What is passion?

These days it seems like everyone and their dog is talking about finding passion in your career. But what exactly does passion mean? And how do you find it? If you want to get Wild About Work, those questions are a pretty good place to start.

Since 2001, I have been using this simple definition of passion to help people create careers that energize and inspire them:

passion definition2Passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do. 

That’s it. Simple. Nothing mysterious – or even vaguely out of reach – about it. It’s just doing the kinds of things, in the kinds of ways, for the kinds of reasons, etc. that leave you feeling naturally energized.

Finding your riverbed

I like to use the analogy of water moving from one place to another. Imagine two scenarios. In the first, you’re trying to get water up and over a mountain. You build a pipeline and continually expend fuel to power a pump to keep the water moving.

While it’s possible to do that, it also takes a lot of work. And at the end of the day, if it’s not replenished, that pump winds up running on empty (which, not coincidentally, is how many people feel about their work).Unfortunately, that’s precisely how many people spend their careers – digging into their energy reserves to make something happen that doesn’t come naturally.

Contrast that to water flowing along a riverbed. Not only do you not have to power its movement, the water actually gets energy from the path it’s taking

Bringing more of YOU into what you do is like finding and following your own personal riverbed. When what you do and who you are is aligned, you feel energized by it. Not only do you not have to dig into your reserves to get through the end of the day, doing the work actually generates energy.

How to bring more of YOU into what you do

We’ll be talking at length throughout this blog about how to consciously, intentionally bring more of YOU into what you do. But if you want an easy way to dip your toe in the water, try this.

Look at your current job. Make a list of the things you have loved doing over the course of your life, work or play. Pick one of those things and ask, “Why? What do I love about this? Why is this so much fun?”

Do that with multiple things from the list. Then start to look for the common themes. What are the “reasons why” that tend to be there when you feel energized?

Looking for ways to experience more of those underlying themes (the recurring reasons why you love what you love) is an excellent way to bring more of you into what you do. That could mean something as simple as modifying how you work or pursuing specific projects, or as complex as changing careers.

(If you want more insights on finding your flow at work, you can download this free audio course based on The Occupational Adventure Guide, the framework I use to help people create careers they love.)


Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

Time for a career change? Start with
The Occupational Adventure Guide

The Wild About Work ecosystem

I’ve been thinking about how to visually convey the Wild About Work ecosystem that’s at the heart of what I’ll be talking about in this blog. I went to the whiteboard and this is the model that popped out of my brain.

[Note: There’s a refined version of this model at the Wild About Work Basics link.]

Wild About Work pyramid med

There are four main components to the model. Getting Wild About Work entails:

  • Doing work that energizes you.
  • Bringing your heart to work.
  • Creating a stable foundation of well-being to stand on
  • Recognizing that work and life are interconnected

All of the areas outlined in yesterday’s post about where this blog is headed are encompassed in these four things.

Doing work that energizes you: This is about doing work that lights you up. It includes finding a sense of meaning. It encompasses energy management – maximizing the gains and minimizing the drains. It contains the success factors that help you create it, and the work you do to navigate around the obstacles in your way.

Bringing your heart to work: This is as much attitude as it is action. It’s about love and compassion, both for yourself and for others. It’s openness and a willingness to connect. It’s what brings your full humanity into the picture.

Creating a stable foundation of well-being: There are some things that are woven into the fabric of your well-being. When your life incorporates them, it helps create a solid foundation to stand on. When they’re missing, things start to get a bit wobbly. These are a healthy diet, staying well-hydrated, grounding practice of some sort, exercise, and sleep.

Life/Work interconnection: Your work life doesn’t exist in a silo. What happens in each part of your life has an impact on how you experience the others.  The more energized you are in 360 degrees, the more space you will have to experience all the juice your job has to offer.

[Want to get Wild About Work? Get started today with my FREE Audio Course!]


Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

Time for a career change? Start with
The Occupational Adventure Guide

How DO you get Wild About Work?

If you want to get Wild About Work, discovering a path that lights you up is one piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the only piece.

At the heart of this blog is the idea that being Wild About Work is the net effect of a holistic system, not one single thing. 

All the pieces of your life are interconnected. What happens in one aspect affects the other aspects. There is no “work silo” separate from the rest.

Ultimately, my goal here is to give you the insights and the tools to experience as much juice on the job as possible. I want to help you create an energized, impactful, heart-based career.

Here is an overview of the key areas we’ll be exploring:

Energy management

At its simplest, this is about incorporating more of what energizes you into the picture and reducing or eliminating what drains you. Some of the things we’ll be looking at in this section include:

  • Ways to gain a greater understanding of what energizes and inspires you.
  • How to bring more of what energizes you into your job and your life.
  • Reducing and eliminating what drains you.
  • How the rest of your life impacts your work (and vice versa!).
  • Stress management.


A sense of meaning can have an immensely positive impact on how you feel about work. Here, we’ll be looking at things like:

  • What does meaning even mean?
  • What are different ways to experience meaning?
  • What are different sources of a sense of meaning?
  • How do you put your finger on what feels meaningful to you?
  • How does a sense of meaning impact you?


This may seem a little out of place in a career blog, but I firmly, absolutely, resolutely, 100percentedly believe that this is a foundational piece for a vibrant, fulfilling, meaningful career.

