In Pursuit of Passion

from Wildlife Promise

2 2/16/2011 // By Jaime Matyas

Adobe Town, WY

Valentine’s Day has always seemed odd to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I like chocolate. But I’ve never understood the need for outpouring of love on one designated day. Is the concept of love so fleeting that we need Hallmark to remind us to express our deepest emotions?  And is love different from passion?  A search on Google or iTunes would suggest it is.

According to The Beatles, ” All You Need Is Love.”    In contrast, Denis Diderot the French philospher said, “Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.”  More recently, Oprah Winfrey described passion as energy, the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

So Love or Passion?

I have met hundreds of  interesting people on my travels as Executive Vice President of National Wildlife Federation:  people who are making a difference in their communities protecting wildlife, combating climate change and connecting kids and families with the natural world.  And yet, there is a small subset of people with whom I don’t want the conversation to end.  And when it does, I have a more hopeful, more energized feeling than before we began.  I began to wonder if there is something this select few have in common. I think their secret sauce is passion.

In honor of Valentine’s Day I am embarking on a journey to explore the influence of passion and where it comes from. I have interviewed women from across the country whose personal stories are compelling to me, all of whom have followed very different paths to uncover and express their passion. 

Join my journey to uncover the soure and power of passion.  I think it may be the essential element to happiness and success when hard work, long hours and luck aren’t enough.