And yet, it is surprisingly easy for your enthusiasm and passion to fade. Work becomes common place, and routine. Often leaders unknowingly slide into a comfort zone, which often leads to complacency and a loss of commitment. Eventually, this skews your perspective, and your heart is no longer on fire!
There is a wise and relevant admonition to “fan the flame of our gifts.” If you don’t tend to the fire, it will go out. That’s just a fact of leadership and life. Just like an untended campfire will soon go to embers, fade and go out, your passion will dwindle without new fuel and intentional cultivation.
Practices to Keep Your Passion High:
1) Remember your initial commitment to your ultimate goal.
Your call to serve and lead can never be separated from your ultimate goal. If your faith about your goal is shaky or becoming “same old same old,” your work can turn to mechanical duty. It can become a routine where you merely go through the motions.
Regular reflection on your initial experience of commitment will keep your internal motivation kindled.
2) Be clear on your commitment.
It’s important to know if your commitment to work is part of your life, or if it just a service. You may do nearly the exact same function, for example, teaching, but the context is very different. If your professional work life is where you live out your commitment, that’s far different than performing a dutiful service.
Until this is clearly settled, you will lack the inner peace and rest in your heart and soul that is needed to keep your passion burning brightly.
3) Do what you love, love what you do.
When you do what you love, and love what you do, three things are added to you and your commitment that contribute to passion.
• Energy – You will always have energy for what you love. If you love your work, you’ll care about it, and when you care, that generates personal energy. We often call that internal motivation. It’s a fire that burns within!
• Joy – When you love your work and your energy is strong, a sense of joy pervades! This doesn’t mean every day is an easy day, but the practical translation is that even on the tough days, it’s worth it! This makes the majority of your work fun and you truly can enjoy it. This continually re-ignites your passion.
• Improvement – It’s absolutely vital to keep growing while you keep going. The goal is to get better at what you do. How are you improving? Improvement increases passion!
4) Develop a genuine caring or “agape love” for the people with whom you work.
Agape love or caring for co-workers is unmotivated in that it is not contingent upon their actions or worthiness. It is spontaneous and isn’t determined beforehand whether ir will be effective or appropriate.
It isn’t always easy to care for or love (agape) the people with whom you work, but it’s infinitely easier if you choose to love them!
Here are three practical guidelines to a caring connection with your team.
• Close to a few – You were never designed to be close buddies with everyone on the team. Human chemistry doesn’t work that way. But there should be one or two people, or perhaps even three or four, with whom you share a special bond and close relationship.
• Connect with all – If you are part of a large staff, or part of a smaller group or team, it’s healthy to experience an easy and comfortable connection with everyone. It’s more casual than close, but there is a sense of team, and you enjoy each other even if the interactions are brief. You feel like you are all “in this” together.
• Conflict with no one – Since there will be conflict even on the healthiest and most successful of teams, the key here is not having unresolved conflicts. If there is a rift between you and a teammate, take the initiative to make it right. Don’t let it sit and fester and become a poison in the team chemistry. Have the conversation today.
These three simple guidelines will help you love genuinely, which always leads to greater passion!
If you need more hands-on coaching to improving relationships, improving your soft skills or renewing your commitment, contact us at www.ignitingyourfuture.com