Passion. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines passion as an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. The Urban Dictionary says that “Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible”. Think of the movie, Rocky. In that movie, Rocky Balboa was a down-on-his-luck bum of a has-been fighter, until he was picked to fight the world champ. Rocky suddenly found his passion. By the way, that movie was inspired by the boxer Chuck Wepner. Chuck was given a chance and fought Mohammed Ali.

Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner fought each other in a boxing match in 1975. This was Ali’s first boxing bout after The Rumble in the Jungle. The fight was billed as Give the White Guy a Break. Ali won the fight after he knocked out Wepner in the fifteenth round. The fight is notable for being among the four fights in which Ali was officially knocked down in the ring. Chuck Wepner’s life story was recently made into a movie called The Brawler. In that movie, Wepner beat Sly Stallone… in a court of law.

Wait, where was I? I love boxing, in case you couldn’t tell. Oh yeah. Passion.

The first step in finding your passion is to believe it is possible to find passion. Have an open mind. One of the best ways to strengthen this point of view is to surround yourself with people who are living examples. If you don’t know many, it might be time to expand your circle; be inspired by those who are inspired by their work. The next step is to seek out the things, the clues and signs that perk you up. Things that make you tick, and make you want to get out of bed in the morning. Third, try to make sense out of those things. It doesn’t have to include all of those things. For example, if you love the outdoors, watching Caterpillar earth-moving equipment and being with people, you may want to be a resident engineer on a construction site. Fourth, you need to get realistic about whether this could actually turn into a career—and what you would need to do to make that happen. And, think about if you would even enjoy doing those things for a living. Or, would that suck all of the fun out of it? (Reference:

As the talented, up and coming Nevada-raised rapper Ill Zakiel has said, “Figure out what makes you happy, and then figure out a way to make a living doing it” (as heard on Episode #13 of the podcast Mining Minds).

Okay. Put a fork in it. It’s done. Well, hardly. Most of the people reading this blog are part of an organization, probably in mining or in the mining service industry, and we aren’t going to make drastic career changes, like becoming a cruise ship activities director, or a barista in Tahiti. All of that seemed like BS to me, except maybe step one. I’ll edit all of that out before posting this. Note to self: please delete this, and the preceding paragraph.

So, how do you find passion at the work you already have? I once read a book called The Art of Happiness at Work, by the Dalai Lama. Until I read that book, I didn’t even know that the Dalai Lama had a job. I thought that he just went around being the Dalai Lama. Anyway, my biggest takeaway from that book is that your job is a lot more enjoyable if you wake up thinking that you need to get to work so that you can help your friends. Try to stop dreading work. Give it a chance. There are lots of good people there. However, if your job is making you miserable, then it is time for you to consider a major change in your life. Let’s don’t go there. Damn, I should probably edit that out too, this is about happiness! Sometimes just catching a cup of coffee with a couple of your coworkers can make all the difference. Or lunch. Beers on a Friday. Or Tuesday. Just to help grow bonds. I can sure enjoy work a whole lot more when I wake up thinking that I need to go help my friends.

As Aristotle said in his classic text The Nicomachean Ethics, life wouldn’t be worth living without relationships, and that nobody would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other good things. Aristotle continued, saying that friendship is a splendid thing.

Don’t take it from me; take it from the Dalai Lama, Ill Zakiel and Aristotle. Get out there and build some passion. And you’ll make friends along the way.

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