What is “heart?” It’s love and compassion, both for yourself and for the world around you. It’s openness and a willingness to connect. It’s service, and generosity, and more.

As we delve into what bringing your heart to work means, we’ll explore things like:

  • Why love matters to your career
  • How to work from the heart
  • The value of authenticity
  • The power of self-compassion

External Success Factors

There are a bazillion things that can contribute to your success, both external and internal. Some of the external success factors we’ll be exploring include:

  • Taking action and getting traction
  • Creating a support system
  • Goal-setting
  • Identifying and leveraging your resources

Internal Success Factors

What’s happening internally can have a gigantenormous impact on what is possible in your life. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” We’ll be diving into a variety of topics related to internal success factors, including:

  • Creating positive, enhancing beliefs
  • Self-awareness
  • Personal growth exploration
  • Positive psychology findings
  • Building confidence and belief in yourself
  • Resilience
  • Motivation

External Obstacles

Of course, any adventure is bound to have obstacles. And getting Wild About Work is no exception. In this area we’ll look at things such as:

  • How to build an obstacle-navigation mindset
  • Problem-solving tips and techniques
  • Being a solutionist

Internal Obstacles

In the last thirteen years helping people create careers and lives they love, I have seen first-hand how the internal obstacles people face can be infinitely more daunting than the external ones (and it’s often the internal obstacles that make the external ones seem bigger than they really are).

With that in mind, we’ll be taking a look at things like:

  • How do you get in your own way?
  • What limiting ideas, assumptions, and beliefs are holding you back?
  • How are your stories about the ways things are holding you back?
  • How can you transform your limiting perspectives into more empowering ones.

Will there be more? Almost guaranteed! But this is a good basic framework to hang our adventure on.

So get comfortable. Get curious. Put on your Hat of Openness and Wonder. And get ready to dive on in.

It’s time to get Wild About Work!


Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

Time for a career change? Start with
The Occupational Adventure Guide

It’s time to get Wild About Work!

Welcome to the Wild About Work! blog, where we’ll take a 360-degree look at the ins and outs and ups and downs of creating a career that lights you up.

As I embark on this adventure, I want to start out with some promises to you.

I promise not to blow sunshine up your wazoo.

I’m not a big fan of any sunshine and daisies approaches to loving your work that feels good to think about, but has little to do with what we actually experience. I plan on staying grounded in the real world – which, not coincidentally, is the start of my next promise…

I promise to stay grounded in the real world;
I also promise to challenge your perception of what the real world actually is!

My goal is to help you move towards a career that energizes and inspires you, one that feels meaningful, impactful, and engaging. I don’t happen to believe that magic fairy dust is a great tool to rely on to get you there.

At the same time, I also don’t happen to believe in the limited version of “reality” many people are convinced is true. I see far too many people selling their potential far too short by what they perceive as “realistic.” So prepare to jettison your false sense of reality!

I promise to let my inner Pollyanna shine through. 

In general, I see the world through an optimistic lens of possibility. If you have an attachment to feeling pessimistic and limited, I suggest you stay far, far away, because this blog will probably annoy you.

I promise to question your limits.

Over the years, I have repeatedly seen impenetrably solid seeming limits simply evaporate. How? Because the perceived solidity was all created in people’s minds. I have seen it with clients, and I have experienced it myself. “Don’t believe everything you think” is a good motto to live by. I plan to keep reminding you in case you (or I) forget.

I promise to focus on solutionizing.

Part of staying grounded in the real world means acknowledging that, yes, if you set out to create a career that energizes and inspires you, you will encounter obstacles. My goal is to help you avoid an obstacle mindset and embrace a “solutionizing” mindset, one that treats the inevitable obstacles we all encounter as the starting point, rather than the end of the line. “OK, there’s that obstacle I knew I would find – now how do I navigate around it?”

I promise to listen.

I sometimes joke that I am so lit up about this topic and its potential to make a positive impact that you could introduce me to a brick wall, ask me a question about it, and I could have a good hour-long conversation.

But I also want to know what you have to say. There is a collective genius in a blog’s readership that goes far beyond what the guy standing up front with the megaphone has to say. I’m excited to make this a collaborative journey, tapping into the wisdom of both your insights and your questions.

I promise not to take it too seriously. 

I’m fond of the line that life is too important to take seriously. I plan to keep this light and fun.

I promise to be real.

One thing that sticks in my craw about the personal development expert set is how little vulnerability many of them show. Inadvertently or intentionally, it creates a having-it-all-together picture of them that those of us mere mortals gripped with the occasional fear and uncertainty can’t measure up to.

After 13 years focused on how to create an energized, impactful, heart-based career and life, I feel comfortable describing myself as an expert in the field. I have learned an incredible amount along the way, and have been blessed to see many people transform their lives as the result of my work.

And here’s the rest of the story. I’m also just another schlep trying to figure my own path out. I get lost and wander off track. I get scared. I get uncertain. I let my inner critic have a field day far more often than I should. And again and again, I find my way back.

So if you ever feel like you don’t have what it takes because you’re running into those kinds of things, think again. All it means is that you’re human, just like the rest of us.

I promise not to make my posts too long. (Oops! Too late.)

OK, I think I may have already inched a toe or so over that line, so I’ll wrap this up here.

Thanks for coming along for the ride! I look forward to exploring where the adventure takes us.


Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

Time for a career change? Start with
The Occupational Adventure Guide

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