While this type of passion may be strongest early in our careers, we need to keep it active. Continuing to learn needs to be a passion we protect.

A second type of passion is the passion of the player. This passion drives us to become our best as an educator. Our focus is on becoming skilled, experienced, and intentional in our practice. Effectiveness is our focus. Constantly becoming better at our profession drives our energy and attention.

The third type of passion described by Hagel is the passion of the explorer. This passion drives us to continually question whether there might be an even better approach, to seek new insights about how learning happens and how it can be stimulated and supported. This type of passion invites new discoveries whether through research, collegial conversations, or insight from other professional fields. The passion of the explorer keeps us fresh and contributing to our profession.

This summer may be a good time to step back and reflect on the status and focus of our passion. Maybe we need to re-engage as a fan and learner. It might be that we need to renew our passion to build our skills and improve an aspect of our practice. Or it may be time to seek out new insights, build our wisdom, and find ways to give back to our profession.

Each of us needs to do our own reflection and answer these questions for ourselves. However, our passion can and should be shared with colleagues. It may be that someone will find the energy and urgency to renew their passion when they see it rekindled in us.

Hagel, J. (May 24, 2012). Exploring passion – what kind of passion do you have? Retrieved from https://edgeperspectives.typepad.com/edge_perspectives/2012/05/exploring-passion-what-kind-of-passion-do-you-have.html%20

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