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Do What You Love... And the Rewards Will Follow

By Kathy Lester, 10/16/17, 9:45AM CDT


Passion: “An intense desire or enthusiasm for something.” A zeal, a fire, an energy.

Passion has a way of showing up in our lives in unique ways. Some people are very clear on a passion and pursue it intensely. For others, it takes us longer to identify and perhaps, we even stumble upon it while pursuing something else.

My ‘other path’ to passion wasn’t exactly planned, which is often the case in one’s journey. After unexpectedly not returning to my former career after the birth of my son, he continued to elicit surprises for me, including introducing our household to hockey. Along with new equipment and holes in our jeans from playing endless games of knee hockey, a new passion was surprisingly unearthed for me the first time I hit the puck across a frozen pond under the light of a full moon. I knew in that magical moment, as the puck glided smoothly across the ice, I must find a way to play this game. Over the next months, I found a beginner’s clinic, joined a team, and this year will play my fourth season of hockey.

How easy it is to dismiss the cues in our lives, the jolt of energy when we try something new or the pull of energy toward a person or place that could change our life’s trajectory. Doubt and fear often settle in and take over our lives. We dismiss the new idea, saying to ourselves, “What right do I have to pursue this thing when I have no idea what I’m doing?” or “That person will think I’m crazy if I start a conversation.” And in doing so, a part of our soul withers and dies.

In her book, “The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage,” Mel Robbins writes that we have 5 seconds to make a decision before our brains take over control of our lives in the form of fear, doubt, and inaction. “Courage is a birthright. It is inside each and every one of us,” Robbins states. In the moment, we’ll have an urge to act – and we will choose to either act or not – within 5 seconds. I don’t recall if I took action within 5 seconds of being on that pond, but I do recall feeling something I hadn’t felt before…energy, exhilaration, a passion for something new that I took action on quickly.

In hockey, I will never be an elite player, nor is that my goal. My reward comes each time I step onto a rink and feel a sense of exhilaration in being able to play an amazing sport with fun teammates. Also, a few years ago, I wrote about my moonlight story and entered it into a contest. My story was selected as a top 10 finalist among over 20,000 submittals, garnering my community $10,000 in rink improvements (and later, through community voting, $40,000)! One of the criteria for story selection? You guessed it…Passion!

The rewards of passion are experienced in unique ways. We must have faith to step forward into the passion and pursue it.

If you have put aside or dismissed a passion or want to uncover one, try these questions (refer to the above definition of passion, if needed):

  • What is an area I am passionate about (or could be passionate about)?
  • What one step could I take today to explore or experience this passion?
  • For the next 7 days, write down 5 things I’m grateful for related to this passion.
  • Identify how frequently (weekly, etc.) I will incorporate this passion into my life.
  • Maintain a journal of my experiences as a result of living the passion.

In what ways have you experienced reward in the pursuit of your passion?

With all this talk of passion, I’m off to find an ice rink…

Editor's Note: This article was submitted by and re-printed with permission of the author. The original article is available here. The contest referenced above was the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA contest in 2015. Kathy's submission for St. Michael-Albertville was selected as a Top 10 finalist, and with the support of the State of Hockey, they reached the Top 4. 

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